In the second edition of QUICK GUIDES on why the lateral flow diagnostics market is expected to grow by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.2% by 2022 (Source:*, we look at the growth across the food safety and environmental testing sectors.

  • Edition I: Veterinary [Read]
  • Edition II: Food safety and environmental testing
  • Edition III: Infectious Disease [Read]
  • Edition IV: Lateral flow quantification [Read]

Food safety and environmental testing growth

It is estimated that by 2022, the use of lateral flow diagnostics in the food safety and environmental sectors will be worth $338m, a 2017-2022 CAGR of 13.0% (Source: In addition, the food safety testing market as a whole is expected to grow by a CAGR of 7.31% by 2021*.

The food safety sector includes:

  • Foodborne pathogens
  • Toxins
  • Contaminants

The environmental testing sector may be divided into:

  • Air
  • Soil
  • Water

The overall environmental and food safety testing sectors, including lateral flow testing, are currently valued at $12bn and $8.5bn respectively and are predominantly concerned with protecting public health.

There are a number of challenges facing food safety which contribute to the adoption of rapid detection technology. For example, a fast-moving supply chain needs rapid solutions to facilitate supply, increasing financial and regulatory demand in agriculture results in the need for cost-effective processes and procedures, and in the case, antimicrobial resistance and foodborne pathogens rapid detection technology is needed to aid the safe passage of food destined for human consumption.

The environmental testing market is driven by increasing regulations to protect the environment with active participation from government and regulatory bodies with an increasing requirement for cost- & time-effective testing solutions. The market is diverse and includes the testing of heavy metals, organic compounds and microbiological compounds as well as addressing various environmental issues such as climate change, acid rain reduction, and greenhouse gas emissions.

As is the case for both environmental and food safety testing, regulations are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. For example, DEFRA has recently introduced new regulations which promote best practice to avoid contamination from fertilisers, manures or other pollutants when using water on farms. The ever moving regulatory-landscape results in greater scrutiny and inevitably prompts the need to test more regularly.

Demand for cost-effective and time-saving solutions in a number of areas is in greater demand. Hence, why lateral flow technology is being used more and more.

Growth drivers:

Food Safety:

  • The increasing acceptance of new detection technology
  • Rising outbreak of foodborne illnesses
  • The formulation and updating of stringent food safety regulations
  • The increasing demand for rapid solutions to facilitate a fast-moving supply chain

Environmental Testing:

  • New cost-effective and time-saving testing services
  • Increasing number of environment protection regulations
  • Governments and regulatory bodies increasing participation in monitoring environment conditions

Why does lateral flow fit the bill?

Lateral flow technology is well-suited to the food safety and environmental testing areas for the following reasons:

  • Simple to use
  • Cost-effective
  • Tried and Trusted Technology
  • Flexible – Qualitative, Semi-Quantitative and Quantitative
  • Multiplexing capabilities
  • Flexible and adaptable to different testing environments

Abingdon Health’s role in the growing lateral flow market

Abingdon Health has a long-track record of developing and manufacturing single target and multiplex lateral flow assays within regulated and non-regulated markets. Watch one of our videos or contact us to learn more about our capabilities.

*The COVID-19 crisis in 2020 accelerated the growth of lateral flow testing, with the market now projected to reach $10.2bn by 2025.

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