Increased grower returns the focus of 2019 Juice Forum

New processing technology, capitalizing on increased consumer demand for fresh juice, and new farm management techniques, will all be explored at the second annual Citrus Australia Juice Forum, to be held in Griffith on June 12-13.

Citrus Australia CEO, Nathan Hancock, said Citrus Australia has formed a Juice Committee with an objective to find ways to drive returns to over $420/tonne for growers.

“For a short time juice variety oranges saw an increase in returns due to a shorter supply, largely related to seasonal conditions and fresh fruit export opportunities,” said Hancock. “Unfortunately lower pricing has resumed and the 2019/2020 season looks to be a difficult one for growers.

“It is my firm belief that the juice industry must develop markets outside the domestic market to ensure its survival in any significant way.

“In our Juice Forum, we will explore some of the areas the committee will be working in such as export market development, market intelligence and juice quality, all with the objective of improving grower returns.

“We encourage all growers to join us and explore how we can work together to expand the Australian citrus juice industry.”

The 2019 keynote speaker is the US-based Michael Mas, global product line director (fruit & vegetables) for food systems specialist, JBT.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to hear firsthand from Michael, who is acutely aware of global consumer trends.”

Innovative Australian juice companies, including Nippy’s and Grove Juice, will share the export potential of Australian juice.

Afternoon sessions will discuss practical ways to reduce costs and lift productivity on farm, and provide an opportunity for growers to help set the course by sharing their priorities and knowledge. Australian Frost Fans will also share how its innovative frost fans can minimise effects of frost events.

“Frost has impacted citrus regions over a number of seasons and has a significant impact on juice varieties,” Hancock said.

A farm tour on Thursday, June 13 will visit a number of sites to showcase new varieties, demonstrate management techniques, including pruning and hedging juice varieties to minimise biennial bearing, and a visit to farms utilizing fans from the Australian Frost Fans range.

“We urge all citrus growers to register for real insight into domestic and global juice trends, and how they can capitalise,” Hancock said.

“This is a free event that will provide real value to every business.”

Chia ‘super juice’ launching in Australia

This month, New Zealand made nutrient-rich beverage Chia, is officially launching in Australia.

Using Australian grown chia seeds and real fruit from New Zealand, the juice combines the best cross-Tasman ingredients to pack a powerful and nourishing punch for the body and mind.

The first chia beverage in Australia, CHIA is 100 per cent natural and free of gluten, refined sugar and preservatives. Originally designed as an endurance and recovery drink for athletes, it is recommended for athletes, parents, children, professionals and the health conscious alike.

“CHIA was born out of my desire to design a delicious, nourishing beverage that has real ingredients and real benefits. The chia seed is well known for its super food qualities when hydrated, and I wanted to bring this to life through the CHIA drinks,” said founder Chloe Van Dyke.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fibre, iron, calcium, protein and magnesium, the hydrated chia seeds in CHIA are proven to help our body absorb all the goodness chia seeds have to offer. When soaked, chia seeds activate, maximising its benefits – keeping you fuller and hydrated for longer.


No juice for babies, say US doctors

Fruit juice is of no nutritional benefit to children under one year of age and should not be given to them, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Previously, the Academy had advised that juice should not be given to babies under six months, so the latest statement extends the advised time period of abstinence.

The statement, “Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations,” to be published in the June issue of Pediatrics examines the rising rates of obesity and concerns about dental health based on evidence accumulated over recent years.

“Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories,” said Melvin B. Heyman, MD, FAAP, co-author of the statement. “Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under 1.”

The new recommendations state that 100-percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of the diet of children older than one year when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet. Consumption, however, should be limited depending on a child’s age.

The statement also said that, instead of fruit juice, it is better for children to eat whole fruits. This is because, unlike whole fruit, juice lacks dietary fiber and may contribute to excessive weight gain.

“We know that excessive fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and tooth decay,” co-author Steven A. Abrams, MD, FAAP said. “Pediatricians have a lot of information to share with families on how to provide the proper balance of fresh fruit within their child’s diet.”

Ayomo pressed juices are now being stocked in some of Melbourne’s best cafes.

Nutritionist and co-owner Sherie Liang understands the benefits of the cold pressing process, and not using centrifugal force to extract juice Ayomo cold pressed juices are made locally in Port Melbourne using fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers and recycled glass bottles.

Sherie says: “Cold pressed juice is so nutritious and beneficial to your health. I started Ayomo to allow anyone in Melbourne to be able to drink cold pressed juices, because making a cold pressed juice for one can be very time consuming and expensive”.

Since opening Ayomo’s South Melbourne café in 2013 the company has extended its reach across three kiosk style stores in Melbourne QV, Doncaster Westfield and Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Bottle production is up 1,000% over the last year with Touchwood ordering 100 bottles per weekend to keep up with demand, Square & Compass refilling orders 5 to 6 times per week and Proud Mary selling out of their first 24 bottles within the first four hours of being open on a Saturday morning.