Processing of fruits and vegetables increases their shelf-life and makes them available in a convenient form for busy households. Consumer demand is growing for healthy and fresh products that require minimal preparation time.

According to a new report from MarketsandMarkets, the global market for processed fruits & vegetables was valued at around $188 billion in 2013 and will be worth $240 billion by 2019.

North America is the largest market for processed fruits & vegetables, while the market for processing equipment is led by the Asia-Pacific region.

Food producers use automatic and semi-automatic equipment at every stage of the process, for tasks including pre-processing, processing, washing & dewatering, filling, seasoning and packaging. Different processing methods are used to produce fresh, fresh cut, canned, frozen, dried and convenience products. The market is driven by the development of new processing technologies and growing investment in R&D initiatives.

China is the largest producer of fruits & vegetables and there is also high demand in the Chinese market for fruits & vegetables. Several key processing companies are present in this market and use processing equipment to meet the demand, MarketsandMarkets said.

Over the coming years, growth in the market for processed fruits & vegetables is expected to be particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific as a result of rising standards of living and growing demand for convenient products such as ready-to-eat salads, soups and frozen products.

Several German companies are among the leading players in the processing equipment market for fruits & vegetables, including Bosch Group, GEA Group AG and Krones AG, alongside Buhler Group of Switzerland and U.S.-based JBT Corporation and Maxwell Chase Technologies.