From April this year the HPP plant will operate alongside Fruitapeel’s existing operations. The Hiperbaric equipment, supplied by Interfood Technology, will enable the company to replace traditional heat-treatment (pasteurisation) processes.
HPP, also known as cold pasteurisation, will deactivate harmful bacteria, thus extending product shelf-life, which will help to reduce waste in supermarkets. Unlike with traditional pasteurisation, nutrients within the juices treated are said to remain unaffected by the process.
Fruit juices and smoothies
Set up originally in 2006, Fruitapeel Juice, which makes fruit juices and smoothies for the UK market, moved to South Wales in 2009 with the support of the Welsh government. It specialises in squeezing citrus fruit, handling hundreds of tonnes of oranges every week, supplying retail, other food businesses, wholesale and foodservice customers.
The company currently employs 55 staff, operating from three units on the Llantrisant Industrial Estate, and had a turnover in the last full financial year of £13.8M. The HPP investment is expected to result in the creation of 25 new jobs.
“With the introduction of this superb technology, it means that we are now able to offer our customers even more options for products, allowing us to take the juice directly from fruit, bottle and HPP it all on one site, giving it significantly longer life and better taste and quality as well as saving them money,” said David Taylor, Fruitapeel’s sales and marketing director.
Currently, HPP technology is only available in the UK through contract or ‘toll-packers’, such as Milton-Keynes-based Deli-24, which has two HPP machines, a Hiperbaric 420l and 135l. Fruitapeel plans to offer a similar ‘toll-pack’ service in addition to handling its own products.
HPP technology has been adopted extensively in other parts of the world and, while slow to take off here because of the high equipment costs, it is now starting to make a major impact in the UK through brands such as Coldpress juices.
“We are about to embark on a new chapter of the business with new technologies and innovation that will allow us to lead the field in development and processing of juice and smoothies,” said Fruitapeel md Terry Haigh.
“Welsh government support has been essential in the growth of Fruitapeel Ltd at Llantrisant over the last few years and we look forward to continuing the great relationship we have with them and further growing our business by taking it to the forefront of juice and smoothie making in the UK.”