Pasteurize Juice at a Lower Temperature, Says Tetra Pak

And wait for the cost savings.

For juice makers mindful of their pasteurization process-and how much energy it uses-a new Tetra Pak pasteurization process can lower the temperature of pasteurization by 15°. That’s a cost saving and a high five for the environment.

Tetra Pak explains that pasteurization occurs in two phases: one at 95–98°C to kill microorganisms and inactivate fruit enzymes, and a second at 95°C to kill new contaminants that may enter the juice while it is transported into industrial containers. It’s this second phase that Tetra Pak can reduce to just 80°C.

So far, in-house tests on orange juice indicate that gentler pasteurization yields a juice that is just as sterile as conventional orange juice. With the help of Finnish beverage maker Valio Oy, Tetra Pak pasteurized and packaged 16,000 orange juice products and stored them at room temperature for three weeks. All products were deemed commercially sterile. A consumer taste panel couldn’t detect difference in taste between orange juice pasteurized at 80°C and 95°C, and that’s another important detail. But since pasteurization does kill some compounds in juice, can a gentler treatment preserve more nutrients?

“In fact, the nutrient values and tastes of juice products should be mainly decided by the first pasteurization of the juice,” explains Rob Arnott, a spokesperson for Tetra Pak. By reducing the second pasteurization temperature, he says Tetra Pak is only helping to improve efficiency and ensure that the second pasteurization does not have any negative impact on the quality of the product.

Tetra Pak’s patent-pending process can be streamlined into existing Tetra Pak pasteurizers, and manufacturers can learn more about the research undertaken with this white paper. The process works for high-acid juices and nectars with a pH of or below 4.2.

 

Robby Gardner

Associate Editor

Nutritional Outlook magazine

robby.gardner@ubm.com