Small-scale nectar/juice production

A high-quality small-scale equipment line to produce quality fruit nectars costs only about $10,000 (R60,000). The bottled nectar products contain no preservatives and have an eight month ambient shelf life without refrigeration. They can be offered at very competitive prices on local markets.
Juice can be produced on an even simpler and ch {mosimage}A high-quality small-scale equipment line to produce quality fruit nectars costs only about $10,000 (R60,000). The bottled nectar products contain no preservatives and have an eight month ambient shelf life without refrigeration. They can be offered at very competitive prices on local markets.
Juice can be produced on an even simpler and cheaper line than that required for nectar production.
Most of the equipment for nectar and juice lines originates in India, where it is generally obtainable at prices far below those in other countries.In the line, only the heat exchangers are made in South Africa.
Entire systems, including recipes, are offered by South Africa's Agricultural Research Council fruit research institute, ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij.
Dr Chris Hansman, specialist food scientist of ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, says that while some Indian equipment is of doubtful quality, ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij has found suppliers of excellent quality equipment.
The nectar and juicing plants can particularly be used to produce from excess fruit in the height of the season. Many African countries, for instance, experience mango surpluses in season, and much fruit is wasted.
If excess fruit is used, the consumable contents of the bottle can often be produced for a few cents. A glass bottle is normally used, and is the highest single cost at perhaps 60c (10USc) for a 250ml bottle.
Local markets are ideal because distribution costs are not high.
If ongoing production is required throughout the season, the alternatives are refrigeration of the pulp/nectar produced or buying-in of pulp from outside.
NECTAR PRODUCTION
Nectars differ from juices in that they include pulp (whereas juices are strained); they have 20-50% fruit content (juice: 100%); they contain added sugar (juice: none) and added water, which must be of good quality (juice: none).
Subtropical fruits are particularly suitable for nectar production because they are pulpy.
The fruit is initially pitted and trimmed, washed in chlorinated water, then comminuted (decimated) in a small hammer mill. The resultant pulp is then blanched (cooked) in the first stainless steel heat exchanger in the line, in order to halt enzyme activity.
The blanched material is then fed into a stainless steel pulper. The rotating blades of the pulper are located within a cylindrical sieve. The sieve produces a good separation. Fibre and seeds are retained within the sieve while the pulp goes through.
The nectar is blended by adding sugar, citric acid and water to the fruit pulp. The material is driven through via a peristaltic pump.
Finally, the material is pastuerised via a second stainless steel heat exchanger. Two heat exchangers are needed because of different viscosities.
In summary, the equipment required for nectar production is : a hammer mill; blancher; pulper; pastueriser; and pump.
The capacity of such an (estimated) R60,000 ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij line of equipment is about 100kg/hour of, for instance, guavas. This is equivalent to 3,200, 250ml bottles per day. Packaging in glass gives an image of quality.
With glass bottles, filling is by hand is feasible. Other packaging might require specialist packaging equipment.
PRODUCTION OF JUICES
Juice is produced in an even simpler way. The fruit material is first comminuted in a hammer mill. The pulped material is then forced out through a woollen cloth construction mounted on a frame. Pressure is applied from above via another frame.
In an alternative mechanism, the juice is squeezed out in a basket juices, made with widely separated struts. Pressure on the enclothed pulp is applied via a handwheel mechanism at the top or a hydraulic car jack. The jack, being below, has the advantage of avoiding pollution by oil.
The cost of a juicing line, with tanks, is estimated at R50,000. As with nectar, the ambient shelf life of the product is normally about eight months.
INFRUITEC: chris@infruitecagric.za Tel +27 21 8093100 Fax +27 21 8093400
SIMILAR EQUIPMENT FROM:
FRUIMARK:
hans@vouzi-isp.co.za Tel +27 11 9793295 Fax +27 11 3961318
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