FoodTech start-up Better Juice, Ltd. sealed its first commercial deal to bring reduced-sugar juices one step closer to supermarket beverage aisles. The company inked an agreement with a major US fruit juice manufacturer for commercial installment of its sugar-reduction technology.
This is Better Juice’s first official commercial venture in its long-term collaboration with GEA Group, AG, Germany, a world leader in process engineering for the food and beverage sectors. The two companies joined forces in a strategic move to scale up and promote the sugar-reduction technology throughout the global beverage market.
Start-up receives patent and a self-affirmed GRAS approval
Better Juice was granted a patent for its sugar-reduction enzymatic process in Europe. Armed with recent self-affirmed GRAS status, the company is out to market its innovative system to food and beverage manufacturers worldwide. “These achievements, together with GEA’s knowhow and cutting-edge technology, will open doors to work more closely with food and beverage companies,” explains Eran Blachinsky, PhD, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice.
Better-Juice’s patented enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert fructose, glucose, and sucrose sugars into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibers. The juice passes through a continuous flow bio-reactor housing non-GMO microorganism that transform the unwanted sugars into beneficial, non-digestible molecules. It boasts capabilities to reduce sugar loads by up to 80%, while preserving the full complement of vitamins and other nutrients inherent in the fruit. The process moderates the sweetness of the juice, while intensifying the fruit flavor.
Sugar-reduced juices will line the shelves next year
Under the new venture, GEA will design, manufacture, and install the bioreactor that reduces sugars, and offer follow-up technical support. Better Juice will produce the microorganisms for the enzymatic process. According to the first commercial order, the fruit drinks manufacturer will produce natural juices with a minimum sugar reduction of 30%, and anticipates the product to arrive in supermarkets by spring 2022.
“This new agreement marks an exciting milestone in our mission to get our sugar-reduction technology off the ground, to penetrate the US market, and to expand our global footprint,” enthuses Blachinsky. “We’ve officially launched our drive to help consumers enjoy reduce sugar in their favorite fruit juice.”
“Scaling up is always a challenge,” confesses Gali Yarom, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice. “But when your partner is GEA, with its vast industrial food processing capabilities and global presence, the acceleration of the Better Juice commercialization is much faster and brings added value to the supply chain. Imagine—in just a few months, affordable, reduced-sugar fruit juice will be a ready option for American consumers.”
The equipment has been tested in GEA’s quality assurance facility in Germany and can be easily integrated into existing juice production lines, providing product at a capacity of up to 200 liter per hour. Total production capacity of reduced-sugar juices can be adjusted to the manufacturer’s needs.
“Better Juice has incredible potential to transform the global juice industry,” notes Colm O’Gorman, Head of Sales Management for GEA’s Global Technology Center for Non-Alcoholic Beverages. “As consumer demand for lowered-sugar beverages continues to surge, we are eager to join Better Juice on this momentous journey. We look forward to delivering products that address one of the top consumer needs of reducing their sugar intake, especially in daily beverages.”