Patent watch

Patent watch: PepsiCo explores how to make juice as nutritious as whole fruit

PepsiCo: A whole peeled orange has around 3g fiber, whereas an 8oz glass of not-from-concentrate orange juice may contain less than 1g fiber

PepsiCo is seeking to patent a method of adding fiber- and polyphenol-rich co-products from fruit and veg juice extraction back to juices and other beverages in a bid to improve their sensory and nutritional profile, and minimize waste from the juice extraction process.

In patent application #20140234476, filed in April 2014 and published last month, PepsiCo says that drinking juice is good for you, but isn’t quite the same as eating whole fruit, which typically contains more fiber, among other things.

“The juice extraction process excludes portions of the whole fruit or vegetable that would otherwise be consumed if the fruit or vegetable were to be eaten in its whole form,” says the application.

“A consumer who peels and eats an orange will consume an amount of edible material (e.g., including cellulosic material, membranes, albedo, pulp, etc.), which would not necessarily be present if the consumer instead drank juice extracted from the orange.

“Accordingly, many fruit and vegetable juices lack some of the nutrients contained in the totality of the edible portions of the whole fruit or vegetable. Such nutrients include for example fiber, phytonutrients, and vitamins.”

Employing such co-products minimizes waste from the juice extraction process

Attempts have been made to supplement fruit and vegetable juices with fiber powders, but these can “impart an undesired flavor”, or “dissolve so thoroughly a consumer has difficulty believing that the juice does in fact contain the added fiber”, notes PepsiCo, which owns the Tropicana juice brand.

Meanwhile, efforts to add large pieces of insoluble fibers to juice can impart “undesired color, flavor, and fibrous textures”, it adds, while “in some cases, the conversion to a powder also degrades the nutrition of such by-product due to the applied heat needed for dehydration.”

In addition, commercially available citrus fibers can lack viscosity and “may not offer a physiological benefit in terms of metabolic health”, alleges PepsiCo.

“A need exists for a product containing a higher viscosity with the subsequent enhanced metabolic health benefits.

“It would be beneficial to process the edible portions of fruits and vegetables obtained from juice extraction to provide a useful food ingredient, or 'co-product' to enhance the nutrition and other attributes of fruit and vegetable juice. Moreover, employing such co-products minimizes waste from the juice extraction process.”

Increased satiety and improved glucose control

 The patent application then goes on to describe various beverages containing polyphenol-rich co-products from juice extraction that contain skin, peel, pulp, and seeds, with benefits including increased satiety, better glycemic control, and improved gut health. 

Says PepsiCo: “It is another advantage of the invention to provide a beverage or comestible which upon consumption provides the benefits of increased satiety and improved glucose control.

“It is yet a further advantage of the invention to provide a beverage containing a co-product from juice extraction that is highly fermentable by colonic microflora and has the ability to increase short chain fatty acid product in the gut.”

A whole peeled orange usually contains 3g fiber, whereas an 8oz  glass of not-from-concentrate orange juice usually contains less than 1g fiber

In some cases, the final juice product might have a nutritional profile pretty close to “the whole fruit(s) or vegetable(s) from which the juice was obtained”, says PepsiCo, which notes that inedible by-products of juice extraction are removed, while the desirable co-products go through a comminution and pasteurization process.

“A whole peeled orange usually contains about 3 grams of fiber, whereas an eight ounce glass of not-from-concentrate orange juice usually contains less than 1 gram of fiber. Thus, according to an embodiment of the invention, a juice beverage is prepared comprising not-from-concentrate orange juice to which sufficient co-product (obtained from orange juice extraction by-products) is added to provide a final beverage containing at least 3 grams of fiber.”

In short, the final juice products have “the same or very close to the same level of nutrients as found in a whole fruit and/or vegetable, or even higher levels in the case of phytonutrients found in the whole fruit and/or vegetable but are less perishable due to the pasteurization process”, notes PepsiCo.

“In some cases [they have] weeks or months of shelf life as opposed to days for some fresh fruit or vegetables.”

Click HERE to read the patent application in full: ‘Preparation and Incorporation of Co-Products into Beverages to Achieve Metabolic and Gut Health Benefits’

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