Citral is an aroma chemical used in the flavours and fragrance industry. 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal is its chemical name. Citral has the characteristics that of oils in lemon and Litsea cubeba and the chemical offers a citrus, fruity, green note. Citral is used in the synthesis of linear monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes. It is a valuable intermediate for the synthesis of odorants, terpinoids, and vitamins in pharmaceutical sector. International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that if any material used to impart perfume or flavour in products intended for human ingestion should consist of ingredients that are in compliance with appropriate food regulations and flavourings within the countries the product is sold. Citral is a chemical used in food products and producers need to keep a watch on the purity of the product. Few countries consider citral as a synthetic flavouring substances and adjuvants that are recognized as safe for use.
According to the study “Asia Citral Products Industry Situation and Prospects Research Report”, various types of citral available in the Asian markets are natural citral and synthetic citral. Citral obtained from natural sources is natural citral, whereas citral manufactured chemically in laboratories is the synthetic citral. Natural citral is more expensive compared to synthetic citral. Synthetic citral is manufactured using isobutylene and formaldehyde to form isoprenol. Therefore, majority of the synthetic citral is produced from isoprene. Additionally, citral market is categorized based on applications such as fragrance, flavour, and synthesis of vitamin A and E. Within the fragrance segment application, it is again categorized into cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, personal care products, and cleaners. The flavour segment is further categorized into confectionery, beverages, and others.
Geographically, Asia citral products industry is spread across China, India, Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and other regions. The leading players in Asia citral products industry are BASF, Kuraray, Kalpsutra Chemicals, Rajkeerth Aromatics and Biotech, Industrial and Fine Chemicals, Zhejiang NHU, Wuxi Lotus Essence, Shanghai Xianjie Chemtech, Guangzhou Ri Hua Flavor and Fragrance, Jiangxi Global Natural Spices and Chengdu Jianzhong Flavors and Fragrances.
Asia is the largest consumer of citral in the production of various products such as cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, personal care products, and cleaners. China is the leading producer of perfumed products, in which citral is majorly used. The major market challenge in Asia’s citral products market is the stringent regulations controlling the flavour and fragrance industry. Increasing demand for perfumed consumer goods and increase in disposable income of individuals has led to the expansion of Asia’s citral products market and will continue over the next few years.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications