Acetate is one of the common building blocks in the production of complex molecules in living organisms. Acetates are usually found in the form of anions, salts, and esters; of these, the usage of acetate salts is high. Salts are formed when an anion reacts with a cation, resulting in the formation of an ionic compound. Commercially, acetate salts are formed by the reaction of acetic acid with an alkaline or a metallic base. Sodium acetate is the common form of acetate salts; it is generally obtained by reacting acetic acid with sodium bicarbonate.
Other commercially important acetate salts are calcium acetate, ammonium acetate, aluminum acetate, and potassium acetate. Calcium acetate is produced from the reaction of calcium carbonate with acetic acid. Ammonium acetate is produced from the reaction of gaseous ammonia and acetic acid, while aluminum acetate is produced from the reaction of aluminum hydroxide and acetic acid. Potassium acetate is produced from the reaction of potassium carbonate and potassium hydroxide. Acetate salts are produced on a large scale. These are inexpensive and are used in a wide range of applications.
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Acetate salts are primarily used for pH adjustment, crystallization aid, or as catalysts or reagents. These salts are added to acetic acid to form a pH buffering mixture, which is used to regulate the pH of foods that are mildly acidic. Acetate salts are extensively employed in the food industry as pH buffering agents to preserve processed meat and fish. Among packaged food products, sodium acetate is primarily used in salad dressings, sauces, and ready-to-eat meals. Potassium acetate and calcium acetate are employed as low-sodium alternatives to some food products. Typically, acetate salts are added to food products in a weight of 0.2% to 0.5%. These salts are used along with acids as flavoring agents in several ready-to-eat meals and also as growth inhibitor of mold and bacteria in meat-based foods.
Acetate salts give a vinegar-like taste to food and are hence used in potato chips and other snacks. Sodium acetate is an important ingredient in the production of insulin. Other acetate salts can also be used for this purpose. In addition to being a key component in insulin products, acetate salt prevents the body from producing anti-bodies during insulin injection by acting as an oxidizing agent. Acetate salts are also employed in wide applications in leather tanning and textile industries. These salts can also be used in heat packs, hand warmers, hot ice, and as a polymer stabilizer. Besides the applications mentioned above, acetate salts are employed in resins, coatings, drilling fluids, ceramics, fire extinguishers, carpet backing, photography, lubricants, carbon black, and personal hygiene products.
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The food industry accounted for the major share of the acetate salts market in 2015. In terms of consumption, Europe leads the acetate salts market, driven by the rising applications in the meat processing and ready-to-eat foods. Germany, France, and Spain attractive markets for acetate salt manufacturers. Stringent food regulations imposed by food regulatory bodies also boost the demand for acetate salts. Rise in global demand for frozen foods coupled with the implementation of stringent governmental regulations is augmenting the acetate salt market. The acetate salt market in Asia Pacific is driven by economic, cultural, and demographic changes in the region. Increase in population of youth coupled with the rise in their disposable income is likely to drive the fast food industry. This, in turn, is estimated to boost the demand for acetate salt in the next decade. The use of acetate salts for deicing roads in the U.S. and Canada is projected to increase in the next few years. Demand for acetate salts is likely to increase in Latin America, driven by the rise in demand from the large meat processing industry in Brazil and Argentina.
Key players operating in the acetate salt market are Niacet, Anmol Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., GFS Chemicals, Inc., Nanjing Jiayi Sunway Chemical Co. Ltd, Allan Chemical Corporation, Jiangsu WuXi YangShan Biochemical Co., Ltd, Nithyasri Chemicals, Macco Organiques Inc, Ava Chemicals Private Limited, and Wuxi Feipeng Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.