Friday, August 14, 2020

Start-up reducing sugars in orange juice is scaling up

Better Juice, the Israeli food-tech start-up behind an innovative technology that reduces all types of sugars in orange juice, is scaling up.

The start-up is installing a semi-industrial pilot plant that also will be available for future testing at global partners’ plants.

The pilot plant features the company’s sugar reduction process in a continuous flow technology that ensures a consistent, safe, and effective enzymatic process.

Better Juice developed an enzymatic technology that uses all-natural ingredients to convert fructose, glucose, and sucrose into prebiotic dietary fibres and other non-digestible molecules.

The start-up’s new pilot plant system marks a significant milestone in the its commercial scale-up timeline. It is able to reduce up to 80% of simple sugar in orange juice at a rate of up to 50 liters/hour.

Its non-GMO technology is designed to target the specific sugar composition in the orange juice to naturally create a low calorie reduced-sugar product that has a delicate sweetness. It is accomplished without using sweeteners or other additives to replace the sugars in the juice.

“We’ve signed collaboration agreements with several global juice producers so far,” reveals Eran Blachinsky, founder and CEO of Better Juice.

“Our goal is to attain full industrial scale and supply to the market within a year. Soon, you will be able to see natural juice beverages with more favourable Nutri-Scores.”

Nutri-Score is a new food label system that converts the nutritional value of products into a clear letter and colour code on the packaging in Europe.

“Juice and beverage manufacturers are increasingly aware of the need to reduce the sugar levels in their products before new labelling initiative goes into action,” adds Blachinsky. “By using Better Juice technology, this will be easy to achieve.”

However, adding a new procedure to the juice manufacturing by definition add costs. Better Juice uses a continuous flow technology that will only slightly influence the incremental costs to the overall price.

One of the major hurdles in continuous flow reduction of sugars in natural juices is keeping the process contamination-free even through large-scale production, without damaging the enzymatic activity.

Better Juice developed a new device crafted from stainless steel, with aseptic fittings and welding, together with a unique process that guarantees a continuous, safe flow for its enzymatic sugar-reduction process for weeks at a time without interrupting the sterilization stage.

“The scale-up pilot plant is designed for smooth implementation into the standard procedures deployed by the juice industry,” explains Gali Yarom, Partner, COO, and VP of Business Development for Better Juice.

“Better Juice’s new tech process is cost-effective by virtue of its ability to maintain the continuous flow stage.

“This is a key factor for beverage manufacturers seeking to affordably reduce sugars naturally while maintaining the juice quality and clean label attributes — a real game changer for the juice industry.”

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