Dole experiments with BlueTree tech to chop sugar in juice: ‘Pineapple units a better bar than orange’

Extra sugar consumption will increase the probability of consuming too many energy, which in flip will increase the chance of obese and weight problems. These circumstances are instantly linked with noncommunicable illnesses together with heart problems, most cancers, and diabetes.

Sugar discount is front-of-mind for customers, meals and beverage producers, and policymakers alike. And but, consumption in western international locations nonetheless exceeds dietary tips.


For meals and beverage makers, comparable to US-headquartered Dole Packaged Meals, sugar discount presents an actual problem. “It might sound straightforward, and customers need it…however you may’t simply take a juice, take away the sugar, and hand it to them,” ​defined Dr Lara Ramdin, chief innovation officer at Dole Sunshine Firm.

It’s because sugar supplies rather more than simply sweetness. “It additionally supplies mouthfeel, texture, and satisfaction,” ​she informed delegates on the latest OurCrowd World Investor Summit in Jerusalem.

Dole has set itself the problem of decreasing sugar in its pineapple juice and is trying to exterior innovators to trial completely different applied sciences. One such know-how comes from Israeli start-up BlueTree Applied sciences.

‘We don’t add something, it’s sugar elimination solely’

BlueTree was based by Didier Toubia – co-founder and CEO of cultivated meat start-up Aleph Farms – and Yuval Klein again in 2020.

In contrast to many sugar discount options in the marketplace, BlueTree doesn’t add something to product formulation – it’s targeted on sugar elimination, solely. “We simply bounce contained in the juice or milk, take out the sugar, then get out. It’s a quite simple know-how and a really fascinating one,” ​co-CEO Michael Gordon informed FoodNavigator in a latest interview​.

BlueTree’s method leverages filtration and absorption applied sciences. However as an alternative of filtering out all elements of the sugar molecule, the start-up removes disaccharides, solely. In leaving the monosaccharides in, the sweetness, aroma, and mouthfeel affiliation of sugar is maintained, we have been informed.

The know-how will be utilized to dairy, beer, and as in Dole’s case, fruit juice. How a lot sugar will be decreased will depend on the appliance, however within the lab BlueTree has achieved near a 75% sugar discount in milk. In orange juice, the corporate stated at above 30% discount, customers would begin to discover.

“We normally cease at a 30% discount,” ​revealed Gordon, suggesting {that a} 20-30% discount in ‘most’ international locations and territories could be sufficient for corporations to keep away from sugar-related taxation.

As Dole has a variety of very established meals and beverage merchandise in its portfolio, a sugar discount know-how claiming to resolve each technical and client acceptance points related to the duty is a lovely proposition.

Embarking on a Proof of Idea (PoC) with BlueTree, as with all start-up, must be a win-win state of affairs, defined Dr Ramdin. “It must be an equal partnership. It shouldn’t be a company and a start-up, it must be equal.”

The most important challenges dealing with PoC mission

The choice to work with BlueTree was sparked by samples of sugar decreased orange juice the start-up despatched to Dole. The businesses are actually within the very early levels of decreasing sugar in Dole’s pineapple juice – a mission that could be more difficult than decreasing sugar in orange juice.

“I believe pineapple juice units a better bar by way of style, texture and expectations than orange,” ​stated Dr Ramdin. Pineapple naturally has a better sugar content material than orange (8.4% in orange juice in comparison with 10% in pineapple juice), which from the offset presents a technical problem.

From the buyer perspective, which means that sweetness expectation in pineapple juice will even be greater. “To get that stability proper between the sweetness and acidity, and to additionally get the mouthfeel proper, is technically a problem,” ​stated Dr Ramdin.

Certainly, guaranteeing the product is tasty is the primary problem, reiterated Gordon. If this isn’t achieved, the PoC won’t have attained its purpose. But it surely’s not the one problem for BlueTree over the following few months. The beginning-up additionally wants to make sure its enterprise mannequin is economically possible for meals and beverage producers.

“At BlueTree, we’ve got a enterprise mannequin the place the extra we work collectively, the much less [the manufacturer] pays for the service we offer. Wanting ahead, [for us] this can be a long-term relationship. It’s not only a one-deal, it’s a long-term relationship and we must always construct [our business model] for that.”

Price can be a serious consideration for Dole which, as a mass market ‘worth model’, has dedicated to offering accessible diet. “After we have a look at new capabilities and new applied sciences, our plan is to not move these prices on to the buyer.”

That implies that in growing a sugar-reduced juice, Dole needs it to be the identical price as its typical counterpart. “Innovation in enterprise fashions goes to grow to be increasingly vital [moving forward].”

BlueTree’s goal? To persuade Dole

On the pre-commercial stage, it’s anticipated Dole is experimenting with BlueTree’s sugar discount know-how solely. “We’re possibly taking a look at two to 3 various kinds of applied sciences and operating PoCs with all of them,” ​revealed Dr Ramdin.

“It’s additionally vital to grasp that there may be an inventory of standards with regards to style, performance, price and manufacturing feasibility. It could be that [the PoC] doesn’t tick all packing containers on the finish of the PoC, however I believe we’ve each been very clear about that from the start.”

From BlueTree’s perspective, the target is evident: to influence Dole its know-how is the market chief. “We’re assured that we will persuade you that our answer is the very best answer for Dole,” ​Gordon informed Dr Ramdin.