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Food Safety Microbiology Testing Increases 40% in 5 Years to $2.9 Billion Worldwide

Published: Monday, July 29, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, July 29, 2013
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Report details the food microbiology testing practices, volumes, methods and products used by food producers around the world.

Data based on detailed interviews with more than 450 food production facilities in 19 countries including the U.S., China and India.

The food microbiology testing market is healthy and robust, driven by an increasingly global food supply and focus on safe food. According to a new report from Strategic Consulting, Inc., a leading information resource in food safety testing and industrial diagnostics, the market value of food microbiology testing will reach $2.9 billion in 2013—an increase of 40%, or $832 million, in the past five years.

Food Micro, Eighth Edition: Microbiology Testing in the Global Food Industry (Food Micro—8) tracks and compares test volumes, market values and methods used, and forecasts future volumes and market values through to 2018 for food microbiology testing by food producers around the world. The data is based on primary research interviews with more than 450 food producers in 19 countries, including the U.S., China and India.

Three key factors are driving increases in microbiology testing around the world. The volume of food commodities produced is growing, due mainly to increases in population. Second, the rate of food microbiology testing per unit of commodity is increasing, driven by factors such as new regulations, fear of recalls and process economics. Third, the average cost per test conducted is increasing as the overall market shifts from lower-cost, traditional food microbiology tests to newer, higher-cost test methods that are being developed to shorten the time required to get actionable results.

Over the past decade, food processing companies have made investments in plants, equipment, and training for food safety testing. The investments, and resulting improvements, are not consistent in all parts of the world, however the increasing globalization of the food supply continues to drive changes and improvements. Major foodborne outbreaks like the one in Germany in 2011, when more than 4,000 people became ill and 50 people died due to E. coli O104:H4, as well as the increased media attention paid to food safety issues, as seen recently in reports of contamination of food in China, increase the pressure on food companies and retailers to make continued investments in food safety.

Food Micro—8 is based on detailed primary research with 450 food plants around the globe, including 140 interviews in the Asian countries of China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. According to Tom Weschler, president of Strategic Consulting, “Given Asia’s 4.1 billion population and growing importance in the global food trade, it is clearly a critical region to understand with regard to current and forecasted food microbiology testing practices.”

The Report shows that food microbiology testing is reasonably spread around the world, but testing practices within geographic regions vary significantly. Europe conducts the greatest volume of food microbiology tests at 299.4 million tests, but projects the slowest future growth in test volumes and market value. Asia is currently responsible for just 29.0% of total test volume, but has the greatest potential for growth, particularly in pathogen testing.

Food Micro—8 provides detailed breakdowns by microorganisms, food segments (meat, dairy, fruit/vegetable and processed foods) and geographic regions, and summarizes key trends and concerns in food microbiology testing. The data is based on primary research interviews with more than 450 food producers in 19 countries, including the U.S., China and India. An appendix with profiles of 17 of the primary diagnostic companies in the food microbiology testing market is included.

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