Food processing machines are the tools that give better results for production and packaging of different kind of food items like meat, baked items, seafood, poultry, dairy, beverages etc. These products have gained reputation globally as they are considered nutritionally rich, shelf-stable, and have a lower risk of contamination. These exist in a variety of design, size, and configuration and can be easily operated. Earlier, conventional tools were designed to perform a single task but at present, enhanced equipment is designed, which consists of multiple processing lines capable of accommodating continuous and automated operations.
Demand for Food Processing Machinery
The demand for food processing machinery is growing and sales are predicted to increase by 7.3 percent on a global scale reaching a total value of USD 72 billion by 2021. The rise in sales will be driven mainly by increased demand for processed food products in emerging and developing markets, as consumers’ income goes up. Meanwhile, in major markets such as China and Brazil, it is a common tendency for consumers to shift their focus towards more value-added, non-essential food categories, such as chocolate and meat, which will result in food processing businesses looking for ways to diversify their production and to expand their capacity. In addition, producers from highly industrialized countries will be investing more in new methods of processing basic products, such as fruit, vegetables, and grains, which will require more advanced equipment.
Trends in Food Processing Markets
- A rise of contract manufacturing
In order to stay competitive, brand owners are focusing on marketing, distribution, and sales, requiring the outsourcing of contract manufacturers and demanding stringent efforts to maintain efficiency. The contract food and beverage processors require flexibility with processing and packaging equipment and look for machinery tuned to their products and applications.
- Optimization of Existing Plants and Lines
Operations and maintenance are focused on improving plant efficiency, product quality, worker safety, and profitability. For manufacturers who do produce, the emphasis is on reducing production costs, including capturing and putting into action more meaningful production data, as well as introducing robots for repetitive and dangerous tasks, and focusing on training and education.
- There is a disconnect between procurement and operations
The disconnect leaves machine buyers with little incentive to add to the cost of their machines, even with compelling evidence of reducing lifetime cost, because they are not responsible for this number. Purchasing and operations must bridge this gap for true automation savings.
SHOCKWAVE: Based on pressure pulses, shockwave disrupts the structure of foods, which can, for instance, tenderize low-value meat cuts.
FORWARD OSMOSIS: Much expensive and gentle concentration technology after evaporation. In Australia, only one system is installed for food processing.
ANTENNA MICROWAVE: CSIRO-patented technology that heats evenly, unlike conventional microwave systems.
MEGA SONICS: CSIRO-patented technology that uses sound waves to extract more oil from oil processing.
HIGH-PRESSURE THERMAL PROCESSING: An innovation that will allow an industry to adopt this technology on a commercial scale using existing high-pressure processing machines.
EXTRUSION POROSIFICATION TECHNOLOGY: Energy efficient drying technology that retains more flavor and functionality in high value powdered foods, enabling the creation of brand new food ingredients.
CSEP (CONTINOUS SEPARATION) TECHNOLOGY: Simulated moving bed chromatography to recover proteins and other bioactive elements from co-product streams as functional ingredients.
Developments in food processing
Self-Chilling Can for Cold Coffee
The new Gravity Tray for fresh meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables keeps product liquid away from the food without the need of an absorber pad.
Ice cream parfaits’ multipack clear cups offer packaging distinction in the premium frozen novelty category.
Lightweight Eco Pack frame-and-bag crate packaging for food products is customized for the commodity and product application, and designed for optimal ventilation, food safety, and waste reduction.
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To meet consumer demands, there is a need for food processors to reformulate products by using healthier sustainable ingredients, adding protein, vitamins, and antioxidants to food, and labeling products as an allergen, organic and antibiotic free.
Taking all of these market dynamics into account, manufacturers predict increasing the use of automation and robotics to bring more flexible machinery in to efficiently run production lines. Many of these machines will need to be adapted to specific needs, and therein lies the opportunity for OEMs (Original equipment manufacturers).