The global juice industry is the most competitive segment in beverage industry
The global juice industry witnessed growth in recent years due to rise in demand for healthy products among the consumers. The demand in the juice market is also driven by the widespread consumer trend and preferences for juice. Understanding the consumer demand and market opportunities, fruit and vegetable juice manufacturers are focusing on product development and launching different flavors of juices. Furthermore, fruit and vegetable juices are gaining popularity as health and dietary concerns are growing among the consumers. Different flavors of juice that are a blend of fruits and vegetables are gaining popularity with consumers.
Rising popularity of organic juice, that is widely accepted in Western Europe and other developed countries creates a market opportunity for the juice manufacturers. One key trend in the market is the product innovation in juice market that could help to improve the consumer’s health. Fruit and vegetable juices are composed in a special way to increase the nutritional benefits and energy level in the drinks. Research is being carried out to design the composition of ingredients in juice to provide maximum nutritional benefits to the consumers.
The major market for fruit and vegetable juice industry are Europe, Japan and the U.S. among others. The global juice market is dominated by some major players like Citrus World, Coca-Cola Co., Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc., PepsiCo., Nestle, Del Monte, and Welch’s among others. The juice market is largely depending on consumer taste and preference and brand image. Many local players and regional brands hold a major market share in the regional markets.
Pectic substances are very important
For cloudy juices or fruit puree it is essential that the original content of pectins shall be retained throughout the production. In this case fruit enzymes must be inactivated during processing as soon as possible by an heating process.
For clear, filtered juices a breakdown of pectins is needed to enable a good yield and high degree of juice concentration, and this is done by adding specific pectolytic enzymes which hydrolise the pectic substances.
To obtain clear juices the enzymation is not the only steps required, but after that other phases such us sedimentation with fining agents (gelatin – bentonite..), and filtration (by vacuum and ultrafiltration) are required.
Fruit processing plant
A large variety of fruits can be used to obtain by the appropriate technological process different kinds of semi – finished product starting from fresh fruits just harvested from field or stored in controlled atmosphere warehouses. For obtaining high quality juices, the degree of ripeness, the freshness and cleanliness of raw materials are very important.
A fruit juice can be considered a suspension of water, sugars (manly: glucose – fructose – sucrose), acids, essences, vitamins, proteins, minerals, pigments and pectic-substances. The most common semi – finished products are:
- Puree’ single strength or concentrate.
- Cloudy or pulpy juices single strength or concentrate (which contain insoluble solid particles).
- Clear juice single strength or concentrate (without the insoluble substances).
In order to preserve as much as possible the organoleptic properties, the colour and aromas of the fresh fruit, the technological cycle needs to be developed. Especially the thermal treatments must be carefully evaluated just to avoid browning phenomena and vitamins and proteins degradation, because it’s necessary either to get a god yield in some steps of the process, either to have microbial stability. This treatment is very depending from the fruit PH. The presence of organic acids such as citric, malic, and tartaric acid, depending on the kind of fruit, is responsible for the low PH value (1,5-4,5). The thermal cycle anyway is always a combination of temperature value and holding time.