European food equipment market ripe for CIP systems

European food equipment market ripe for CIP systems

By Lisa A. Coleman

London, England–The food processing equipment market in Europe is expected to hit $15 billion by the year 2000, predicts market analyst Frost & Sullivan (London, England). Although no major technological breakthroughs are expected in the market, improved technology, as well as European regulations, are expected to boost competition that will require Clean-in-Place (CIP) systems.

According to the European Machinery Directive 89/392/EEC, and Directive 91/368/EEC, food processing equipment must be cleaned after every use, and equipment should not allow food to be touched by harmful substances, such as lubricating oil. Frost & Sullivan reports that “clearly, equipment suppliers must develop designs that allow the use of CIP facilities without the need for dismantling the equipment, so that (processing) disruptions and increased costs are avoided.” It also predicts that vendors supplying integrated CIP systems are “most likely to gain the favor of customers.”

Also, the European food processing equipment market is targeting aseptic processing. As longer shelf life gains popularity, demand for aseptic processing is increasing. “Food processing companies are now looking for more efficient methods of production, which can help cut time and labor required for their operations,” says Frost & Sullivan. European food producers are calling for more R&D in sterilization techniques as well as the elimination of post-processing contamination. Research is targeting packaging as a means for better contamination control. A recent Cornell University study cites packaging technology as a means to eliminate post-pasteurization contamination and increase milk life by up to 25 to 30 days. Alfa-Laval Co. has also introduced an extended-life egg pasteurization machine, which increases egg shelf life from a range of five to seven days to six to 12 weeks, reports Frost & Sullivan.

Although the European food processing industry market is mature, it is also still developing, says Frost & Sullivan. The top three equipment sectors are the baked goods, meat and poultry, and drink-processing equipment markets. As part of the functional equipment market (raw material preparation, ingredient handling, moulding, thermal processing, low temperature processing, and ancillary equipment), the largest segment is packaging and bottling, with roughly 39 percent of the total market.

In Germany, the traditional leader in food processing equipment in Europe, new companies are expected to bring higher technology products, such as food analyzers and weighers, or microwave and high-pressure technologies to the market. Frost & Sullivan foresees the market as being far too mature for new companies to enter with traditional products.n


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