How the industrial application of spray drying in food encapsulation presents an opportunity?
Food encapsulation is a process used to entrap a specific compound within a stable protective substance such as a specific polymer to produce encapsulates of varied sizes and properties. The ingredient that is to be trapped is termed the “core,” and the outer enclosing component is called the “wall.” These two are the primary elements in food encapsulation.
With the increasing demand for functional foods such as fortified foods, nutraceuticals, and other health-based foods in developed countries such as the US, the UK, and Germany, and improving technology, along with R&D investments, are projected to drive the market for food encapsulation.
There is a rise in consumption for convenience food items due to awareness among the consumers related to their health, which drives the demand for encapsulated products to a greater extent in the market. The food encapsulation technique has made it possible to encapsulate the properties of various complex food systems with different ingredients that are volatile and unstable in nature; it also helps to protect the nutritional components of the product from adverse environmental effects.
The spray drying technique is most economical as compared to other drying methods and is simpler in operation, which increases the usage among the food additive manufacturers supplying their products to the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Thus, there is a growing market potential in this industry that can be tapped by the spray drying manufacturers.
The spray drying technology works by applying thermal energy, which acts on the product separating the liquid and turning it into fine granular or powder form. This type of process reduces the exposure time to high temperature, especially for heat-sensitive food products. As a result, spray dryers are preferred for drying fluid products. Vegetable and fruit juices are dried to their powder forms; this increases their shelf life and used as ingredients in other food products. Moreover, products such as these are sensitive toward thermal energy and can lose their nutrient value. Spray drying ensures that with controlled parameters, the nutrient values of the end product can be retained. Among all the industrial dryers, spray drying is widely used in the food, pharmaceutical, and related markets. Anyhydrobiotics such as probiotics are the most common food systems incorporated which retain the cell viability after processing. These are largely manufactured by spray drying considering the factors such as reduced thermal damage, low cost, energy, and throughput.
The spray drying equipment ecosystem comprises spray drying equipment providers such as GEA (Germany), SPX FLOW (US), Dedert Corporation (US), Buchi Labortechnik (Switzerland), European Spraydry Technologies LLP (UK), Changzhou Lemar Drying Engineering Co. Ltd. (China), Shandong Tianli Drying Technology and Equipment (China), Acmefil (India), New AVM Systech (India), C. E. Rogers (US), Advanced Drying System (India), and Labplant (UK).
The Asia Pacific region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The market in this region is mainly driven by the increasing demand for nutritional products such as infant food and milk powders among consumers. China accounted for the largest market share for spray drying equipment in the Asia Pacific region. The country is also one of the major markets for food and drug encapsulation in the world; the market here is projected to grow significantly in the next few years.
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