The fruit and vegetable processing industry continues to impact lives worldwide, especially in India - the fruit basket of the world. It involves processing raw fruits and vegetables into products like frozen, canned, dried, and pureed to prevent wastage and give them a longer shelf life. From traditional processing methods like fermentation, curing, smoking, and pickling, the industry is transitioning to modern methods such as pasteurization, ultra-heat treatment, high-pressure processing, and modified atmospheric packaging.
In 2019, 8.31 million tons of fruits and vegetables were processed in India. According to reports, this is set to reach 16.39 million tons by 2024, growing at a CAGR of nearly 14.84% from 2020 to 2024. Interestingly, India does not process much of its fruits and vegetables (less than 3%), while China processes 23%, the United States (65%), and the Philippines (78%).
Convenience and safety
Consumers nowadays demand products that are fresh for a long time and safe and convenient to eat. Roshan T. Ninawe, area sales manager, Urschel India, feels that fresh and accurate dimensionally cut products should combine a sufficient shelf life and guarantee microbiological safety. They should be free from chemical preservatives and toxic residues, have non-compromised freshness, flavor, and health value, attractive appearance, convenience, and an affordable price and cooking quality. Talking about the importance of packaged fruits, he said, "Pre-packaged fruit and vegetables have the advantage of not needing any processing at home as they are washed, cut into pieces, and packaged in a protective atmosphere or vacuum packed, which gives them a longer shelf life."
The plant-based trend
Concerns about the planet and health are pushing more and more consumers to adopt a plant-based diet. Commenting on this, Roshan said, "Plant-based food items will take charge to change the entire fruit and vegetable processing system. As people are turning vegan to become healthy and responsible towards their environment and animal welfare, there will be a gradual increase in plant-based food items. Studies suggest that by 2030, the growing demand for sustainable products would also expand the plant-based food item category."
The automation boom
Manufacturers are looking at continuous improvement in operations and enabling faster and more efficient production processes. Roshan remarked, "With the increased demand for food products, manufacturers increasingly turn to automation to increase productivity, reduce costs, and enhance safety and quality standards."
He highlighted the benefits of automation for fruit and vegetable processing, "Automated systems can reduce the risk of human error and contamination, ensuring that food safety standards are met. It also enables manufacturers to maintain consistency in production quality, minimize waste, and improve efficiency. Additionally, automation technologies can help reduce labor costs, allowing manufacturers to invest in other business areas."
Inter FoodTech - What to expect
Visitors can explore a wide range of fruit and vegetable processing technologies and equipment at the trade show. Knowledge sharing, equipment displays, live demonstrations, and other exciting activities are set to enthrall the customers, business owners, and general public.
Allround Vegetable Processing Machines is a Dutch-Indian engineering company that designs and manufactures machinery and equipment. At the event, visitors can explore their full-line solutions for receiving, washing, polishing, grading, onion topping, weighing, and packing machines, automatic retail weighing and packing machines, and storage equipment and solutions for potatoes, onions, carrots, and other vegetables.
Urschel will display its Comitrol Processor Model 1700, which accommodates all three types of reduction heads and enables a broad spectrum of product processing capabilities.
Jwala Techno Engineering, which specializes in manufacturing equipment for processing fruits and vegetables, will showcase machinery for the following applications: Frozen fruits and vegetables processing - Green Peas, Corn, Mango dices, Carrot dices, Fruit pulp processing - Mango, Guava, Papaya, Pineapple, Tomato Ketchup, Puree, Paste processing, Dehydrated vegetables processing – Carrot, Onion, Garlic, Juice / RTS beverages processing that are custom built equipment to meet specific requirement.
Menon Technical Services, which has been designing and manufacturing top-quality, easy-to-use receiving, washing, peeling, and hydro-cutting equipment for over 60 years, will also participate in the event. The company will exhibit its industrial potato and produce processing equipment that makes high-quality food.
Trade shows like Inter FoodTech give companies a chance to exhibit their offerings on a large platform. Roshan and his team at Urschel are all set to participate in the event and said, "Networking is the masterstroke, meeting the potential client face-to-face makes a huge difference. In today's competitive marketing world, apart from providing the best services and innovative products, it is essential to have a fair knowledge of our competitors too. Exhibitions allow us to watch all the market leaders concentrated in one place."
Mukhtar Pathan, director-Sales, VA Exhibitions, the organizers of Snack & BakeTec, Inter FoodTech & Pac MechEx, invited all food industry stakeholders to the event and said, "Inter FoodTech is the only specialized trade fair on snacks, bakery and confectionery processing, packaging technology, and services. Live demonstrations of machines, insightful seminars, and meetings with key decision-makers in the food industry are some of the key features of the much-awaited event. Do visit the exciting trade show from 7 to 9 June 2023 at the Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai."
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