Industrial Refrigeration Equipment: A Major Role in the Global Economy

Courtesy of JBT

The total number of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump systems in operation worldwide is close to 3 billion, according to a report by the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR). Global annual sales of such equipment amount to USD300bn USD.

By Dan Orehov

Almost 12 million people are employed worldwide in the refrigeration sector which consumes about 17% of the overall electricity used worldwide, the IIR says. However, the food cold chain is still insufficiently developed, especially in developing countries. Global food production comprises roughly one third of perishable products requiring refrigeration and In 2010, out of a total global food production (agricultural commodities, fish, meat products and dairy products) of 6,300m tonnes, only about 400m tonnes were preserved using refrigeration (in chilled and frozen state), whilst about 2,000m tonnes required refrigerated processing. “According to the IIR, the lack of a cold chain causes significant global food losses: up to almost 20% of the global food supply. In developed countries, food losses from the absence of refrigeration account for nearly 9% of the total food production, and 23% on average in developing countries.”

Frozen food as industry driver

Annual consumption per capita of frozen food is about 50 kg in most advanced countries, such as the US, Ireland, UK, Sweden and Germany. Valued at USD225bn in 2012, the frozen-food market is expected to reach USD294bn by 2019, due to the very high growth r...

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