Better Juice launches commercial sugar-reduction plant

The new facility aligns with ESG principles and enables scale-up of start-up’s fruit juice sugar-reducing technology.

Sugar-reduction food-tech start-up Better Juice has launched its first full-capacity manufacturing plant, enabling the full commercial production of its 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 Better Juice produces beads composed of non-GMO microorganisms that naturally convert the juice’s composition of fruit sugars including sucrose, glucose and fructose into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibres.

The new site, located in the Nes Ziona science park south of Tel Aviv, is replete with commercial-scale equipment, including an industrial fermenter and industrial immobilisation processor. The 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 250m 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, maintaining the body and flavour of the juice and gently reducing sweetness. Better Juice’s technology decreases the naturally-occurring simple sugar loads for a range of products, including juices, jams, yoghurts, ice creams, sorbets, and more, to the food and beverages manufacturers desired levels.

“This move marks a major leap forward in our commercialisation efforts,” said Gali Yarom, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice. “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 are also aligned with environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles. The biodegradable polymer beads are rechannelled to livestock feed after being used in the production phase, minimising waste. 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 has 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.

“Better Juice was founded with the vision of promoting the overall well-being of people globally,” asserted Eran Blachinsky, co-founder and co-CEO of Better Juice. “The realisation that also naturally squeezed fruit juice can harbor high quantities of simple sugar is what sparked the creation of the Better Juice technology. It has been an incredible journey seeing our concept evolve into fruition, and onto the global market so that more people around the world can enjoy the full flavour and nutritional benefits of fruit juices.”

Better Juice was founded in 2018 as one of the first start-ups to be nurtured by The Kitchen FoodTech Hub.

“Better Juice brings a new hope for juice manufacturers and consumers, by reversing the perception of natural fruit juices as overly sugary products and turning juices into better-for-you beverages,” said Amir Zaidman, chief business officer of The Kitchen Hub and a Better Juice board member. “The company offers a truly better juice product by reducing the sugars while maintaining their natural profile of vitamins, minerals and fibres.”