World Enzymes says the market will reach almost $1.2bn by 2011, following annual growth of almost eight percent. The report divides the food and beverage enzyme market into three main categories: dairy, bakery and 'other food and beverage'. In the dairy market - the largest category for food enzymes - the ingredients are used mainly for the production of cheese and the removal of lactose. However, this sector is expected to see only "moderate gains". In contrast, bakery enzymes will continue to post above average growth, along with other smaller applications such as fat and oil processing. In the food and beverage industry, processors use enzymes as a 'natural' way to improve production efficiency, as well as food quality and consistency. For example, they can be used as processing aids, where they may be directly involved in food transformation as with the use of chymosin for cheese production, or indirectly involved as with the use of pectinase for fruit juice clarification. Enzymes may also be added to processed foods to enhance certain characteristics or to act as flavor modifiers. Although the report does not provide a break-down of the different enzymes within the food and beverage categories it examines, it nevertheless considers all of the major enzymes used by the industry today, said Freednoia analyst Ned Zimmerman. These include naturally-occurring rennet enzymes, synthetic rennet enzymes (or chymosin), and lactase in the dairy sector, as well as amylase, lipase and xylanase in the bakery sector. In the 'other' sector, Freedonia includes protease (for meat, fish and high protein goods), pectinase (for fruit and vegetable products), lipase (for oilseed extraction), and a number of enzymes for alcoholic beverage production, such as alpha amylase, beta amylase and glucoamylase. Zimmerman told FoodNavigator-USA.com that although the report does not examine enzyme prices, there is an overall trend of downward pricing pressures. This is because of increasing competition, increasing consolidation in the food and beverage industry, particularly in developed regions, and constant pressure from customers to keep prices down, he said. According to Freedonia, the use of enzymes allows food and beverage processors avoid using traditional chemical additives viewed as 'artificial' by consumers. However, another challenge faced by food companies is a growing consumer resistance to any GMO-derived ingredients, and this is forecast to restrain market growth as processors "proceed cautiously", says the report. The same concerns have led to a resurgence in demand for naturally-sourced enzymes, that can avoid the "GMO stigma". For example, in the case of the dairy enzyme chymosin, which is used to coagulate cheese, the natural enzyme in the form of rennet (derived from calves' stomachs) has experienced a resurgence in popularity in several parts of Western Europe, including Germany, said Freedonia. The new report reveals that one primary driving force for growth of enzymes is expanding demand from manufacturers seeking more effective ingredients for specific applications. However, Freedonia notes that enzymes that have undergone some form of optimization to improve performance or properties - such as stability at higher temperatures or greater activity at lower temperatures - cannot exist in a naturally-derived version. "Such enzymes are inherently derived from GMOs, and despite their great value and usefulness, would also be considered undesirable food ingredients by many consumers," writes the report. Freedonia's new report, which examines the global market for enzymes used in all industries, is divided into two main sectors: Specialty Enzymes - which includes pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biocatalyst enzymes - and Industrial Enzymes - which includes food and beverage enzymes, and enzymes for detergents and bioethanol. The total food and beverage enzyme market makes up just under 40 percent of the Industrial Enzyme category, which in turn constitutes 57 percent of the overall enzyme market. The leading global enzyme manufacturer is Novozymes, which holds 26 percent of the total enzyme market and 46 percent of the industrial enzyme market. Other enzyme producers are Danisco, Genzyme, Roche, Allergan, DSM, and BASF, with a combined 36 percent share of the market.