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FoodTech Report

Volume 8 Issue 1

Cold extraction process enhances flavor, consistency of natural purees

By Massimo Gorreri, fruit product line manager for JBT FoodTech
Cold extraction process enhances flavor and consistency of natural fruit purees

Demand for fruit and vegetable puree is steadily increasing as consumers look for nutritional, functional and flavorful additions to soups, entrees, desserts and beverages. Baby food, yogurt/kefir and refrigerated juices/functional beverages were the three specialty categories that experienced more than 50 percent sales growth from 2006 to 2008, according to the annual report, prepared by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Mintel International and market research firm SPINS. 

With increasing demand in this growing market sector, puree processors are not only focusing on volumes, efficiencies and yield, but also challenged to continuously improve product value. In natural puree, a premium product requires preserving the freshest possible taste. Freshness is often typified by properties such as flavor, savor and color — which can be directly felt by the consumer.

The JBT FoodTech line of Fruit Turbo Extractors (FTE) was developed to increase the overall quality of puree, from the reliability and consistency of the line to the taste and texture of the end product. To accomplish this, FTE Juice Extractors utilize a different cold extraction process flow compared with traditional lines.

 

Fruit Turbo Extractor

Fruit Turbo Extractor

The importance of cold extraction

Developing a natural puree without additives can be difficult and inconsistent because many factors in the process, including heat treatment (temperature) and stem pieces, can compromise the taste and color of the final product. Natural enzymes in the fruit need deactivation to slow cell deterioration, and heat treatment is a common way of achieving this; however, high temperatures have a negative impact on taste.

The highest-quality end product is achieved by breaking up the natural fruit into a puree in two phases. The first phase is a cold extraction method, which processes the whole fruit at room temperature to remove the stems, seeds and peel. The resultant mash goes into a second phase, where the pure puree is rapidly heated for the minimal time required to deactivate the natural enzymes of the fruit.

Breaking with tradition

The configuration of FTE Juice Extractors separates skin, seeds and stalks before enzyme deactivation. Removing these unwanted parts of the fruit immediately after washing and sorting also results in pulp with less pesticide content from fruit and vegetable skin and fewer “off” flavors from broken stalks and seeds.

The rapid treatment improves color and increases product consistency.

 

Through this process flow and gentle product handling, processors can experience a higher production yield compared with the destemming, peeling and pitting process.

Traditionally, the process of separating peels and seeds from the pulp and then the process of extracting and refining the juice occur at the same time in a single machine. This typically occurs after enzyme deactivation.

Improved quality and consistency does not end with the processing line. Consistency and enhanced taste values also are dependent on the reliability and cleanability of equipment.

Simplicity in cleaning

FTE Juice Extractors are designed to run intensively for several seasons without the need for servicing due to the robust construction of the rotor blade, which is made from two parts of wearproof stainless steel. Rotor blades in the discharge chamber scrape the chamber to ensure trouble-free processing and thorough cleaning for all products, from passion fruit, mangos and tomatoes to pomegranate, apples and carrots.

The cleaning system for the FTE Juice Extractor is composed of automatic valves that wash the screen — the main function of the extractor — through a set of sprayers that cover the entire surface. The inner surface of the screen can be washed from the product input area while it is in motion. Also, all product contact parts are made with stainless steel, which allows for vigorous cleaning, should it be needed.

Global consumer trends indicate that consumers seeking more natural, functional products — such as soups, sauces, smoothies and baby food — will only increase as consumers make health and nutrition a priority. By evaluating the processing line to determine the ideal methods for taste preservation, puree processors will have the ability to keep up with growing demand while producing the highest-quality product possible.

To learn more about JBT FoodTech juice extractors, visit the JBT FoodTech Web site.

 

©2010 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.

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