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News ReleaseCoating Technology Makes All the Difference

July 26, 2006 Europe

Demand for innovative food coating systems is growing as food manufacturers and processors look for new ways to present convenient, oven-ready foods in a different and appealing way, says Air Products.

Despite its rapid growth since the 1950s, demand for easy-to-prepare foods shows no sign of abating in Europe. Euromonitor Forecasts predict that Western Europe will overtake Asia Pacific as the second largest convenience and ready meals market by 2007, while the Eastern European market, which is heavily influenced by Western European trends, is expected to grow by over 30 per cent by 2007.

Anna Phipps, Air Products’ European food marketing manager, said:

“Not only is the demand for convenience foods continuing to grow, consumer tastes are changing. The introduction of cheap airlines means that people are travelling more and experiencing a wider variety of ethnic flavours and cultural influences which they want to replicate in their own homes. The rise in obesity in Western Europe, especially amongst children, is leading the drive towards healthier products that are easy to prepare at home by time-starved parents."

“As a consequence to all of this we are seeing an increased demand for coating and mixing systems that are both innovative and flexible, with increased capacity, superior coating technology and even sauce distribution, regardless of portion size.”

Air Products Freshline® coating and mixing solutions are designed to help food producers maximise the opportunities of this major push towards health, convenience and ethnic foods.

These coating systems are often used in combination with cryogenic food freezing technology, which is used to fast-freeze individual portions of meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.

Freshline® solutions offer a range of technology for these types of applications.

The Freshline® tumbler’s gentle action enables products to be coated evenly and is particularly suited to fragile products, or products that are likely become fragile when a large amount of sauce is added, such as dauphinoise potatoes.

The Freshline® mixer is ideal for ‘wok’ type products, where there is a low, often oily, sauce quantity, but high production rate. Not only can it produce up to three tonnes an hour, it can be used to pre-mix the ingredients and sauce addition. Because these systems use liquid nitrogen for fast freezing, important nutrients are retained and product quality is not compromised. This versatility makes the Freshline® mixer ideal for new product development, particularly in the frozen food sector.

Anna Phipps continues

“Using these systems, food manufacturers can add-value and variety to their product portfolios and ensure that they are at the forefront when it comes to taking advantage of the new market opportunities."

“Discerning consumers are prepared to pay a premium for modern convenience foods with exciting and exotic sauces or coatings, or health benefits, which taste as if they have been prepared at home."

“In this highly competitive and price-driven environment, it is vital that suppliers can deliver consistent, high quality products with the flexibility to enhance existing varieties and add new ones quickly and with minimum investment to meet market demands."

“Particularly important in today’s fast-paced and sophisticated markets, our systems also offer a pre-programmable recipe controller with multiple product capabilities and unlimited potential for new product development,” Anna concludes.

Note to editors:
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $8.1billion, operations in over 30 countries, and over 20,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit

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