The rise in demand for beverages containing high-quality particles is transforming the beverage industry and placing greater demands on processors and their technologies. These particles are expensive and often fragile and prone to damage during processing and filling, necessitating new approaches.
Market overview and latest trends
Consumers are seeking out captivating and refreshing drinks that offer enhanced experiences, with a growing preference for natural fruit fibres or the inclusion of particles and pulp. It is part of a global trend to make beverages chunkier, lumpier, and more nutritious, particularly in Asia, where juices and RTD Teas are enriched with different kinds of chunks such as pieces of gelatine made from coconut water, aloe vera, various fruits, and seeds of different sizes and textures.
The goal is to provide consumers with the feeling of consuming fruit through a beverage, to offer a complete snack-like sensation that allows them to savour and “bite” the essence of the fruit in every sip. This innovative approach allows consumers to enjoy a nutritious and healthy beverage.
What is the main challenge to consider?
The current trend offers great opportunities but at the same time places very important challenges, the most important is to fill these beverages with bits with high precision, without compromising their integrity and quality, at a competitive cost.
How to fill a beverage with bits?
By combining high filling accuracy, gentle product handling, and minimal product loss, the JBT VAHP (Vacuum Assisted High Precision) Granular Filler offers processors an exceptional solution to meet the growing demand for beverages with chunky pieces.
One of the key features of the VAHP Granular Filler is its use of a unique vacuum-assisted pre-measuring pocket system, which eliminates the carrying liquid from the particles. In addition, the system incorporates a specialized blowout mechanism that ensures precise emptying of the specially designed pre-measuring pockets and filling of the particles into the container without causing damage to the delicate fruit particles.
Another key benefit of the VAHP Granular Filler is that it allows to deposit the particles in carrying liquid straight onto the filler platform. Pre-processing and pumping of the particle slurry to the filler is eliminated, reducing the capital investment needed and avoiding a negative impact on particle quality and integrity.
“The JBT VAHP Granular Filler is used to fill high quality, high value-add solid bits into cans or jars and is capable to handle sticky fruit pieces” Ronald Annendijck, JBT’s Global Product Line Manager Filling & Closing, explained. “With the VAHP, the bits are gently and precisely moved into filling pockets. The vacuum then removes the excess carrying liquid leaving only fruit pieces in the pockets, which are then gently emptied by the blowout mechanism into the can or glass container.”
“The VAHP is being used in Southeast Asia where non-carbonated beverages with bits such as mango, grass jelly, and coconut beverages with fruit pieces are becoming very popular. To the best of my knowledge, this unique product can achieve a far greater filling accuracy and product quality than rival systems, at significantly lower investment cost”.
The introduction of the VAHP Granular Filler marks a significant advancement in the industry, providing processors with innovative equipment to meet the increasing consumer demand for high-quality chunky drinks at the lowest cost per unit produced.
JBT has extensive experience in working with beverages containing large particles or fibres. Whether you want to learn more about our solutions tailored to this application or are interested in conducting tests, feel free to get in touch with our team of experts.
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