Israeli start-up Better Juice, and GEA Group AG, Germany, have established a new pilot facility, inviting juice manufacturers to test their sugar-reduction technology. The groundbreaking GEA Better Juice Sugar Converter Skid is included in GEA’s innovation center in Ahaus, Germany, and is completed with all the required processing equipment supplied by the global food system suppliers and incorporates Better Juice sugar reduction technology. The center will be fully operational by mid-July of this year.
Better Juice’s enzymatic process uses all-natural ingredients to convert simple sugars (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) into prebiotic dietary fibers and other non-digestible molecules, while maintaining the full flavor, body, and naturally occurring complement of vitamins and nutrients of the fruit. It can reduce up to 80% of sugars in natural fruit juices as well as in fruit-based compositions, such as purées.
“The pilot center creates a high-tech venue where we can host companies—mainly from EU, but also from all over the world—to come see, learn, plug in, and actually taste their products after they’ve been recreated with Better Juice process in a workshop environment,” explains Gali Yarom, Co- Founder and Co- CEO of Better Juice. “Here, we can now collaborate with our customers at the test center to strike the ideal balance between a sweet note and reduced sugar content.”
The center will offer lab services for testing all essential analytical parameters. A Better Juice team, together with GEA expert engineers, will be on site to accompany and guide visiting companies during their trials.
“We set up a readily accessible platform for juice and fruit processing companies seeking to actively contribute their part to the global quests for reducing sugar consumption and concurrently give their products an added wellness edge,” says Eran Blachinsky, PhD, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice. “It will also eliminate a significant portion of R&D costs and time.”
As one of Europe’s largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors, GEA has the infrastructure for establishing such a pilot center. The group also possesses a global network of technical teams dedicated to implementing the GEA Better Juice Sugar Converter Skid into the production lines of juice manufacturers.
“Our collaboration with Better Juice cements our foothold in the world of innovation as we work together to make true game-changer impact,” adds Sascha Wesely who leads GEA’s activities in the non-alcoholic beverage business. “In return, we bring Better Juice all the corporate and technical support it needs to propel this venture to success.”