Wednesday, March 21, 2012: 10:57:47 AM

Food Processing Trend

Adaptation of technology increasing acceptance of fruit juice

Packaged juice is not only enriched with high nutritional values but also has the ability to hold them for longer periods, making them increasingly popular

With the importance of processed food increasing day by day, popularity of beverages like fruit juice has increased hugely. India being an emerging economy and the growth of sectors like IT and infra being predominant here, it is not quite unnatural that residents of India increasingly prefer readymade foods like fruit juice. Moreover, an increase in the per-capita income has forced the processed food industry in India grow at a rapid pace.

Packaged fruit juice usually comes with high energy value. The additional advantage is that these products come with artificial nutritional values, which are added while packing.
As more and more people opt for packaged fruit juice to meet their nutritional needs, the importance of improved and advanced technology has also increased manifold. The basic difference between a juice that has been freshly squeezed out of a fruit and that which has been packed and sold is that a packaged fruit juice makes ample use of technology, which enables it to withhold its nutritional values much longer.
Technological advancement
Technological advancements have had a huge role to play in the development of the processed fruit juice industry. With the technology benefits of ultra-high temperature pasteurisation, aseptic packaging techniques and system, processed juices can now be stored for extended periods with very little deterioration in quality.
According to Dr V H Potty, renowned food technologist and chairman of Diversified Food Technologies (India), Mysore, “Conventionally juice from any fruit is made by removing so called inedible portions like peel and seeds, thermal inactivation of native enzymes, coarse and fine filtration steps, clarification by pectinase enzyme in some cases and sterilisation. The juice is packed aseptically or canned or concentrated and frozen for marketing.”
Advancements like these have boosted the development of the packaged fruit juice industry. Earlier stress was laid on only preservatives and classical pasteurisation at lower temperature. However, the traditional profiling is now being increasingly replaced by newer technologies. There has been significant development in aspects like removal of acidity, colour and minerals from fruits like apple.
Enzymes and finishing treatments are being widely used in preparing fruit juices. The uses of these kinds of technologies are oriented mainly towards flavour orientation, nutritional protection and product stabilisation. Further advancements in technologies include the use of membrane technology in order to achieve cold sterilisation, freeze concentration, combination of cold and hot processes, accompanied by aseptic filling technology and irradiation technology.
New Delhi based lecturer Aatreyee Ghosh says, “Advancement in technology has helped immensely in the development of the fruit processing industry. Infusion of enzymes and adherence to processes like pasteurisation have made food items like canned fruit juice immensely popular. There has also been much progress of knowledge about flavour technology.”  
Pulsed electric field technology also has a huge potential of replacing traditional thermal processes for the pasteurisation of fruit juice.
With technology leaving its footprints everywhere in the market today, more and more developments are expected to take place and with it will increase the popularity of processed food.
Sambuddha Sengupta

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