Tartaric acid is an organic acid naturally found in fruits including grapes and tamarind. It is a principal ingredient in wine and provides it with the characteristic tart taste. Tartaric acid is primarily manufactured from natural raw materials; however, it can also be manufactured synthetically from maleic anhydride.

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Tartaric acid finds applications in the wine, food & beverages, construction, pharmaceutical, chemical, leather tanning, and metal finishing industries. It is used as an acidulant, pH control, and flavorant in wine. Tartaric acid is also used as an anti-microbial agent, anti-caking agent in bakery items and flavorant for fruit juices in the food & beverages industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used as an excipient for drugs with poor solubility at higher pH levels. Tartaric acid is used as an anti-set agent in cement formulations in the construction industry.

Rising wine consumption, especially in Asia Pacific and Latin America, is anticipated to drive the tartaric acid market. There is an increase in demand for organic excipients, such as tartaric acid, for usage in pharmaceutical formulations in the form of drug delivery systems to enhance bioavailability of active ingredients in high pH levels.
However, seasonality in availability of feedstock for natural tartaric acid, and non-acceptance of synthetic tartaric acid for use in food & beverages, wine, and pharmaceuticals, especially in Europe, are likely to hamper market growth in the next few years. Fast-paced growth in the construction industry in the GCC region is likely to offer large opportunities in the tartaric acid market in the near future. The UAE and Qatar are two of the fastest growing construction markets in the world. Qatar is set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. This is expected to stimulate demand for construction chemicals and building materials, including tartaric acid, in the region during the forecast period.

Europe continued its dominance in the tartaric acid market, accounting for over 30% of the global market in terms of volume in 2013. Europe’s mature market is anticipated to witness an average growth rate in the next six years. Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing market for tartaric acid. This fast-paced growth can be attributed to the rising consumption of wine, perpetual demand in the food & beverages industry and high growth in the construction industry.

North America is projected to expand at CAGR above the market average during the forecast period, led by the recovering construction industry and strong growth in the pharmaceutical and wine industries. Demand for tartaric acid is anticipated to be high in the wine and food & beverage industries in Latin America. The construction industry in Brazil is likely to be the key market in the initial years of the forecast period. The construction and wine industries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) emerged as the market drivers of tartaric acid. The construction industry in the GCC region is undergoing rapid growth, while South Africa has emerged as a popular producer of wine, with high demand for its wine from all parts of the world.

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The global tartaric acid market is fragmented, with a few players with global operations. The number of natural tartaric acid manufacturers is higher than the number of synthetic tartaric acid producers. Most producers of natural tartaric acid have captive supply of raw materials through their wine production operations. They also procure lees from other wine producers and wine cooperatives for their natural tartaric acid production. Large numbers of synthetic tartaric acid producers are present in Asia Pacific, especially China. China has large synthetic tartaric acid production capacity. Key players include Caviro Distillerie S.R.L., Tarcol S.A., American Tartaric Products, Inc., Distillerie Mazzari S.p.A., Derivados Vinicos S.A., Giovanni Randi S.p.A., The Tartaric Chemicals Corporation, Industria Chimica Valenzana S.p.A., Vinicas, Inc., Omkar Speciality Chemicals Ltd., and Changmao Biochemical Engineering Company Ltd.