Foodtech start-up Better Juice has signed a commercial deal with a US fruit juice manufacturer to provide its sugar-reduction technology for a range of juices.
This is the company’s first commercial venture in its long-term collaboration with GEA Group, a provider of process engineering services and equipment for the food and beverage sectors. The two companies linked up in a strategic move to scale up and promote the sugar-reduction technology throughout the global beverage market.
Recently, the company was granted a patent for its sugar-reduction enzymatic process in Europe, and with its recently self-affirmed GRAS status, now plans to market its 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,” said Eran Blachinsky, PhD, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice.
The technology uses natural ingredients to convert fructose, glucose, and sucrose sugars into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibres. The juice passes through a continuous flow bio-reactor housing non-GMO microorganism that transform the unwanted sugars into non-digestible molecules. It’s reportedly capable of reducing sugar loads by up to 80%, while preserving the vitamins and nutrients in the fruit. The process moderates the sweetness of the juice while intensifying the fruit flavour, the company says.
Under this venture, GEA will design, manufacture, and install the bioreactor that reduces sugars, and offer follow-up technical support, while Better Juice will produce the microorganisms for the enzymatic process. The US drinks manufacturer plans to 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,” said Blachinsky. “We’ve officially launched our drive to help consumers enjoy reduce sugar in their favorite fruit juice.”
“Scaling up is always a challenge,” said 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 commercialisation 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.”