News

  • 11 May
    Global – Transparency on sustainable juice through new JuicyChain Foundation

    Global – Transparency on sustainable juice through new JuicyChain Foundation

    Eckes-Granini and Refresco have established the new named ‘JuicyChain Foundation’. This is a non-profit organization with the purpose of making the global juice supply chain more sustainable. The foundation will manage and further develop the JuicyChain, which is an open source block-chain-based traceability and transparency platform.

    The new platform, based on The New Fork’s open food chain platform, was designed to create added value for all parties involved in the juice supply chain: from growers to processors, bottlers, brand owners, retailers and consumers, say the Foundation. JuicyChain supports a move towards a significant increase in availability of sustainable juice in the marketplace. All companies in the juice industry can join and share information about sustainable juice easily and efficiently. Consumers and other stakeholders will be able to examine provenance and sustainability data by scanning a unique QR code on a finished juice product.

    The New Fork has developed the platform blueprint and are the JuicyChain Foundation’s IT Provider. This block-chain-based platform brings transparency to the efforts to increase the sustainability of juice in the industry. Coert Michielsen, CPO at Refresco says: “By teaming up with others we can move faster towards a common goal of more sustainable juice supply chains and promote the uptake of sustainable juice across the supply chain.” Refresco

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    UK – Drinking beetroot juice may promote healthy ageing

    UK – Drinking beetroot juice may promote healthy ageing

    A new study has found that drinking beetroot juice promotes a mix of mouth bacteria associated with healthier blood vessels and brain function. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Redox Biology’. Beetroot – and other foods including lettuce, spinach, and celery – are rich in inorganic nitrate, and many oral bacteria play a role in turning nitrate into nitric oxide, which helps to regulate blood vessels and neurotransmission (chemical messages in the brain).

    Older people tend to have lower nitric oxide production, and this is associated with poorer vascular (blood vessel) and cognitive (brain) health. In the new study, by the University of Exeter, 26 healthy older people took part in two ten-day supplementation periods: one with nitrate-rich beetroot juice and another with nitrate-free placebo juice, which they drank twice a day.

    The results showed higher levels of bacteria associated with good vascular and cognitive health, and lower levels of bacteria linked to disease and inflammation. Systolic blood pressure dropped on average by five points (mmHg) after drinking the beetroot juice. “We are really excited about these findings, which have important implications for healthy ageing,” said lead author Professor Anni Vanhatalo, of the University of Exeter.

    “Previous studies have compared the oral bacteria of young and older people, and healthy people compared to those with diseases, but ours is the first to test nitrate-rich diet in this way,” added Vanhatalo. “Our findings suggest that adding nitrate-rich foods to the diet – in this case via beetroot juice – for just ten days can substantially alter the oral microbiome (mix of bacteria) for the better. Maintaining this healthy oral microbiome in the long term might slow down the negative vascular and cognitive changes associated with ageing.”

    The researchers ran tests to identify clusters or ‘modules’ of oral bacteria that tend to thrive together in similar conditions. A module (Prevotella-Veillonella) that has been associated with inflammation was reduced after nitrate supplementation, including a decrease of Clostridium difficile (which can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea).

    Much research has been conducted into the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome, but far less is known about the oral microbial community, which plays a crucial role in “activating” the nitrate from a vegetable-rich diet. Siasat

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    Europe – Tethered ‘caps’ could make a difference to waste management

    Europe – Tethered ‘caps’ could make a difference to waste management

    SIG has announced that tethered caps will be launched for its beverage cartons in Europe in the second half of 2021, ahead of the July 2024 deadline set by EU regulations. In addition, customers choosing the company’s SIGNATURE packaging solutions will receive tethered caps made from polymers linked to renewable, forest-based materials.

    SIG’s tethered caps will be launched initially for the closures used for its most popular packs in Europe. The tethered domeTwist will be available for SIG’s carton bottle combidome, as well as tethered combiMaxx and tethered combiSwift options for SIG’s core family-size carton portfolio. Together, these account for around 90% of SIG’s European closures by volume.

    The new tethered caps are designed to be used with existing SIG filling lines and closure applicators, with no major capital expenditure required by customers. Indeed, compatibility with existing SIG filling lines and customers’ existing packaging designs, secondary packaging and logistics was reportedly a key consideration in the design of the caps.

    When the pack is opened for pouring, the cap can be firmly fixed at the desired position by pressing it down until it clicks. This means the consumer can pour from the pack without the cap getting in the way and without needing to hold down the cap with their fingers. To close the pack, the cap is simply lifted slightly before closing in the usual way. PackagingEurope

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    US – Measuring OJ Marketing Success

    US – Measuring OJ Marketing Success

    For years, the Florida Department of Citrus measured the success of its orange juice marketing programs by comparing year-over-year data, Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Steve Johnson stated in a recent message to growers. The Citrus Commission is the governing board for the FDOC.

    “Then the (COVID-19) pandemic stopped everyone in their tracks,” Johnson stated. “Suddenly consumers were turning to 100% orange juice with renewed fervour.” But now, Johnson added, “Consumers are no longer stockpiling food for fear of lockdowns or scarcity. The sales increases experienced in those early days were not only unsustainable but unlikely to be repeated again. To compare today’s sales to those of last year would lose sight of the actual momentum gained over the course of a year. So, instead, we’re looking at the big picture provided by a 3-year comparison report with figures from 2019, 2020 and 2021 for a true sense of the momentum we have achieved.”

    Johnson reported that for the 4-week period ending March 20, average sales of total OJ are up by 3.38% compared to 2019 values. He said not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ is “a driving force” in that increase. NFC sales are up 6.52% compared to 2019, while average sales of reconstituted OJ are down by 2.7%.

    “Looking at the 2020-21 season as a whole, which began in October, sales continue to be up 5% over 2019-20,” Johnson added. “This is due to the inclusion of pandemic months within the time period. The current season is up 7.77% when compared to 2018-19 values.” He noted that NFC sales are up 8.6% and reconstituted sales are down by 1.5%.

    “While we continue to have momentum that is carrying us above 2019 sales levels, it won’t stay that way without effort on our part,” Johnson wrote. “The need for further investment in marketing activities to keep Florida OJ top of mind is critical as consumers return to their pre-pandemic routines … The department is planning for that and more as they look ahead to the next year.” Florida Department of Citrus

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Mar
    Europe – Production of OJ to climb in Europe

    Europe – Production of OJ to climb in Europe

    European Union orange juice production is forecast to climb almost 8% in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, to 87,987 metric tonnes, the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has reported. The forecast is in line with the expected growth in the volume of European oranges destined for processing this season, especially from Spain and Italy. Spain is the major orange processor in the union followed by Italy. About 20% of Spanish orange production is used in processing.

    While OJ is the most popular juice within the EU, it competes with other non-alcoholic drinks and other fruit juices. In recent years, such competition has effectively reduced consumption of OJ in Europe. However, consumption is forecast to grow slightly in 2020-21 as the result of increased domestic supplies and growing consumer interest for immune-strengthening products following the COVID-19 crisis.

    The EU is a net importer of OJ. However, during the last decade, imports of the juice declined by 17% due to the growth in domestic production and the downward trend of OJ consumption. During 2019-20, imports of the juice grew by 4% to stand at 686,223 metric tonnes.

    Brazil is by far the leading supplier of OJ to the EU market, representing nearly 91% of total imports, followed by Mexico, South Africa and Argentina. The United States used to be the third largest OJ supplier to the union, but imports of the US juice have declined since 2018. In 2019-20, the value of EU imports of US OJ dropped 27% to USD2 million due to lower US production, increased competition and European retaliatory tariffs on the US juice. In the past decade, EU exports increased by 45%. In 2019-20, the union exported 66,805 metric tonnes of OJ. CitrusIndustry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Mar
    Brazil – Crop failure of more than 30% in the 2020/21 season is confirmed

    Brazil – Crop failure of more than 30% in the 2020/21 season is confirmed

    The third production estimates for the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro) in the 2020/21 season, released by Fundecitrus, February 10, indicates that orange supply should total 269.01 million boxes of 40.8-kilograms each. This volume is 6.52% lower than that initially estimated and 30.45% below that in the previous season. This is also the worst annual decrease in all times.

    As low supply has been confirmed, orange prices continue firm in the Brazilian market. According to Fundecitrus estimates, 81% of the fruits had been harvested up to mid-January. The harvesting of pear oranges has reached 82% of the volume forecast, and for the late varieties (valencia, folha murcha and natal), 75%.

    According to Fundecitrus, the biennial production cycle and the unfavourable weather (drought and high temperatures) in the second semester of 2019 (flowering) and 2020 (fruit-filling stage) led to the current crop failure. The report from Fundecitrus also points that, although rainfall was higher in the citrus belt in December 2020 (8% up from the average), it was lower, irregular and short in January, due to the La Niña phenomenon.

    This is why the average weight of the oranges harvested was lower – usually, 261 fruits fill up a box, meaning that each orange should weight 156 grams, 8% down from the average of the last five crops. Cepea

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Mar
    Zimbabwe – Extensive citrus plantation plans good news for region

    Zimbabwe – Extensive citrus plantation plans good news for region

    Schweppes Holdings Africa Limited’s subsidiary, Sunrise Citrus Estates, intends to establish a 2,700 hectare citrus plantation in Beitbridge with the project expected to create thousands of jobs across the value chain. It is also envisaged that the proposed project will add impetus to Zimbabwe’s exports growth. An Environmental Impact Assessment is already underway.

    In a joint statement, Sunrise Citrus Estates and African Sustainability Consultants said: “Sunrise Citrus Estates proposes to establish a citrus plantation in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe. The 2,700ha citrus plantation will create employment for local communities. The implementation of the project will enable the processing of juice for local and international markets as well as export of raw fruit.”

    Recently, Schweppes Zimbabwe announced 100% acquisition of Beitbridge Juicing Company in a vertical integration move that saw the beverage producer strengthening its supply chain by taking control of a key raw material in the form of orange juice concentrate. At the time of the acquisition, BBJ supplied Schweppes Zimbabwe with 75% of the company’s orange juice requirements for Mazoe Orange Crush while the remainder is imported from South Africa.

    Through the acquisition, it was hoped that the move would improve capacity utilisation at BBJ to enable Schweppes Zimbabwe obtain 100% of its juice, which is a key raw material for Mazoe Orange Crush, locally. The company is headquartered in Harare and the production plant is in Beitbridge close to the raw material which is oranges. Chronical.co.zw

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Mar
    US – Growers woes as big chill continues in Texas

    US – Growers woes as big chill continues in Texas

    Farmers and ranchers in the US south continue to assess the damage following the record-setting and deadly Arctic blast. Texas State agricultural officials say the cost of this storm will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    “Just our citrus industry, their loss of just the fruit, not including damage to trees, is over USD300 million and it will put a lot of our citrus growers out of business,” said Sid Miller, commissioner of agriculture in Texas. “Dairymen are going to go bankrupt and some of our poultry farmers, but this all could have been avoided.” The straight-talking Miller lamented over not just the arctic air’s disastrous impact on fruits, vegetables and livestock, but also the State’s own hand in worsening the crisis by not prioritizing agricultural processors.

    He said his request to add agricultural processors to the critical infrastructure list still hasn’t been answered by Governor Greg Abbott, R-Texas. The State’s dairy industry has been particularly impacted as processors have gone without the power or natural gas needed to keep running.

    Meanwhile, in South Texas, fruits and vegetables were already planted in the ground and on the tree. “You don’t ever think about a freeze in the Rio Grande Valley, but our citrus crop is basically wiped out,” said Miller. “All of our oranges are gone and 60% of our grapefruit.”  He says the other 40% would still be good enough to squeeze for juice but the processing plants that do it don’t have power.  He expects it will take three to four weeks to survey the damage and get a final tally, although the true impact may take longer to figure out. Drovers.com

    Leo Espinosa, Sales Director, of Rio Grande Juice commented: “Remember that we just came from another event last Summer when Hurricane Hannah impacted the Texas Citrus Region, after the hurricane we lost about 30% of the Citrus crop, so this new freeze came to worsen the current conditions. We still don’t know yet about the impact of the freeze on next year crop, there will be for sure less fruit available due to the effect, however we still don’t know for sure how many trees were lost due to the freeze, more information can be confirmed within the next weeks to come.

    “Customers have been supportive & thankfully we face this year with a favorable juice concentrate inventory scenario, however we don’t know for next year how our inventory levels position will be in the case we face a low crop and therefore a low processing season. I am sure there will be some sort of government support for the Texas citrus growers but nothing yet confirmed.”

     

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Mar
    Australia – New research affirms a unique peptide found in an Australian plant can destroy the number one killer of citrus trees

    Australia – New research affirms a unique peptide found in an Australian plant can destroy the number one killer of citrus trees

    New UC Riverside research shows that a naturally occurring peptide found in HLB-tolerant citrus relatives, such as Australian finger lime, can not only kill the bacteria that causes the disease, it can also activate the plant’s own immune system to inhibit new HLB infection. Few treatments can do both. Research demonstrating the effectiveness of the peptide in greenhouse experiments has just been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The disease is caused by a bacterium called CLas that is transmitted to trees by a flying insect. One of the most effective ways to treat it may be through the use of this antimicrobial peptide found in Australian finger lime, a fruit that is a close relative of citrus plants.

    “The peptide’s corkscrew-like helix structure can quickly puncture the bacterium, causing it to leak fluid and die within half an hour, much faster than antibiotics,” explained Hailing Jin, the UCR geneticist who led the research. When the research team injected the peptide into plants already sick with HLB, the plants survived and grew healthy new shoots. Infected plants that went untreated became sicker and some eventually died.

    “The treated trees had very low bacteria counts, and one had no detectable bacteria anymore,” Jin said. “This shows the peptide can rescue infected plants, which is important as so many trees are already positive.”

    The team also tested applying the peptide by spraying it. For this experiment, researchers took healthy sweet orange trees and infected them with HLB-positive citrus psyllids. After spraying at regular intervals, only three of 10 treated trees tested positive for the disease, and none of them died. By comparison, nine of 10 untreated trees became positive, and four of them died. ScienceDaily.com

    By Caroline Calder News
1 2 3 4 20