Better Juice launches commercial sugar reduction plant

Better Juice has launched its first full capacity manufacturing plant to set the wheels in motion for full commercial production of its proprietary sugar-reducing immobilised enzymes.

The new facility will enable the company to fulfil current commissions from juice producers globally, as well as respond to anticipated new demands.

The technology developed by the Israeli start-up produces proprietary beads composed of non-GMO microorganisms that naturally convert the juice’s composition of fruit sugars including sucrose, glucose and fructose into better-for-you prebiotic and other non-digestible fibres.

The new site — located in the Nes Ziona science park south of Tel Aviv — has commercial-scale equipment, including an industrial fermenter and industrial immobilisation processor. The specialised equipment is used for growing and harvesting the beaded microorganisms used in producing Better Juice’s immobilised sugar-reducing enzymes. The site also houses pilot labs and the company’s new headquarters.

The new plant has a production capacity to support sugar reduction of 250 million litres of juice per year.

Better Juice has entered into commitments with a number of juice companies to reduce the sugar loads in various fruit juices, including apple, orange, and pineapple juices.

Better Juice’s technology can reduce up to 80% of the simple sugar content in fruit juices and fruit-based condiments without any degradation of naturally occurring nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It does not dilute the product in a way, maintaining the body and full flavour of the juice and only gently reducing the sweetness.

Better Juice’s technology decreases the naturally occurring simple sugar loads in a versatile range of products, including juices, jams, yogurts, ice creams, sorbets, and more, to a food and beverages manufacturer’s desired levels.

“This move marks a major leap forward in our commercialisation efforts,” said Gali Yarom, co-founder and co-CEO. “We project that the new plant will accommodate our production needs for the next four years. As interest and demand in our technology continue to flourish in the global fruit juice sphere, we will expand our production capabilities outside of Israel as well.”

Better Juice’s facility and operations also stick to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles. The biodegradable polymer beads are rechanneled to livestock feed after being used in the production phase.

The bioreactors, which have a 20-year lifespan, can be controlled remotely, reducing the company’s need for travel and its subsequent carbon footprint. Only a small amount of energy is required to activate the bioreactors. On a social level, the company boasts a 50% female workforce and assists manufacturers of fruit-based products to comply with the various “sugar tax” regulations in the regions where they operate.

“We had to design and construct specialised systems from scratch to support our unique production processes while taking environmental considerations into account and adhering to the strictest requirements for waste treatment, water recycling, and energy efficiency,” noted Henry Elkoby, chief engineer of Better Juice.

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