Spray Drying Equipment Market: Key Opportunities and Challenges

The global Spray Drying Equipment Market was valued at USD 4.11 billion in 2017. It is projected to reach USD 6.12 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2018, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets. 

How 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 the 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.

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Misalignment in process parameters can affect the organoleptic properties

The spray drying technology has its own advantages, but if not correctly optimized, it can hamper the properties of the food products, such as taste and color. Parameters such as difference between the inflow and the outflow temperature, feed flow rate, residence time, temperature & design parameters of the drying chamber, heat & mass transfer, and drying kinetics of the air during production of food products; along with biology of bacteria; if not properly aligned, can result in imbalance in moisture composition in the final powder form. This kind of error would eventually dissuade smaller food manufacturers from installing spray dryers in their plants and opt for other drying methods. This can have a direct impact on the spray dryer manufacturing market.

Based on cycle type, the spray drying equipment market is segmented into open cycle and closed cycle. The closed cycle segment is projected to grow at a significantly higher rate during the forecast period. The closed cycle spray dryer process involves the recycling of the drying gas, which is used to heat in the drying chamber. This type of spray drying process is preferred when there are environmental issues; the efficiency is also higher in the closed cycle spray drying process. Therefore, this segment is projected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period.

Based on flow type, the spray drying equipment market is segmented into co-current flow, counter current flow, and mixed flow. The mixed flow segment is projected to grow at a significantly higher rate during the forecast period. Mixed flow spray dryers are a combination of both, co-current and counter-current flow spray dryers. This type of arrangement usually requires higher temperature and is used for drying coarse free-flowing powders

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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However, infrastructural challenges in developing countries might hamper the growth of the global spray drying equipment market.

Expansions, partnerships, and new product launches are the key strategies adopted by market players to ensure their growth in global spray drying equipment market. Major players in this market include GEA Group AG (Germany), SPX Flow Technology (US), Dedert Corporation (US), Buchi Labortechnik AG (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).