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SOL group is one of the global market leaders in food grade gas manufacture.
SOL Group is engaged in production, applied research, and distribution activities pertaining to pure, industrial, and medical gases. The company also manufactures medical equipment. The products & services offered by the company cater to end-user markets such as chemical, electronics, iron & steel, engineering, and food & beverage. It also serves several organizations engaged in environmental protection and healthcare research activities. It operates in two business segmentsTechnical Gases and Homecare. The company produces and sells its food-grade gases through the Technical Gases division.
SOL Group is a holding company with share interests in more than 30 multinational companies. The group is a global player with a presence in 24 countries in Europe. In addition, it also has its presence in Turkey, Morocco, Brazil, and India. SICGILSOL India Pvt. Ltd. is one of the biggest joint ventures of SOL Group that manufactures industrial and medical gases in India.
The nitrogen gas segment is estimated to register a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. The quick cooling/freezing properties of nitrogen help retain the quality of products by preventing dehydration and crumbling. These properties drive the demand for nitrogen in the food & beverage industry.
Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, inert gas, which is why it is widely used in the food & beverage industry. Nitrogen displaces oxygen and decreases moisture inside of packaged food. Moisture in packaged foods creates bacteria, mold, and mildew, which is why nitrogen is necessary for the food preservation process. This gas also preserves freshness and retains nutrients, which helps the food or beverage last longer. Larger quantities of nitrogen may be required than oxygen or vice versa, depending on what food to preserve. Red meats tend to lose their color when they are deprived of oxygen, so less nitrogen is used when packaging red meat. On the other hand, coffee and beer require more nitrogen because it improves the quality of these drinks. Beer needs nitrogen to create foam, and coffee is dispensed with a higher pressure when brewed with nitrogen.
Some other applications of nitrogen are for sparging wines and filling the headspaces of various beverages to create an inert atmosphere and delay spoilage. Nitrogen is classified as a food additive when it is in direct contact with food and is designated an E number; the nomenclature for nitrogen is E941..
The work-from-home trend has created a demand for carbonated beverages in many regions, which positively impacted the market growth.
Soft drinks, sparkling water (seltzer water), and carbonated wine, which has many of the same characteristics as fermented sparkling wine but is less costly to make, are examples of carbonated beverages. During carbonation, carbon dioxide is added to the liquid in a carbonator, where vaporized carbon dioxide is mixed under pressure with temperature-controlled water. Syrups, sweeteners, and other ingredients are then added to create the final product. This phenomenon is what makes soft drinks bubbly and fizzy. Beer is also one of the major carbonated alcoholic beverages, but beer manufacturers generally use the carbon dioxide that is produced during the fermentation process. Carbonation can also drive out the oxygen, which can make a beverage shelf-stable as long as it is sealed, keeping aerobic microbes away.
The popularity of carbonated beverages plays a crucial role in driving market growth. As carbonation increases the shelf-life of these beverages, manufacturers are increasingly using carbon dioxide, thereby increasing the scope for food-grade gases.
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North America is projected to reach USD 3.4 Billion during the forecast period.
Key countries identified in the North American food-grade gases market include the US, Canada, and Mexico. The North American food-grade gases market is projected to witness significant growth due to the huge pork and beef industry and the increasing consumption of RTE and bakery food products. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there were about 38,000 food processing and manufacturing companies present in the US in 2019. This growing food & beverage processing sector in the US is expected to fuel the demand for food-grade gases, especially for packaging and carbonation. According to a report published by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (Canada) in 2017, about 168 million tons of food is wasted or lost in North America every year. Food-grade gases such as nitrogen serve as a cheaper preservative that enhances the shelf life of food products by keeping oxygen out and preventing spoilage.
In North America, the US was the largest market for food-grade gases, which accounted for a share of 84.8% in the North American market in 2019. The US has witnessed tremendous growth in the import and export of perishable products as well. It is one of the largest exporting countries in terms of seafood. Also, according to the FAO, the US is the second-largest milk producer in the world. This creates a demand for food-grade gases for freezing and chilling this highly perishable product. In 2022, revenue in the Convenience Food industry is expected to be USD 48.32 billion. The market is predicted to expand by 2.65% every year. Volume in the Convenience Food market is estimated to reach 5,993.8 m kg by 2027
The key players in this market include Air Products & chemicals, Inc (US), Cryogenic gases (US), American Welding & Gas (US).
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