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DISPATCHES FROM ANUGA FOODTEC 2012

New preservation technique could fuel fruit juice boom by radically extending shelf life: Coolwave Processing

By Ben Bouckley , 03-Apr-2012
Last updated the 03-Apr-2012 at 13:42 GMT

A new preservation technology for fresh juices that destroys spoilage bacteria without loss of organoleptic qualities can unlock barriers to growth in the market due to its radical extension of product shelf life of up to around 21 days, Dutch firm Coolwave Processing told BeverageDaily.com.

The technology can also be used for other pumpable liquid foods and beverages, and in this exclusive video interview shot at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne last week, Coolwave Processing's commercial director, Frank Smeltink, explained that it involved using pulsed electric fields (PEF), "which are sent through the product and create an electric field - they go in at a very high frequency and the cell membrane of microorganisms is torn apart and destroyed".

He added: "In the past to get a proper log reduction, so much energy had to be put in that the temperature increase was almost comparable to classical thermo methods - which then reduced the benefits to almost nothing.

"But we redeveloped the chamber and created a much more equally divided electrical field, while we are also very accurate on giving the pulses, meaning that we put less energy into the product and come out at a much lower temperature."

Smeltink said that one barrier to growth in a booming fresh juice industry with strong consumer demand was shelf life, and that manufacturers and retailers would both benefit from extending the shelf life of products from around 6-8 days to up to 21 days, with less product wastage and further distribution reach accordingly.

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