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pioneer technology for the reduction of natural fruit sugars in 100% juices

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Better Juice (pioneer technology for the reduction of natural fruit sugars in 100% juices)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2019-09-30

Problem addressed:
For decades, 100% fruit juices have been accepted as a healthy option because of their direct association to natural fruit. However, recent studies show that all 100% juices take up large amounts of fruit sugars, giving rise to glycemic loads that are comparable and sometimes even surpass sugar added beverages. Although natural, these sugars have been proven to induce blood sugar spikes in the same fashion as added sugars . This happens because the human body has no capability to distinguish chemically nor biologically between different sugar. Thus, the human organism reacts in the same way to any sugar molecule regardless of its source, generating the same insulin spikes, which are the main factor in obesity and related
metabolic diseases, such as diabetes. Better Juice developed a unique, patent-protected technology for up to 100% reduction of natural sugars in fruit matrixes, without affecting flavor nor smell, and reaching even improved properties of the final product.
The technology operates through a bio-converter reactor which is easily integrated in the current production lines in fruit or vegetable manufacturing plants. The process is able to convert sugars into non-digestible healthy compounds, such as high-stability dietary fibers – FOS (short chain fructo-oligosaccharides) – and other non- digestible molecules. The bio-conversion of sugars is enabled by the enzymatic activity of specifically selected food grade non-GMO microorganisms that perform the conversion of sugars naturally, with no chemicals.
Why is it important for society:
Latest data demonstrates that obesity and diabetes are exponentially increasing worldwide, causing a global economic burden of €1.3 trillion, which corresponds to 1.8% of global GDP. Due to steady growth of diabetes incidence, this figure is forecasted to reach € 2.2 trillion in 2030, where diabetes type 2 is predicted to become the 7th cause of mortality .
In this scenario, beverage producers are urged to solve the issue of high sugar content.
Overall objectives:
- Perform tests on samples involving 5 juice producers among orange, pineapple and apple juice segment, in order to validate the performances of the process.
- Business feasibility assessment
The project is divided into a technical feasibility study and a business feasibility study.
The technical feasibility study focuses on lab-scale production and tests on samples conducted collaborating with 5 producers of apple, pineapple and orange juice. The results of tests we conducted during the project allowed us to validate the performance of the proposed solution.
The business feasibility study focuses on:
- Market analysis, in order to identify the largest markets to start the commercialization of our product
- Validation of the pricing strategy and the business model
- Definition of the best marketing strategy
- Economic and financial projections for the 2020 - 2026 period
Currently, no industrial method for the reduction of natural sugars exists. We have compared our product to other 100% fruit juices and drinks with the outcomes showing that glycemic load in Better Juice product is significantly lower than in any other comparable fruit-based drink. Alternative approaches are based on either of enzymatic reaction, fermentation, reverse osmosis or chelating resins. None of these technologies is able to deliver optimal de-sugarization process because of high price or limited performances. Moreover, fermentation-based approaches generate several by-products that turn juices into controversially healthy products unsuited to children because of high ethanol content. Better Juice introduces a radically new and easy-to-implement way to process fruit juice, which results for the first time in the reduction of naturally present sugar loads in beverages and food.
This innovation is poised to radically change the beverage market. The final product is a fruit- or vegetable-based beverage that contains the same benefits as the original matrix, but with significantly lower calories and enriched with valuable components like dietary fibers.The Better Juice technology provides both producers and consumers with the following unique benefits:
- Up to 100% reduction of Natural Sugars
- Significant calories reduction (up to 50%)
- Replacement of sugars with other sweet and healthy molecules, such as FOS and Sorbitol.
- Flexibility of the approach: adaptability to any fruit/vegetable matrix
- Low cost process
- Improved shelf-life of the final product
The Better Juice process slightly reduces the sweetness of the juice but actually enhances the fruity flavour. The above benefits are the basis for creation of a novel class of healthy beverages, suitable for anyone, even babies and persons with metabolic diseases.
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