• 11 Nov
    Global – Diabetes Diet: this Karela-Palak juice may help manage blood sugar levels

    Global – Diabetes Diet: this Karela-Palak juice may help manage blood sugar levels

    Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. In recent years, diabetes has risen to be one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases around the world. According to WHO, in the year 2014, 422 million people were diagnosed with diabetes across the world. It also pointed out the rapid increase of the condition in the past 3 decades.

    A diet full of foods with low glycaemic index, low on carbs and whole-grain foods is often suggested to those with the condition. Aerated sugary drinks are a strict no-no but certain fresh juices can be a good option.  However, one juice can load up on and that may also help regulate your blood sugar levels naturally- Karela juice.

    Karela (or bitter gourd) is one vegetable that has been lauded by experts for its many health benefits, one of it is regulating the blood sugar levels. Dr. Anju Sood, a Bangalore-based Nutritionist, echoes the fact and says “Karela juice makes your insulin active which in turn uses the sugar adequately and not convert into fat, which would eventually help in weight loss too”. Various studies have also found a few active substances with anti-diabetic properties in Karela like ‘charantin’ which is famous for its blood glucose-lowering effect. Food.ndtv

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    South African – Citrus exports to set record

    South African – Citrus exports to set record

    South African citrus exports, both globally and to the US, are expected to reach record levels in 2020, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS). The expected record is based on the pace of exports up to August 2020, increased production, a spike in demand for health reasons and limited logistics disruptions from COVID-19.

    The United States is considered a premium market for South African citrus. Exports to the United States are expected to reach record levels of above 70,000 metric tonnes in 2020, up 10% from the previous record of 63,544 MT in 2018. South African citrus enters the United States duty-free under the African Growth Opportunity Act.

    South Africa exports its citrus from the end of March to August. This period coincided with the national lockdown due to COVID-19 in 2020. However, all agricultural production, including citrus, was considered an essential service during the national lockdown and remained operational. While there were initial challenges at some of the ports in Cape Town and Durban, such as congestion, shortage of containers and closures of ports for limited periods due to COVID-19 cases, the citrus industry was able to work around these challenges. The citrus industry established a COVID-19 Response Committee, and the joint efforts from government, port authorities and shipping companies were critical in ensuring that South Africa could achieve peak export volumes.

    South African citrus imports account for 4% of total US citrus imports. South Africa is the fifth largest supplier of citrus to the United States. South Africa is only permitted to export citrus to the United States from official citrus black spot-free areas. CitrusIndustry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    EU – ACE reports increased recycling rate for beverage cartons

    EU – ACE reports increased recycling rate for beverage cartons

    Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) has announced that the recycling rate for beverage cartons in the EU28 rose to 51% in 2019. “We are pleased that the steady annual increase of the recycling rate for beverage cartons in 2019 surpassed 50%,” said Annick Carpentier, director general of ACE. “This is proof of our industry’s efforts and enhances the message that beverage cartons are recyclable and are being recycled at scale in Europe.” Beverage cartons, made largely from renewable materials, contribute positively to a low carbon circular economy. The industry is driving beverage carton recycling across Europe, committed to efforts that support the increase of the recycling rate in all EU Member States. The industry calls on policymakers at the European and national levels to assure that beverage cartons are collected for recycling separately, and to support a collection target to ensure beverage cartons are collected for recycling.

    “With an upcoming EU legislative agenda towards more sustainable packaging, the beverage carton is well positioned with a 51% recycling rate. This is an opportunity to inform policy-makers at all levels that beverage cartons are a safe, circular and sustainable packaging solution with a low carbon footprint, and how the beverage carton you use at your table can be easily collected and recycled,” continued Carpentier. PackagingNews


    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    Brazil – Concerns over crop development reported

    Brazil – Concerns over crop development reported

    The dry weather and high temperatures in São Paulo State are concerning Brazilian citrus farmers. Besides limiting the supply of higher quality fruits in the current crop (2020/21), this scenario may affect the output next season (2021/22), since trees are very weak, and the current stage (fruit settlement) is very critical – some farmers have already reported fruitlet drops.

    Data from Somar Meteorologia (weather forecast agency) show that it rained in southwestern SP (Avaré and surroundings) between May and June, while in central and northern state, precipitation was extremely low. In July, the scenario became worse, with mostly dry weather in all the areas – the monthly average of rains was below 10 mm.

    In August, rains returned to SP, but were concentrated in the southwestern region – in some areas, the monthly rain volume hit 140 mm. Thus, this area is the least affected by the weather, with larger-sized fruits and, so far, higher flower settlement (for the fruits from the 2021/22 season). On the other hand, northern SP (Bebedouro and surroundings) has been the most affected region, mainly non-irrigated groves, with many trees almost totally dry and weak. In central SP, the scenario is concerning too, while in eastern SP, the situation is intermediate.

    It is worth to mention that, concerning the output in the 2021/22 crop, the current development period is critical and largely influenced by the water availability in the soil, temperatures and air moisture. Although it is still early to confirm, farmers have reported that settlement of the first flowering (which occurred mostly in mid-July) has been compromised in most regions. New flowering may occur if rains are enough to interrupt the water stress (more than 40 mm). In this context, flowering may be heterogeneous, depending on the region and plants conditions, which would result in trees with fruits in different development stages. Cepea

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    Powerful flavour trends

    Powerful flavour trends

    Functional flavours

    There is a vast array of incredible flavours out there, but shifting through the possibilities can feel like a minefield. Here, leading global ingredients manufacturer Treatt, explores the different trends in a COVID climate, and how juice producers can use flavours to find their niche in a changing world.

    The power of trends

    Working in the flavour industry is a craft that requires us to be a master of many trades. From botanical science and biochemistry, to supply chain management and understanding consumer behaviour, success in the sector requires the right team and the right investment, to ensure we can meet customer demand.

    Some are surprised to learn that the industry as a whole invests around 10% of its turnover into research and development (R&D). It’s a worthwhile endeavour – as a business we need to be agile, and brimming with constant creativity and innovation. Our customers trust us to be able to help them tap into the zeitgeist with flavours that deliver and will help their NPD fly.

    Critical as it is, taste cannot be relied on alone to achieve success. Trends can dictate any number of product credentials. Sustainability, for example, is no longer an optional nice-to-have. A study of 20,000 consumers in five countries revealed that one in three purchase products with sustainability in mind. We anticipate this trend will continue increasing at an unprecedented pace.

    Changing consumer demands around the world

    Inevitably, the effect of COVID-19 will leave its mark. Health and wellness was already extremely high on consumer agenda and the pandemic has fuelled further growth.

    Consumers are seeking comfort and familiarity from products and this has seen a resurgence in demand for traditional beverages. Health conscious consumers continue to seek out products with perceived health benefits such as immunity boosting, and the increased demand for citrus juices is one such example of the direct effect of this.

    As consumers wise-up to the health effects and sustainability of the products they are consuming, the breadth of products and variations of flavourings becomes ever wider. This is an extremely fast-changing process, with a need to not only keep up with the trends, but also be ahead of the next big thing. Beverages battling juices for space on shelf include nitro beverages and seltzers, which can fulfil many consumer needs.


    A tricky market, where consumers are forgoing juice for flavoured waters and iced coffees. Health is absolutely critical and consumers are seeking clean label beverages with natural flavourings from fruits, vegetables and herbs. Pear, lychee and lemon are the fastest growing flavours in this region.

    Functional energy drinks in the US are expecting sales to reach USD32 billion by 2025 – accounting for nearly 40% of the US market. Caffeinated fruit juice is a key trend within this that we can expect to see growing over the course of the next few years, with drinks providing not only functional health benefits but also the wake-up kick from the caffeination.


    Since the UK introduced the Soft Drinks Industry Levy – a tax on high sugar soft drinks – there has been an inevitable rise in the sugar-free or low-sugar beverage offerings from brands in the UK, putting pressure on naturally sugary juices, currently exempt from the legislation. This legal push marries with consumer demand for healthier beverages.

    Juices can overcome these challenges by providing functional beverages which answer other needs with perceived benefits, such as immune system boosting through antioxidants or ingredients which could aid stress relief.

    Caramel, melon and grape are the three big growing flavours in this market. Other key consumer drivers in this territory are good sustainability credentials and a rise in demand for vegan products.


    2020 has seen a growing number of functional lines being introduced to the European market. The functional beverage market in Europe is projected to see a 6.5% growth between 2020 and 2025, a trend which has only been strengthened by the pandemic. As consumers are making more health-conscious decisions, and companies are taking measures to adapt their products to demand, this category is set to grow.

    In the near future for Europe, we will see an increase in the consumption of natural flavours, allowing nutrient-dense ingredients to dominate the European market.

    Keep an eye out for sugar cane, blue curacao and citron, which are leading the pack as Europe’s fastest growing flavours.


    Historically a strong region for the juice market, the emerging ‘middle-class’ have recently been consuming more on-the-go RTD beverages, with coffee and energy drinks increasingly popular, as consumers seek a caffeine buzz to keep up with their busy lives. The fastest growing flavours in APAC are bubble gum, cactus and yuzu.


    COVID has seen businesses adapt to new working practices, including enforcing social distancing and working with reduced labour forces. Growers and processors are navigating similarly dramatic shifts in the fresh fruit markets. Many ports have been closed and ships unable to dock, heavily impacting the global supply chain.

    We have steadied our ship thanks to the strong relationships with our suppliers, and ensured an unwavering continuity of supply chain.

    With the shut-down of the food service sector, we’ve seen more fresh lemon fruit become available for processing. Demand in ginger has spiked as consumers seek ways to improve general health. Our High Impact Chemicals (HICs) continue to play an important role in meeting demand for products designed to be free from ingredients people can be allergic or intolerant to. New HICs hitting the market are providing creative flavours that provide an authentic taste profile. Our 5-Methyl-2-thiophenecarboxaldehyde provides sweet, almond, nutty, cherry and bready notes at 5ppm in formulations.

    While the pace of change can be daunting, there remains ample opportunities for fruit juice brands willing to create products which hit that consumer sweet spot.

    Visit Treatt.com to find out how we can help.



    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 Nov
    Trade opportunities in juice

    Trade opportunities in juice

    When opportunity knocks . . .

    A UK Essex-based drink supplier that was founded over a century ago has secured a deal to sell its organic fruit juices to Japanese businesses through to April 2021. This latest Japanese deal was secured after the Department for International Trade (DIT) assisted the company to attend trade shows and meetings in Japan, where it met new customers.

    In 2016, Gerald McDonald opened an office in Kobe and DIT is currently providing advice on trademark registration in the country. Marketing Director at Gerald McDonald, Maxim McDonald said We are proud to be a British family business and to keep the legacy of my great-grandfather going. Japan has been our biggest exporting step; it is an exciting market and our future focus. It is going to be big for our business and we are in the process of developing our website for future online sales in Japan.”

    UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss commented: “The trade deal we signed with Japan was a historic moment and will offer tariff-free trade on 99% of UK exports to Japan, creating new opportunities for people in the East of England and helping level up the whole country.

    Gerald McDonald was originally founded by spice trader Gerald McDonald in 1917, its main customers were in the UK, back when spices were still very exotic products for the British consumer. Following the Second World War, the company was granted a government licence for the importation of bulk fruit juices, as there was a huge government drive to get children consuming more minerals and vitamins which they were lacking. This is how we started in juices and concentrates.

    A major milestone came in 2000, comments Maxim, moving from London to Basildon, in order to set up their own warehouse and blending facilities. “We realised we could not stay competitive as just a trading company in the City.”

    Roll on to today and the self-named business is now managed by his grandson Gerald and great-grandson Maxim. From its headquarters in Basildon, UK, the juices are exported to over 20 countries, with international sales accounting for 20% of Gerald McDonald’s £27 million average turnover. Gerald McDonald also exports its popular Japanese Yuzu juice outside of Japan and creates bespoke juice mixes at its headquartered blending facility.

    So how did the Japanese contract come about, we asked Maxim McDonald?

    “The DIT supported us in Japan with travel and tradeshow funding. In Japan it is crucial to be present and active in the market in order to gain respect, so this was a huge help for us.

    Japan has always been a fascinating country to me, so different yet so similar in certain ways. For food and drink it’s one of the most exciting countries in the world with a strong national cuisine but also with a great appreciation of other food cultures. Japanese consumers are incredibly adventurous which leads to a very exciting drink market…where else would you find a pancake flavour drink?!”

    What have been the biggest challenges of late?

    “No doubt Covid-19 has been problematic due to the uncertainty, but also Brexit in terms of stockpiling. We hope for a deal with the EU, but now we have measures in place to ensure that exports/imports will continue running smoothly whatever the outcome.

    “Despite the pandemic, the organic market is growing again, and we have strong connections to organic citrus growers which places us in a good position to offer ingredients to food and drink manufacturers.

    “We have a large portfolio of fruit concentrates, NFCs, purees and essential oils that we hold in stock. We have no MOQs and so are very flexible with volumes. At our onsite blending facility we make compounds, aseptic products and repack into small or large units.

    “Covid has affected everyone in food and drink as customers eating and drinking habits have markedly changed and we have to try and adapt to this. We obviously have to keep production going while also maintaining a safe environment for our workers, but staff who can, do work from home. Fortunately, all our processes have been coping and working fine.”

    “I believe the more free trade agreements countries can have, the better, easier and more competitive business will be, which in the end should benefit customers. We want to excel at customer service and be as flexible as possible – our customers have enough to worry about selling their own products.”

    What product developments are you most proud of?

    “Not all NPD leads to success as its very trial and error, but we have created some very interesting and great tasting blends for customers, and it is always very satisfying after spending a long time with a client creating and working on a new drink to see it come to fruition. “

    Tell us about Yuzu juice and what makes it special

    “It is a Japanese citrus with a very interesting and complex taste- like a cross between a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit. The juice we offer retains 100% of the essential oil which gives it a really powerful depth. It’s a very important product for the company as we look at new markets.”

    So what next for the company?

    “We are looking for partners and agents we can work with in other regions such as the Middle East, Africa and Asia where we know we have something to offer. If you’re interested in working with us, do get in touch.”

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 Nov
    Sustainable juice production in Guatemala

    Sustainable juice production in Guatemala


    Popoyán Modern Agriculture Model: A Proven Sustainable Approach for Creating Prosperity for Rural Communities in Guatemala 

    Popoyán´s theory of change is centered round developing high productivity and resilient projects, which integrate the agricultural value chain under a cluster solutions model. With it, Popoyán connects our high-performance production model to high-value markets generating prosperity for all those participating in the value chain. These projects have been a means for positive impact towards the stability of the regional food supply, while also generating sustainable employment and prosperity for the surrounding communities with which good relations have been sustained since the beginning of operations. Within Popoyán’s theory of change, agroindustry plays a key role to scale up production and accelerate shared value implementation.

    Popoyán has different business units that provide solutions for every step of the agricultural process – nursery, ag-inputs distribution, biological solutions that act as an alternative way to manage plant pests and diseases, commercialization of fruits and vegetables, centers for research and technology transfer, production farms, processing plants for fruit juice and purée. Our shared value accelerator projects represent our efforts to accelerate the achievement of our long-term goals to create value for the organization, its workers, and the smallholder farmers and the communities who are our partners. Through our model, we can reach prosperity in communities within an average of three to four years what otherwise could be accomplished in ten years.

    This shared value business model is private-led and integrates social-economic results as part of the core business at par with financial, operational, and market goals. It is divided into two pillars; the first one in our farms, where we produce MD2-pineapple, papaya, avocado, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a variety of berries for the international and local fresh markets. Farms integrate solutions to social needs through new business using technical expertise, knowledge, and a culture of innovation.

    Popoyan works with employees and their families to improve health and education and implement sustainable operations wherever we work with more than 7,000 people directly benefitting. Our collaborators’ growth is fundamental to shared success and our programs cooperate with our workers to build adequate housing, earn educational degrees, allow access to preventive healthcare and other services.

    Part of the long-term strategy to increase the development effect towards more people in Guatemalan communities surrounding our farms is to increase the scalability of our operations to generate more employment and a more sustainable impact. Agricultural industrialization was the approach that Popoyán took to achieve growth in the production area, and through its Tukan Foods business unit has invested in a processing plant for MD2 pineapple, papaya, mango, and passion fruit, in organic and baby food qualities to access high-value markets around the world.

    The second pillar is being implemented in the most vulnerable communities of Guatemala, where most of the smallholder farmers are located. Smallholder farmers represent an important market segment for the ag-input distribution business unit of Popoyán, and our Shared Value strategy invests in the development of the smallholder farmers to increase their yields and improve the quality of the different fresh produce that is sold in markets increasing their value. Popoyán is replicating its lessons learned from the first pillar scaling them to be applicable by the smallholder farmer of Guatemala.

    With private funds alone, our approach can reach a limited number of people in time, however, by partnering with different foreign cooperation counterparts to create public-private partnerships we can scale-up and accelerate our shared value. In the last seven years, we have been able to expand our reach to more than 50,000 people and their families benefiting directly. Our public-private partnerships have been a first of its kind and aim to reduce poverty and chronic malnutrition in Guatemala through an innovative and validated approach using economic corridors that strategically align market opportunities with existing and potential production, logistic routes, climates, altitudes, micro, and macro watersheds and address the vulnerability of chronic malnutrition.

    Popoyán has invested in four Centers for Rural Technological Development, that strategically connect economic corridors and serve as technology transfer centers for different agriculture technologies. These centers will also serve as collection centers for consolidating produce delivered from vulnerable areas and will include processing facilities for different crops that have demand in the juicing industry, to reach the desired impact in rural communities.

    Prosperous communities include not only people’s well-being but also the conservation of the surrounding natural reserves and wildlife. Our integral approach towards rural development takes into consideration the preservation of the environment as a transversal axis among all of our projects. In both implementation strategies of our shared value, we use environmentally friendly production methods, conservation of unexploited jungle and wildlife, watershed management, and efficient and sustainable use of resources. This involves not only the physical work being done but also encouraging behavior change among the inhabitants of the communities using continuous education and knowledge transfer to move towards a more sustainable country. Popoyán dedicates 50% of its territory as a natural reserve, crop management technology has allowed to increase production yields, to produce more in the same amount of land available.

    Agricultural industrialization, specifically for juice, pulp, and purée processes has allowed Popoyán to access and diversify to markets around the world. This was the next logical step that Popoyán needed to take as a company to scale up production and create more employment. Popoyán´s agroindustry, combined with the fresh produce production operations made it possible to increase positive impact in the most needed areas of Guatemala.


    By Caroline Calder Features