Better Juice Ltd., a Rehovot, Israel-based sugar-reduction foodTech start-up, announced a collaboration with Düsseldorf, Germany-based GEA Group AG in a push to scale up and expand its global footprint. This move comes as part of Better Juice's commitment to transform the global juice industry through advancing its technology for reducing all sugars in orange juices, the company said.

Better Juice and GEA agreed to collaboratively construct and install the sugar-reduction innovative solution to reduce all types of sugars in orange juice and market the system globally. Under this strategic partnership, GEA will engineer, design, manufacture and install the bioreactor that reduces sugars via Better Juice's proprietary enzymatic process. Better Juice said it will produce the immobilized microorganisms for the enzymatic process.

Better Juice said the agreement contributes to its goals of broadening its outreach and support to the global juice industry. The company's breakthrough technology effectively solves the sugar-reduction conundrum without negatively impacting the natural nutritional values and prebiotic benefits of fresh orange juice — a key challenge in this effort.

The start-up's enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert fructose, glucose and sucrose into prebiotic dietary fibers and other nondigestible molecules. It can reduce up to 80% of sugars in orange juice. Better Juice said its technology is designed to target the specific sugar composition in orange juice to naturally create a low-calorie, reduced-sugar product with a delicate sweetness — without sweeteners or other additives used to replace the sugars.

"This exciting collaboration marks a major milestone in Better Juice's scale-up plans and advances the commercialization of our technology," explained Eran Blachinsky, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Better Juice. "GEA possesses a sterling reputation in the field of process technology and will be a strong engineering partner. This collaboration … will undoubtedly open doors for us and accelerate sales growth internationally."

According to Better Juice, GEA will design three instruments with small, medium and large production capacities within several months to address various requirements of juice companies. The 200L device will launch within a few months. Each device will be customized to the manufacturer's needs and limitations, with Better Juice and GEA providing full-service support.

"GEA is constantly seeking to work with companies developing innovative solutions and cutting-edge, sustainable technologies that benefit consumers' nutrition and lifestyles," says Colm O'Gorman, head of sales management for GEA's Global Technology Center for Non-Alcoholic Beverages. "Better Juice is an excellent fit, and we are eager to help them develop the market for sugar-reduced juices."