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Grapefruit juice: a makeover story.

In the food ingredients industry, trends drive sales.

Today’s consumers read labels and fill their shopping carts based on the nutritional value a product offers. Univar has identified this particular trend, Healthy Enhancement, as one of the keys to our customers’ success in the marketplace — when you create a product that meets consumer demand, you create sales. But adding nutritional fortification to a product poses a certain set of challenges. Extra ingredients can change flavor or texture. Successful Healthy Enhancement depends on the product tasting and feeling exactly as it would without the fortification.

Univar’s food ingredients customers rely on our food teams’ technical expertise to help them with their formulation challenges. When a company wanted to enrich its grapefruit juice product with calcium and fiber, it called on the Univar food team for help finding ingredients that wouldn’t change the juice’s taste or mouthfeel.

Crucial to sourcing an appropriate calcium product for juice fortification is its solubility and the granulation of its particles. For this project, Univar recommended a micronized calcium citrate sourced from one of the premier suppliers we represent. The acid pH of the juice provided easy incorporation of the calcium citrate, and the micronized particle sizing of the product had no impact on the juice’s mouthfeel.

Next up was fiber, which presented its own set of challenges. When consumers think of a drink with added fiber, they think of gritty texture and viscous residue left in the glass. It’s essential when fortifying a juice, particularly with fiber, that it feels and tastes like juice — and only juice. Univar represents a vast portfolio of food ingredients, and we were able to provide a cutting-edge fiber product from a premier supplier that increased the juice’s fiber level while maintaining its sensory characteristics.

The product was exactly what the juice manufacturer — and its market — was looking for. Sometimes, though, the end product is just the beginning.

Inspired by the successful formulation of the fortified juice, the manufacturer  became interested in extending its product line further, and asked its Univar food specialist to work with them onsite to create a product that they could market as an “ultra slimming” grapefruit juice, one that included added calcium, additional fiber for satiety and omega 3 fatty acids.

The Univar food specialist reviewed the juice manufacturer’s proposed formula and processing steps. Our understanding of ingredients selection and beverage processing methods provided a basis for the discussion. Univar helped the manufacturer select the right ingredients the first time, speeding the process from product development to commercialization.

And together, we created a great-tasting juice.