• 14 Mar
    South Africa – ADM Completes Acquisition of South African Business Comhan

    South Africa – ADM Completes Acquisition of South African Business Comhan

    Global nutrition leader, ADM, announced it has completed its acquisition of Comhan, a leading South African flavour distributor. ADM has worked together with the local business for a number of years, with the formal acquisition now giving new and current customers more direct access to ADM’s extensive portfolio and network of experts.

    “This acquisition marks a very exciting moment for ADM, as we continue to develop our Nutrition business in key growth markets including Africa. I am confident that this acquisition will open up opportunities for our customers in the region and build on the capabilities of our existing offices in Nigeria and Kenya.” said Calvin McEvoy, President Global Beverages ADM.

    “At ADM we believe it is critical to invest in flavour creation assets globally to extend production and supply chains, making it easier to get unique and consumer-preferred flavours to local customers. The acquisition of Comhan means we can bring together our 80 years’ experience in the flavour industry and Comhan’s unique market insight to generate innovative products which cater to local tastes and interests. Comhan’s business is currently focused on beverages but through this new partnership we plan to grow the distribution capabilities to include food and savoury products.” added McEvoy.

    Welcoming Comhan into ADM’s portfolio comes together with other recent investments in alternative flavour production, including the company’s recent state-of-the-art facilities in Pinghu, China and Berlin, Germany. ADM

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 14 Mar
    Global – KKR to acquire majority stake in Refresco

    Global – KKR to acquire majority stake in Refresco

    Refresco Group, one of the largest independent beverage contract manufacturers in the world, and KKR, a leading global investment firm, have announced that KKR has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Refresco, with Refresco’s existing investors, PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation maintaining a significant minority position. Terms of the transaction, which is subject to closing conditions, are not disclosed.

    Founded in 1999, Refresco is a global independent beverage solutions provider for retailers and branded beverage companies with pan-regional coverage in Europe and North America through its network of bottling, warehousing, logistics and other operational assets. The Company’s production platform includes over 70 majority-owned manufacturing sites in Europe, the US, Canada and Mexico, providing customers with close proximity and a reliable service across geographies. Refresco has built long-standing relationships with its customers by partnering to support material planning, procurement, manufacturing, warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution.

    KKR will support Refresco as it expands its global and strategically located footprint to better serve existing and new customers through a range of formats and channels. The Company will build on its ability to manufacture high quality products that meet the growing demand for sustainable beverage solutions, with a focus on sustainable sourcing, responsible production and environmentally friendly operations, say the company.

    KKR is making this investment primarily through its Global Infrastructure strategy, which was established in 2008. Since that time, KKR has been one of the most active infrastructure investors around the world with a team of more than 70 dedicated investment professionals. The firm currently oversees approximately USD40 billion in infrastructure assets and has made over 60 infrastructure investments across a range of sub-sectors and geographies. KKR

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 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
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