Adding Life to Foods: Trends, Techniques and Opportunities in Food Preservation and Shelf Life Extension

Published - Sep 2003| Analyst - Paula Kalamaras| Code - FOD032A
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Report Highlights

  • Food preservation will increase at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) ofmore than 5% from 2003 to 2008.
  • Plastics are used in 50% of total packaging production.
  • Encapsulated ingredients for foods are valued at about $4.5 billion and arerising at an AAGR of 4%.
  • The $6.9 billion refrigeration will grow at an AAGR of 5% through 2008.


There are more than 17,000 food and beverage manufacturing/processing facilities in the U.S., and their sales totaled $265.5 billion in 2002. If there is one common denominator that exists among all these manufacturers, whether processors, equipment manufacturers, packagers and even retailers, it is their dedication to the preservation and shelf-life longevity of their products. The reason is twofold: to impede spoilage, and to ensure that the freshest, safest, most nutrient filled and healthiest products are readily available to consumers. Processors constantly are seeking alternatives in food preservation, coupled with a variety of techniques such as packaging, encapsulation and irradiation, along with older methods such as canning, pickling, dehydrating or salting. As markets change to reflect consumer preferences and concerns, a thorough understanding of the significance of this industry becomes vital to its financial success.

In this report, BCC examines food preservation and shelf-life extension in the processed food and beverage industries. For the sake of clarity, the report is broken into separate sections that define and analyze the types, applications and market influence of preservatives and extenders. It examines their growth potential over the five-year period from 2003 to 2008.

While the report focuses on domestic manufacturers and processors, the influence of international companies on the domestic market also is investigated and analyzed. This includes the various preservatives and extenders in terms of: sources from which they are derived, applicability and functionality, benefits and deficits, and prices. Integral to this study is an analysis of such driving forces as regulations, technological advances, research and development of new additives, and international factors. The study explores how these forces can promote or retard the development and marketing of current and new preservatives and extenders.

This comprehensive strategic analysis will enable industrial users, producers, marketers and planners in the food and beverage industries become more cognizant of the variables that are integrated in preservation and extended shelf life.


The report includes the following sections:

  • Overview of preservatives and shelf-life extension in foods and beverages
  • Industry structure and competitiveness
  • Preservatives, packaging, encapsulation, chilling and thermal processing irradiation as well as additional preservation methods
  • Trends and developments.


Sales estimates and projections for each type of preservative and extender added to foods and beverages, provided the specific types of applications to which they are added, and what type is best suited for which kind of food and beverage were investigated. Projections were developed from the various government, consumer, and academic sources. Social, market, economic, regulatory, technical and technological factors exerting influences on consumers, processors and producers of preservatives and extenders were also analyzed.


An extensive literature search of secondary source materials-both in hard copy and through the Internet was conducted. These materials included trade journals and magazines, trade and professional associations' publications and websites, government and industry sources, academic hard copy and online materials, environmental reports, opposition materials, current news articles and company materials. Additional extensive Internet searches were conducted for relevant and current data not included in the print, microform and company literature searches.

After these sources were exhausted. Over 50 one-on-one telephone and personal interviews were conducted with personnel in the academic, technical, research and development fields, as well as with quality control, marketing, and sales departments of food and beverage processors and producers and distributors of sweeteners.


Paula M. Kalamaras and Paul T. Kraly are owners of Scribes Unlimited LLC, a 10-year-old research and writing company located in Cleveland, OH. Their expertise includes a Master's in Library and Information Sciences, extensive Internet search experience and many years researching and writing about a wide range of subject areas. They have written plans, market demographic plans, grants for health environmental, educational, scientific, medical and projects. They recently published their first Communications report, Sugar and Sweeteners: Trends and Developments in Foods and Beverages.

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