The market of fruit juice is developing quite rapidly and the share of NFC juices is considerably increasing because of their high quality. In Europe and the US (but also in whole world) 100% juice (not from concentrate) category is showing a strong growth potential. Of particular importance, in this sector, are the chilled juice, fruit juices that are prepared directly from the fresh fruit and then are just chilled and filled or slightly pasteurized and chilled in order to retain all organolectic characteristics.
The majority of the chilled juice found in the shops shelfs is based on orange but other varieties like pineapple, grapefruit, carrots as well as blends (orange-carrot, orange-pineapple, carrot-lemon-pineapple etc.) are becoming more and more popular. The main hints for the design of a plant processing fresh fruit into chilled juices are:
• Optimization of flow of fruit/juice
• Optimization of characteristics of process equipment
• Optimization of processing cycles in order:
1. Decrease processing times
2. Minimize oxidation of the juice
3. Keep high organolectic characteristics
• Optimize CIP system to control the microbiology of the juice.
Some of the machines used for the application are dedicated for a certain type of fruit, for istance:
• Dedicated citrus juice extractors (orange, lemons, grapefruit), on order to minimize the essential oil content in the juice and assure a good control of the pulp.
• Deshellers and dedicated presses for pomegranate to produce cloudy or clear juice which importance is considerably increasing for the beneficial health characteristics.
• Dedicated pineapple juicing in order to obtain high quality juice only from the edible part of the fruit without contamination with the peel.
These are some examples but few. Extractors for juice/puree can be provided for apples, carrots, pears, passion fruit, banana, beets, mango, spinach, asparagus, berries, hawthorns guava. The obtained juice is immediately (blended or not) slightly pasteurized (65-70°C) and chilled before filling.
All these examples of equipment have been designed, built and put in operation by Bertuzzi Food Processing Srl, an Italian Company that operates in this field since 1936 and that supplies plants and machines to process fruit and vegetables to produce juice, concentrates, baby food, jam, readymade drinks etc…