Israel-based startup Better Juice has developed new enzymatic technology that is able to convert the naturally occurring simple sugars in orange juice to fibers, which in turn reduces the amount of natural sweetener in the juice. This patent-pending technology was developed in partnership with Hebrew University.
According to Better Juice, their enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert some the fructose, glucose and sucrose in orange juice into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibers. In fact, the company claims that their Better Juice technology can reduce the amount of naturally occurring sugars in orange juice by 30 to 80 percent.
Better Juice’s sugar conversion process is done by incorporating non-GMO microorganisms into their juices, which then convert simple sugars such as fructose, glucose and sucrose into fibers and non-digestible natural sugars. The company also claims that this process does not alter the flavor of orange juice and it doesn’t affect the vitamins and mineral of the juice as well.
“This natural non-fermentative process occurs without adding or removing ingredients,” said Dr. Eran Blachinsky, Founder and CEO of Better Juice. “It also will not alter the flavor or aroma of the juice. Better Juice uses an advanced solution that involves just one short and simple pass-through step in the juice-making process, allowing the product to be marketed at a price point comparable to other premium juice products.”
However, Blachinsky said that their process can slightly reduce the sweetness of juices, which makes sense since a not-insignificant portion of the sugar content is being converted into other fiber.
Nevertheless, this innovative technology will likely catch consumer attention because low-sugar products are in high demand in the food industry. Popular fruit juices such as orange and apple juices contain around one ounce of sugar per one-cup serving. The majority of these sugars are mono- and disaccharides, which are commonly referred to as “simple sugars” which can provide the body with energy or can be stored as fat if they are not immediately used. Better Juice’s technology allows these individual sugar molecules to link up to become prebiotic fibers, called oligosaccharides, that are non-digestible. These prebiotic fibers are associated with a potentially lower risk of developing certain diseases and could help with weight management.
In addition, most juicing methods in the industry result in products with low fiber because pulp is commonly removed. So, it seems like Better Juice’s enzymatic technology increases the value of orange juices by reducing the amount of sugar in the product and increasing its fiber content.
“Consumers, especially children, enjoy drinking natural juices but are not always aware of the less nutritious aspects of juice,” said Blachinsky. “They want the whole package – great flavor, health, and natural ingredients, including the fibers that are an essential part of fruits.”
Although the company has only tested their technique on orange juice so far, Blachinsky claims that their technology can work on all types of sugars. Better Juice is planning to market their device to popular juice producers and eventually to cafés and restaurants.