Located in Tel Aviv, Israel, the new plant will enable Better Juice to fulfill commercial orders from global juice producers and meet anticipated demand from other companies looking to develop lower-sugar juice-based products including beverages, jams, yogurt, ice cream, and more.
Better Juice is currently working with manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in various fruit juices including apple, orange, and pineapple juice products.
The new plant in Israel has the capacity to support sugar reduction of up to 250 million liters (66 million gallons) of juice per year.
“This move marks a major leap forward in our commercialization efforts,” shared Gali Yarom, Better Juice 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.”
Earlier this year, Better Juice inked its first commercial deal with a US-based juice manufacturer where the startup integrated its enzymatic sugar reduction technology into the company's manufacturing operations.
The new facility in Tel Aviv is equipped with an industrial fermenter and immobilization processor. The specialized equipment is used for growing and harvesting the beaded microorganisms used in producing Better Juice’s immobilized sugar-reducing enzymes.
The site also houses pilot labs and the company’s new headquarters
Enzymatic sugar reduction process
Through its patented enzymatic sugar reduction process which uses proprietary polymer-based beads composed of non-GMO microorganisms, Better Juice can convert common sources of sugar (i.e. fructose, glucose, sucrose) in natural fruit juice into non-digestible dietary fibers without diluting the taste (sweetness is mildly reduced, according to the company) or nutrition profile of the original liquid.
The company's continuous flow technology and equipment (manufactured by GEA) can process juice up to 200 liters per hour and integrates seamlessly into manufacturers' existing juice product lines.
The construction of the plant was done in alignment with the company's environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles.
“We had to design and construct specialized 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.
For instance, the biodegradable polymer beads are rechanneled to livestock feed after being used in the production phase, minimizing 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, according to Better Juice.
Changing the perception of fruit juice
Better Juice's ultimate goal is to provide consumers with a low-sugar way to enjoy fruit juice and promote overall well-being, said the company.
On the supplier side, juice manufacturers are continually launching and developing better-for-you versions of products within their portfolio.
“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,” says 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 fibers.”