Israel-based startup Better Juice Ltd. has developed innovative technology to reduce the load of simple sugars in orange juice. The patent-pending enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert monosaccharides and disaccharides (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibers and sugars, while keeping the juicy flavour of the beverage.
Popular juices, such as orange juice and apple juice, have nearly one ounce (25 grams) of sugar per one cup serving (250 ml). Although juice contains the vitamins and minerals you’d find in fresh produce, it’s devoid of most of the natural dietary fiber as an outcome of traditional methods of juicing. In addition to its intrinsic health benefits, fiber also adds to the feeling of fullness.
Better Juice’s process harnesses a natural enzymatic activity in non-GMO microorganisms to convert a portion of the simple fructose, glucose, and sucrose sugars into fibers and other non-digestible natural sugars. The process works on all types of sugars, while preserving the flavour and the full complement of vitamins and other nutrients inherent in the fruits. The technology was developed in collaboration with Hebrew University in Rehovot, Israel.
“This natural a non-fermentative process occurs without adding or removing ingredients,” says Eran Blachinsky, PhD, Founder and CEO of Better 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.
”While the process does slightly reduce the sweetness of the juice,” says Blachinsky, “it actually brings out more of the fruit flavour, making for a better-tasting juice product overall.”
Better Juice conducted several trials with different beverage companies and succeeded in reducing sugars in orange juice from 30 per cent, up to 80 per cent. The start-up can now provide proof of concept for orange juice.
Mono-and disaccharides ‑ often called “simple sugars” ‑ are easy for the body to digest and thus quickly metabolized. If the energy they provide can’t be used, it is converted to fat and stored. But when these individual sugar molecules link up, they become prebiotic fibers that are non-digestible. The shorter of these fibers, called oliggosaccharides, are still sweet yet have been shown to bestow a number of health benefits, from protecting against disease to helping manage weight. There are other natural monosaccharides that are not easily digested. These sugars have no glycemic index and low caloric values.
The company plans to market an advanced device with the unique technology to fruit juice producers and, eventually, to cafés and restaurants.