As we all are experiencing new trends in the fresh fruit segment, new techniques, and unique flavors are being added daily. Food processors are well aware that not everyone can enjoy fruit or fruit-based products right from the tree. This thought became the seed for Nashik-based Second Nature’s founder Dipti Motiani. Her company claims to provide additive-free (no added sugar, no preservatives) 100% cold extracted fruit juice and veggie blends that are’ second-to-tree.’ Its products include cold extracted fruit and vegetable juices and dairy-free nut milk.
Farm to process
Second Nature proudly talks about its more than 20-year association with farmers, which helps it to deliver products from farm to home. The company manages the entire supply chain right from the growing process to harvest, post-harvest management, and fruit processing.
Motiani explains, “We work directly with farmers to source fruit and vegetables. We train farmers to follow globally accepted quality standards and best practices at their farms. Our team of agronomists works with farmers throughout the year to help growers and ensure that these practices are followed.”
She believes that post-harvest management is the key to retaining the taste and nutrition of fresh fruit. She says, “Our team of harvesters ensures that the fruit is harvested at the right time, shipped to the processing plant within hours of harvesting and put into a temperature-controlled environment to ensure freshness without any nutrition loss.”
Cold extraction versus cold-pressed
Second Nature uses a cold extraction process to extract juices. Explaining this process, Motiani says, “We use the cold extraction method for juice extraction to retain the maximum nutrition and natural taste of all of our products. Other methods of juice processing involve heating, which leads to the loss of nutritional value.”
Adding to the difference between cold pressed and cold extracted juices, she says, “Most juices available in the market are cold-pressed. In the cold extraction method, the juice and pulp are gently extracted under vacuum to remove the dissolved air bubbles that help to prevent oxidation and loss of natural flavors. On the other hand, cold-pressed juices are extracted using pressure and strained in open atmospheric conditions, which leads to fiber loss and oxidation.”
Awareness of cold extracted juices in India
Cold extracted juices are a newer category in the Indian market, and the concept is still alien to most people. She says, “There’s a growing awareness among the consumers about health. They are mindful of the nutritional value of their diet. So, while cold extracted juices are a new category, it is also fast-growing. The Indian customer has resources to make this category a part of their daily routine. It is now up to the producers to address the supply chain challenges and provide the customer with the best quality products possible.”
Packaging and food safety
Cold extraction processing of juices reduces oxidation while the ensuing high-pressure processing (HPP) ensures their prolonged shelf-life. The bottles are put under extremely high pressure (5 times that at the deepest point of the ocean) for HPP. She says, “This process requires flexible packaging; therefore, we use PET bottles. To ensure better hygiene standards, we make the bottles ourselves. We source PET pre-forms from the market and then blow them at our factory to ensure better hygiene of the bottles.”
Since Second Nature’s juices are preservative-free, the cold chain is critical to maintaining product quality. She pointed out that India still lags in cold chain infrastructure, “We are working on setting up our supply chain and building relationships with supply partners in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi to ensure that the juices are handled with the same care and love we put into making them. We do direct-to-home deliveries through our website, and we are also available on Big Basket and at Amazon.”
“As for markets abroad, we are already exporting fresh fruit and bulk pulps and juices globally. We are also exploring opportunities for business for our new-age products in already established markets.”
Motiani shares, “Progressing forward, we plan on expanding products and geographies to reach a wider audience in an affordable format. Further down the line, we see ourselves producing a range of associated food products, built around the fruit and vegetable area, beyond beverages.”
“For success in achieving our aim, our efforts are directed towards encouraging and supporting good agricultural practices in India and building a culture of food safety and hygiene,” Motiani concluded.