The United States’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of ultraviolet light for the liquid purification of fruit juice, said SurePure on Friday, the company behind this South African invention.
“[It] is an approved technology alternative to pasteurisation to remove, reduce or inactivate pathogenic organisms that might prove harmful to humans if ingested,” said SurePure’s marketing executive Steve Miller.
The company — whose African office is based in Cape Town — holds the patent for the only known commercial ultraviolet system in the world capable of treating turbid liquids.
Miller said fruit juice producing countries would have to now acknowledge the efficacy, safety and legality of this technology.
“Major benefits for manufacturers utilising photo-purification technology include less chemical intervention with complete food safety resulting in a healthier, tastier, safe juice.”
The method was also more sustainable as it uses light instead of heat treatment (pasteurisation).
“It offers significant, planet-friendly energy savings without using the energy of pasteurisation.”
Miller said with the recent promulgation of legislation around more accurate product labels, South African juice marketers “are in for a wake-up call”.
“When consumers start to understand how much preservatives are in the juices they feed their kids or how little nutrient value is left after the ultra-high levels of heat their juice has been subjected to, some brands are going to suffer.”
He said SurePure’s technology was already being used for the treatment of milk, wine and sugar syrups. — Sapa