• 13 Jan
    Packaging – Welcome to the solution to cost and carbon reduction

    Packaging – Welcome to the solution to cost and carbon reduction


    Return Logistics – don’t waste valuable materials and don’t waste cost, say Octobox

    With our world changing rapidly, we are having to evolve constantly. Pivoting from our original goals to meet the demands or expectations of our supply chain or the end consumers. This is what makes the Juice Industry so exciting. Things change in commodities – potentially on a daily basis and today this also accounts for how efficient we manage our supply chain.

    Historically the juice industry was born into steel drums, a very robust packaging which was required to ship the cargo in open hatch reefer vessels. With the introduction of reefer containers this type of packaging was no longer required, but nevertheless not changed by most industries, as the steel drum had evolved to an industrial standard. The supply chain had adapted to this type of packaging from filling, to handling, to tipping as well as recipes for blending were based on 200L units.

    Things change; It is no longer necessary to accept the cost of steel drums, which have doubled or tripled in price depending on your location, it is not economic to accept the high tara weight or their very high carbon footprint. All of this for a one-way packaging? These facts can be difficult to explain to consumers, hence why more and more Juice Industries are changing to returnable packaging with the aim to reduce both their cost and their carbon footprint.

    So, how does this work?

    Simple, the packaging has to fold that well, that when its empty you can carry say 400 empty units in one 40” container, but when full only 20 units are used to ship to your destination. The ratio is 20 to 1 in this example. This reduces the cost of returning each unit to five-to-ten dollars per trip. Can you buy this new packaging material at the same cost of the return? The answer is ‘no’, this is how you save cost.

    You have saved the cost of buying new packaging and continue to do so with every trip you make. You also saved carbon emission – at NO cost, to the contrary you can now certify your carbon reduction and sell it or even advertise it to your customer as a benefit.

    No matter what you produce be it concentrate, NFC, puree or pulps, determine which market you have not been able to reach, because your logistic cost including the packaging are too high and Change the cost.

    We were asked to write about return logistics options for the juice industry and of course we would like to promote our own product the Octobox, but more important is that you keep your industry cost to a minimum and help us all to reduce carbon emission – especially where the alternative is so easily available.

    There are quite a few solutions for returnable packing material on the market, please take your time and find the solution best suitable for you. If we at Walton Industrial Containers can be of help or assistance, please contact us and we will help you find a solution for your specific product and destination.

    Or visit us at www.octobox.co.uk – we want to hear from you.

    Walton Industrial Container/Octobox


    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jan
    Lemon Juice – Quality aspects of Argentinian lemon juice

    Lemon Juice – Quality aspects of Argentinian lemon juice


    Lemon fruit is a rich source of nutrients, including flavonoids, citric acid, vitamin C and minerals (e.g. potassium), which provide numerous health promoting properties. Dr Soraya Bellini, Head of Food Chemistry at CIATI in Argentina, discusses.


    Lemon production is limited to a small number of countries and regions because of the plant’s extreme sensitivity to low temperatures. Argentina is one of the southernmost countries around the world, with tropical weather in the North and produces around 3,542,000 tonnes of fresh citrus fruits annually. Of the 364,800 tonnes exported in 2020, 68% corresponds to lemon, 22.5% to orange, 9.2% to mandarin and 0.2% to grapefruit. Argentina is the second exporter of lemons and it is the first exporter of concentrated lemon juice and essential oils.

    Argentinian lemon industries are integrated companies so they have control throughout the entire production chain. 70% of fruit production goes to by-product production, such as concentrated juice, essential oils and dry peel or pectins. Nowadays, the industries are producing Not From Concentrate Juice (NFC), obtained by simple fruit squeezing and a mild pasteurization.

    All these products are obtained from first quality fruit and they are commercialized in internal and external markets.  Most companies work under a GSFI (Global Food Safety Initiative) or another quality system and most of them work with SGF (Sure Global Fair), which is a voluntary control system.

    The levels of different compounds vary in juices prepared from different lemon cultivars, maturity stage, growing region, cultural practice, storage conditions of fruits, extraction procedure and thermal treatment of juice. The Argentinian lemon juice has distinctive chemicals characteristics with respect to lemon juice in the rest of the world such as: colour, flavour, pulp ratio and soluble solids/acidity ratio, presenting advantages in the international market.

    Quality controlled

    Regarding the parameters that characterizes the absolute quality requirements such as environmental, hygienic and industrial requirements are all inside the range of values established in the reference guideline (AIJN, 2019) and lemon juice from Argentina presents high concentration of vitamin C, which is another valuable quality characteristic in this product.


    Concentrated lemon juice from Argentina does not contain heavy metal elements such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), Tin (Sn) and mercury (Hg).  The industry is evaluating these pollutants including nickel (Ni). The results in more than 1700 analysis, are below the limit of quantification in As, Cd, Sn and Hg (Table 1). Only 1% of samples have resulted positive in Pb, but the values are within the AIJN range.

    Table 1: Limits of quantification of heavy metals on concentrated lemon juice.

    Heavy metals LoQ (Limit of Quantification)
    Arsenic 10 µg/kg
    Cadmium 6 µg/kg
    Lead 10 µg/kg
    Mercury 10 µg/kg
    Tin 1 mg/kg

    5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is not present in direct fruit juice, but it is naturally generated during heating or storage processes in the Maillard reaction as well as sugar caramelization and degradation. Therefore, 5-HMF can be used as an indicator of thermal abuse and prolonged or improper storage. In all lemon juice samples tested, concentration of 5-HMF was much lower than 1 mg/l. The maximum value allowed is 20 mg/l (AIJN, 2019).

    With respect to the evaluation of identity and authenticity, when comparing the results of Argentinian lemon juice with AIJN parameters, we can see other characteristics that differentiate it from other countries juices.


    The organic acid composition is one of these parameters, for example:

    • L-malic acid values are usually in the upper part of the AIJN range and 60% of results are above 4 g/l.
    • D-Isocitric acid has different values with respect to lemons of tropical weather. The Argentine results are near the minimum of AIJN´s range (average value 285 mg/l), while South Africa has a maximum value of 350 mg/l. These low values make the ratio citric acid/d-isocitric acid high. Although the average of ratio citric/isocitric acid is within AIJN´s value, more than 20 % of samples are above maximum AIJN value. Argentine authentic juice can present values up to 240.

    On the other hand, sugar composition is another parameter that is different. The average values are shows in the Table 2. Although all sugars are within AIJN´s ranges, the average in Argentine juice is below the international average. The level of sucrose is lower when it is compared with Mediterranean juice.  This is due to the weather conditions in the area, having wide temperature ranges.

    Table 2: Sugar content in Argentine lemon juice at 8 °Bx.

    Sugars Level in juice
    Sucrose (g/l) 2.1 ± 0.8
    Glucose (g/l) 5.5 ±1.2
    Fructose (g/l) 5.1 ± 1.1
    Glu/fru 0.94 – 1.3
    Sugar free extract (g/l) 65 -78


    Formol Number (also known as formol index) is another parameter of the Argentine fruit juice which is lower than AIJN ranges for the different kinds of juice, and the lemon is not the exception where the average value in Argentina juice is in the minimum of the AIJN range (AIJN, 2019). Although the Formol Number value is low, the amino acids values are within the range. The Table 3 shows the comparison, and some of them are below the range average. We can also observe that Lysine is the amino acid which presents more variability between seasons.

    Table 3: Aminoacids content in Argentine lemon juice at 8 °Bx.

    Aspartic acid 477 300 – 800
    Glutamic acid 192 160 – 400
    Threonine 14 10 – 30
    Asparagine 406 130 – 600
    Glycine 10    7 – 25
    Valine 14     8 – 35
    Proline 267  100 – 800
    Isoleucine 9.7 3 – 10
    Leucine 5.4  3 – 10
    Lysine 5.3  5 – 10
    Phenilalanine 14.7  8 – 40



    This article summarizes the different characteristics present in genuine lemon juice from Argentina, as a conclusion, lemon juice from Argentina is within the ranges established by AIJN for certain parameters, however some of them are in one extreme of the range. It also presents some distinctive characteristics that differentiates it from other countries juices. Argentina lemon juice industries work on their self-quality control to guarantee the commercialization of its products, being Argentina one of the leading countries in the production of concentrated lemon juice.



    AIJN (Association of the Industry of Juices and Nectars of the European Union) (2019). Code of practice for evaluation of fruit and vegetable juices 6.6. Reference guideline for lemon juice – Revised September 2019.

    Dr Soraya Bellini is Head of Food Chemistry at CIATI in Argentina. She has presented this topic at the IFU Technical Webinars 2021. The webinar can be seen on-demand by clicking here.”


    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jan
    Spain – Country will produce an estimated 6.705 million tonnes of citrus this season

    Spain – Country will produce an estimated 6.705 million tonnes of citrus this season

    According to the latest estimates, Spain produced 7.045 million tonnes of citrus in the 2020/2021 campaign, i.e. 12.6% more than in the 2019/2020 campaign and 6.2% more than the average of the previous five campaigns, ranking as the fourth-highest harvest. In the domestic market, there was an 11% increase in mandarin consumption.

    Exports until June totalled 3.6 million tonnes, with a value of almost 3,400 million euro, i.e. 7.1% higher than the average of the last five seasons. The commercial balance is very positive, 3,208 million euro, with a coverage rate of 2.1%.

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAPA) has made public its forecast for the 2021/2022 citrus campaign. Spain will produce 6.705 million tonnes of citrus, 4 8% less than in the previous season and 2.1% less than the average of the last five years. The greatest decrease in absolute terms will occur in small citrus fruits, and in percentage terms in lemon, which were the types of citrus that had the biggest increase in production in the past season. Grapefruit, on the other hand, will grow significantly, while the volume of oranges will remain stable (+ 0.4%).

    The country will produce 3,511,079 tonnes of oranges, which will account for 52.4% of the total citrus production, and 73% of the oranges produced will correspond to the Navel group. The production of small citrus fruits will rise to 2,083,000 tonnes, accounting for 31% of the total. 51% of the small citrus produced will be clementine.

    According to the Ministry’s forecast, the country will harvest 1,011,458 tonnes of lemons (15% of the total production) and 84,010 tons of grapefruit (1.25%). In addition, Spain will produce 11,197 tonnes of other citrus fruits (including bitter orange), which will account for 0.17% of all citrus production. FreshPlaza

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Jan
    World Citrus Organisation (WCO) presents annual Northern Hemisphere Citrus Forecast

    World Citrus Organisation (WCO) presents annual Northern Hemisphere Citrus Forecast

    The WCO Secretariat has released its annual Northern Hemisphere Citrus Forecast for the upcoming season (2021-22). The preliminary Forecast is based on data from industry associations from Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, in addition to the United States (based on USDA reports for Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas).

    Philippe Binard, Secretary General of WCO stated: “The Forecast shows that the 2021-22 Northern Hemisphere citrus crop is projected to reach 29.342.000 tonnes, which represents a 1.27% decrease compared to the previous season”.
    Orange production is projected to decrease by 3.45% to a total of 15.485.106 tonnes. A slight decrease is also expected for grapefruit (-0.34%, 946.521 tonnes) and soft citrus (-0.70%, 8.456.112 tonnes) production. Lemon production, on the other hand, is estimated to increase by 5.64% and reach 4.454.327 tonnes. In Europe Union, citrus production is forecasted to experience a 9.35% decrease in Greece, a 7.74% decrease in Spain, and a 2.62% decrease in Italy.

    In the Southern rim of the Mediterranean, production is projected to decrease in Tunisia (-21.97%), remain stable in Egypt (-0.06%), and increase in Israel (+26.63%), Turkey (+21.85%), and Morocco (+5.53%). The citrus crop in the United States is expected to decrease by 11.79% compared to last year.
    Binard added: “WCO has also engaged for citrus with the China’s Chamber of Commerce for foodstuffs (CFNA) and Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to collect their estimates. This has overall provided an overview of the Northern Hemisphere covering a grand total of 83.2 Mio tonnes of citrus from the Northern Hemisphere for the next season” This is the result of the forecast in China, for an increase in citrus production by 5.23%, reaching 53.900.000 tonnes in the upcoming season.  WorldCitrusOrganisation

    By Caroline Calder News
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