Foodtech start-up Better Juice, Ltd. has announced the completion of trials for reducing simple sugars in natural berry and other fruit juices. In partnership with food processing technology firm GEA Group, Better Juice hosted several berry fruit juice manufacturers from Europe, the U.S., Australia and Brazil to give their brands a sugar-reduction makeover using their sugar-reduction technology.

The trials were conducted at the pilot innovation unit in GEA's innovation center in Ahaus, Germany. Accommodating the GEA Better Juice Sugar Converter Skid, the site is equipped with continuous flow columns featuring Better Juice's sugar-reducing beads. During the trials, the team was able to reduce the simple sugar content by 30% and 50% across a range of fruit juices, including strawberry, cherry and blueberry, while preserving their characteristic flavors and textures.

Source: Better JuiceSource: Better Juice

"Fruit juices contain 10% or more sugar, with berry and cherry juices comprised of 10%-20% sucrose and the remainder fructose and glucose," explained Eran Blachinsky, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice. "Our technology reduces loads of all three of these simple sugars. This will allow more people to enjoy berry-based juices."

Forming Better Juice's proprietary sugar-reduction beads are non-GMO microorganisms that naturally convert the juice's composition of sucrose, glucose and fructose into prebiotic oligosaccharides and other non-digestible fibers, while retaining their natural complement of vital nutrients.

"By implementing a 'plug-and-play' approach, we were able to produce juices with the same nutritional value and mouthfeel as the original products, with only a slightly toned-down sweetness," reported Gali Yarom, Better Juice co-founder and co-CEO. "The feedback was most promising, with several companies expressing a strong interest in continuing to work with us to bring these products to market. We are currently in advanced discussions with several major US-based fruit juice companies to install our technology in their juice production systems. We project sugar-reduced berry fruit juices will reach the shelves early next year."

The treatment process proved successful for both clear not from concentrate (NFC) juices and dense concentrates as well as pulp-retained juices. A significant number of juice manufacturers worldwide use concentrates to reduce shipping costs by evaporating the water and adding it back in at the destination during bottling.

Berry and cherry fruit juices are naturally abundant in pulp, which is why many juice companies strive to retain these fiber-rich fruit solids in their products. Better Juice's technology has been designed to handle pulp and ensure it remains in the juice, eliminating the need for filtering. This not only helps to preserve the nutritional benefits of the fruit, but also delivers a texture that consumers expect.

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