BOC's 2002 global sales of food equipment rose by more than 25 per cent year-on-year, due to strong demand for its line of chilling and freezing equipment.
Leslie Hennion, equipment product manager, global technical solutions, BOC, said: "In fiscal 2002 we saw strength throughout our entire line of food equipment. We are particularly excited about the rapid acceptance our new cryogenic impingement freezer has gained in the global marketplace."
BOC introduced the new impingement freezer a year ago. "Since then, sales have climbed steadily, and with strong initial 2003 sales we feel the product is poised for a banner year," Hennion said.
She attributed the cryogenic impingement freezer's popularity to the fact that it produces a "continuous, consistent, even freezing not found in mechanical impingement freezers, and it delivers the industry's highest freezing efficiency, along with significant improvements in the dehydration rate.
"The impingement freezer is ideal in conditions where a mechanical boost is desired. It works best with flat-indexed products such as hamburgers, cookies and fish, and is most economical with high-dollar value products such as seafood and high-end bakery products," she added.
Spiral freezers were also popular in 2002, Hennion continued."The fact that our customisable spiral freezer line can freeze 1,000 to 10,000 pounds per hour in a small-footprint has proven popular with food processors who need to maximise production in existing space. They also like the fact that spiral freezers improve freezing efficiency, conserve cryogen, and are simple and reliable."
Sales of bottom injection systems, which are popular in food processing operations that require rapid chilling during mixing and blending, began trending upward in 2000. "But they really took off this year, with a greater than 42 per cent year-on-year improvement," Hennion added.
"These systems are suitable for mixing with both fresh or frozen ingredients because they provide uniform temperature distribution and batch-to-batch consistency," said Hennion.
The BOC Group, the worldwide industrial gases, vacuum technologies and distribution services company, currently serves two million customers in more than 50 countries. It employs 46,000 people and had annual sales of some $6 billion (€5.8bn) in 2002.