The market is driven by the factors such as process optimization, trend of adopting novel technologies, growth of the packaged foods industry, and increase in R&D activities. The growth of the convenience food industry, especially in the processed meat sector, has been driving the market, as meat products are prone to microbial contamination. Furthermore, extensive R&D activities are promoting the growth of the non-thermal processing market to a great extent. Significant developments have been made with the HPP, PEF, irradiation, ultrasound, cold plasma technologies in terms of various food products processing and various functions.
By technology, The HPP segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR among all non-thermal processing technologies from 2017 to 2022. The HPP technology preserves the freshness of food products as well as aids in extending their shelf life. This technology also accommodates the current consumer demand for natural, fresh, and minimally processed foods, as no preservatives or additives are added to the products. These factors are driving the market for HPP technology in non-thermal processing.
Meat products are majorly consumed across the globe as they are rich sources of nutrients. These products are highly perishable in nature due to high moisture content and are more prone to bacterial contamination. The production of broiler meat and beef has increased globally over the past five years to meet the demand from consumers. The high production of ready-to-cook meat indicates the increased usage of non-thermal processing technologies such as HPP, which are suitable for meat products. Both raw and cured forms of meat can be processed using this technique. Thus, non-thermal processing technologies are majorly used in this food segment in order to prevent microbial development and to extent the shelf life of meat & seafood products.
Microbial inactivation helps to extend the shelf life of food products and is one of the widely used functions of the non-thermal processing technology. Among all, irradiation is an effective non-thermal technology used for microbial inactivation. High frequency radiation treatment utilized in this technology leads to the disintegration of the cells of microorganisms.
The food industry in North America employs non-thermal technology to reduce the presence of pathogens, maintain the nutrition in food products, and ensure the safety of food products. The market for non-thermally processed food & beverage products in North America is being driven by the demand for health and wellness products as well. Major players are investing in R&D to develop innovative functional products which can be achieved by using novel technologies such as non-thermal processing. The economic downturn has changed consumer behavior significantly, compelling companies to lower prices to drive sales volumes.
Increase in demand for alternative food surface treatment technologies, increase in focus of companies on providing innovative and novel techniques, and growth of the functional foods industry are the major factors driving the growth of the North American non-thermal processing market for cold plasma technology.
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