On the Cutting Edge of Fruit Juice Sugar Reduction

Israeli-based startup Better Juice recently announced that it was teaming up with Brazilian Juice producer Citrosuco SA to establish a pilot plant that will ultimately lead to the production of reduced sugar orange juice. Better Juice Ltd. has developed innovative new enzymatic technology that reduces the load of simple sugars in orange juice.

The patent-pending enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert monosaccharides and disaccharides (fructose, glucose and sucrose) into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibers and sugars as the juice passes through a continuous flow column. The resulting reduced sugar juice may taste a bit less sweet but have a more intense fruity flavor.

Better Juice conducted several trials with different beverage companies and succeeded in reducing sugars in orange juice from 30% up to 80%.

“This collaboration with Citrosuco is a vote of confidence in Better Juice’s leading technology and its capabilities for reducing sugar in orange juice,” said Dr. Eran Blachinsky, founder and CEO of Better Juice in an interview with Israeli Innovation News NoCamels (https://bit.ly/2rJIEzd). “We’re excited to work with this strategic partner and help create juices with low sugar—the latest frontier in sugar reduction.”

Sugar reduction currently relies on the addition of high-intensity sweeteners. This new process uses the natural enzymatic activity in non-GMO microorganisms to convert a portion of the simple fructose, glucose and sucrose sugars into fibers and other non-digestible natural sugars, while preserving the full complement of vitamins and other nutrients inherent in the fruit. The technology was developed in collaboration with Hebrew University in Rehovot, Israel as well as seed investment and support from The Kitchen Hub food tech incubator.

Benefits of the enzymatic sugar reduction technology are many, including:
• Ideal for all types of fruit juices and sugars: Sucrose, glucose and fructose
• Adds dietary fibers
• Maintains juice properties, such as smell and taste (except for reducing sweetness)
• Has minimal impact on final juice cost
• Offers flexible capacity
• Integrates easily into existing manufacturer facilities
• Easy and inexpensive to operate and maintain without requiring skilled staff
• Is environmentally friendly since all waste materials are food grade and can be used as feed

Better Juice conducted several trials with different beverage companies and succeeded in reducing sugars in orange juice from 30% up to 80%. The start-up can now provide proof of concept for orange juice.

Product development and applications general manager of Citrosuco, Alex Marie Schuermans, expressed his optimism about his company’s collaboration with Better Juice in an interview with NoCamels: “We have been seeking an orange juice sugar reduction technology for some time. Better Juice’s solution holds a lot of promise and we are confident that by combining their technology with our know-how, we can accelerate production of the first sugar-reduced orange juice.”

Paula Frank
Online Content Manager