The palmitic acid in human milk is positioned in a very unique way to the second (middle) position of the glycerol back bone also known as sn-2 position (figure 2). In human milk, approximately 70-75% of the palmitic acids is esterified to the sn2 position of the triglyceride (sn2 palmitate). In contrast, vegetable oils only have about 8-10% of their palmitic acid attached to sn2. This special preferential positioning is even more significant knowing that it is conserved in all women, regardless of their ethnic origin or nutrition. That’s Sn-2 Palmitate.
Human breast milk is the ideal first food for babies. However, when breast-feeding is not an option, Sn-2 Palmitate is the natural standard for mimicking human milk fat in infant formula and provides thereby the best alternative. Presently, many infant formula manufacturers have built cooperation with Sn-2 Palmitate manufacturers, such as Danon, Nestle, Feihe and so on.
The Sn-2 Palmitate
industry is highly concentrated as there are just three companies engaged in the industry, Advanced Lipids, IOI Loders Croklaan, Zhejiang Beijia. Global production of Sn-2 Palmitate increased from 5324 MT in 2012 to 8238 MT in 2016. Sn-2 Palmitate production is mainly distributed in Europe and Asia.
As for the consumption, Sn-2 Palmitate manufacturers mainly target at Europe, China, Oceania, where the infant formula industry is concentrated. Europe is the largest consumer with 50.63% share in 2016. USA is the follower with 2179 MT being consumed.
Since more and more advantages of Sn-2 Palmitate have been discovered, consumers of infant formula with Sn-2 Palmitate keep increasing. Market insiders are optimistic on the future market and estimate that global Sn-2 Palmitate industry will be worthy of 141.58 million USD in 2023, with the CAGR of 8.01% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2023.