UK: Cold pasteurised juice makes more commercial progress

UK upmarket retailer Waitrose has introduced cold pasteurised fruit juice – the exclusive launch is only the second in the country that utilises high-pressure processing (HPP).

The producer, Closed Loop Foods, makes its Coldpress juices in a range of apple varieties such as Braeburn, Cox and Pink Lady as well as a Valencia orange and mixed fruits like Apple & Lemon. Coldpress uses HPP to kill off organisms and extend shelf-life without the heat required by conventional pasteurisation, at the same time preserving taste.

Nick Cliffe, marketing manager at Closed Loop Foods, says that is focuses on apples as their volatile compounds which give them their distinctive taste are very susceptible to heat damage, and this explains why all pasteurised apple juice tastes similar.

“The HPP process preserves the individual delicacy. Drinking Pink Lady or Braeburn tastes like you’re drinking the apple,” he says.

The company is currently processing 40 000 litres of juice per month. But this is a low starting point and is expected to increase significantly as sales take off.

It says of its juices: “Coldpress juices retain the flavour, colour and aroma of fresh fruit. Coldpress juices contain 100% EU fruit which means no concentrates, no preservatives, no added sugar, no sweeteners or added colours. The juices have an extended shelf of up to 6 months.  Coldpress juices retain twice the Vitamin C and other antioxidants of heat pasteurised juices.”

Liquid products are well suited to HPP. Hydrostatic pressure equalises and is transmitted through the juice without harming the packaging. Coldpress uses customised PET bottles for its juices that is co-manufactured by Deli 24’s facility in Milton Keynes. The hexagonal design of bottles helps with the HPP process and storage, as well as providing on-shelf distinction.

HPP has long been viewed as a significant innovation in the production of preservative-free products due to its ability to sterilise and extend shelf-life without resorting to pasteurisation. But progress has been stymied by technical difficulties and the costs of the process.