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Major Manufacturers of Fermentative Lactic Acid
Currently, there are several major manufacturers of fermentative lactic acid as follows:



How much is produced annually?

Each year,
NatureWorks LLC (a joint venture between Cargill and Dow Chemical for PLA polymer a biodegradable polymer) has a lactic acid facility in Blair, Nebraska, USA, that produces 180 000 (metric) tonnes of lactic acid per year. Such great amounts are required to be produced annually due to the huge demands from mainly food-related industries. Moreover, the emerging markets for PLA polymers cause a significant increase in growth of lactic acid consumption. Together with ethyl lactate, the new green solvent, consumption for chemical applications is expected to expand at the rate of 19 % per year.




The Selling Price

Commercial Prices of


Food grade lactic acid?

Between 1.38 US$/kg (for 50 % purity) and 1.54 US$/kg (for 88 % purity)

Technical grade lactic acid?

Up to 1.59 US$/kg (for 88 % purity)



Subsequent Uses of Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is a chemical with many potential applications. In fact, its uses and applications are divided into
four major categories
: food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and chemical applications.


Lactic acid is used as acidulant/ flavouring/ pH buffering agent or inhibitor of bacterial spoilage in a wide variety of processed
foods. In contrast to other food acids, it has a mild acidic taste. It is non-volatile odorless and is classified as GRAS (generally
regarded as safe) by FDA in the US. It is a very good preservative and pickling agent.