Dry freezing is a dehydration process also known as lyophilisation. It involves eliminating all moisture content of a product by first freezing it, followed by drying the product. This enables longer storage durations for products as growth of bacteria and fungi is inhibited in moisture free conditions. The equipment includes cryogenic liquid storage and vacuum pumps, vacuum and freezing chamber, various sensors and freezing chamber, tubing and nozzles, which help in completing the drying process. The traditional process of drying products is being replaced by the modern technologies.
Freeze drying equipment not only help in moisture elimination but also preserve the aroma of products, retain their chemical properties, and enhance usability in varying conditions. Demand for preserved food and beverages with a longer shelf life of time and better quality has been growing to accommodate changing lifestyles. The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly experiencing demand for new improved products to efficiently cater to consumer needs.
Including many lyophilisation processes in their operations, pharmaceuticals and food processing are expected to drive market growth of freeze drying equipments. A high potential from eco- friendly interments and taxidermy coupled with a continuous increase in the preservation of leather and flowers for a longer time is expected to result in market demand for dry freezing equipment. The growth and development of these segments are expected to be simultaneous.
Primary application for the freeze dryers are in biotechnology, packaging, pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures. Most available industrial freeze dryer equipments are complex in nature and huge in size, making their mobility a challenge. High setup cost of these equipments is a market growth restrain. With high setup cost, small industries prefer traditional method for drying than using the modern technologies, leading to freeze drying equipments having low adoption rates.
The overall market for freeze drying equipment is segmented into five categories namely bench top freeze dryers, laboratory freeze dryers, mobile freeze dryers, general purpose freeze dryers and industrial freeze dryers. One of the leading product lines is the laboratory equipments line used for development purposes in pharmaceutical industries. Bench top equipments have found major use in laboratories for biological studies by students. Industrial freeze drying equipments are extensively used for preservation of food products for safe consumption. Mobile freeze drying equipments are also expected to witness market growth owing to their multi-functionality and easy mobility. General purpose freeze dryer are used for common processes for moisture elimination such as flowers, food, leather, etc.
Biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food processing and surgical procedures are the four application segments for freeze dryer equipments. Other niche applications include activities such as flower preservation and leather conservation. In the food processing segment, freeze drying equipments are finding increasing prevalence with increase in product processing acceptance. With advancements in technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology segments have also been witnessing application growth of freeze dryer equipments. Other segments of applications are also expected to grow globally with the increasing demand of variety of flowers and its import/ export business growth.
North America is one of the largest application markets for freeze drying equipments in segments such as pharmaceuticals and food processing. Asia Pacific is expected to grow owing to its expanding food packaging market and emerging pharmaceutical markets. Europe holds stable growth in the dryer equipment market with usage in various application segments.
The global freeze drying equipment market includes players such as Telstar S.A., Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., GEA Niro, Labconco Corp., I.M.A., Cuddon Engineering Ltd., MechaTech Systems Ltd., Freezedry Specialities Inc., Operon, Millrock Technology Inc., Shanghai Tofflon Science & Technology Co. Ltd. and SP Scientific.
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