Israeli start-up scales up sugar-reduction technology for orange juices
07 Jul 2020 --- Better Juice, Ltd, the first food-tech start-up to develop technology to reduce all types of sugars in orange juice, is now scaling up its patent-pending technology with a plan to go full scale with industrial implementation within a year. The Israeli start-up is installing a semi-industrial pilot plant that will be available for future testing at global partners’ plants. It 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 fibers and other non-digestible molecules. The new pilot plant system marks a significant milestone in the start-up’s commercial scale-up timeline. It can to reduce up to 80 percent of simple sugar in orange juice at a rate of up to 50 liters/hour.
Better Juice’s 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.
Hopefully, juice companies can thrive and sell even more sugar reduced juice,” Eran Blachinsky, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Better Juice, tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “We’ve signed collaboration agreements with several global juice producers so far. 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 favorable Nutri-Scores.”
Nutri-Score is a new food label system that converts the nutritional value of products into a clear letter and color 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 a new labeling initiative goes into action,” adds Blachinsky. “By using Better Juice technology, this will be easy to achieve.”
Maintaining juice quality
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 has 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 biggest challenge is to maintain the performance of the lab-scale, capacity and quality,” notes Blachinsky. “These days, we are working with other fruits as well. Theoretically, we can do any fruit.”
By Gaynor Selby
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