PEF nearly triples fruit juice shelf life

Project

PEF nearly triples fruit juice shelf life

According to WHO, consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables reduces the risk on chronic diseases. To support this healthy habit, Hoogesteger produces fresh juices and smoothies for the Dutch market.

To enlarge their market geographically Hoogesteger wanted to expand the shelf life of these products. So in 2008 Hoogesteger joined the European NovelQ research on Mild Preservation lead by Food & Biobased Research. Pulsed Electric Field (PEF)-technology seemed to maintain all good properties of fresh juice and promised prolonged shelf life. Therefore Hoogesteger, supported by Food & Nutrition Delta, continued to work with Food & Biobased Research to apply PEF in their production line.

Food & Biobased Research transferred the PEF pilot set-up into a continuous Fresh Micro Pulse (FMP) process for (semi) fluids and supported the development and implementation of this method into Hoogesteger’s production process. Quality control and consumer tests were integrated in this project to maintain the products quality.

Results

Hoogesteger now uses FMP in production, to destroy micro-organism at low temperatures, while maintaining the fresh taste, aroma, color and nutritious value. The juice shelf life has gone up from approximate 8 days (fresh) to 21 days (FMP). This increase eases logistics significantly for Hoogesteger.

The reduction in spillage compensates the additional costs for the FMP treatment. The juices can now be transported for longer time and therefore distance, expanding Hoogesteger’s fresh fruit juice market from the Netherlands to most of Europe.