The promise of endlessly recycled PET plastic is one step closer today, as the Consortium – Carbios, L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe – announces the successful production of the world’s first food-grade PET plastic bottles produced entirely from enzymatically recycled plastic.
Each Consortium company has successfully manufactured sample bottles – based on Carbios’ enzymatic PET recycling technology – for some of their leading products including: Biotherm®, Perrier®, Pepsi Max®* and Orangina®.
Today’s announcement is the culmination of nearly 10 years’ research and development by Carbios to create a new process and supercharge an enzyme naturally occurring in compost heaps that normally breaks down leaf membranes of dead plants. By adapting this enzyme, Carbios has fine-tuned the technology and optimized this enzyme to break down any kind of PET plastic (regardless of color or complexity) into its building blocks, which can then be turned back into like-new, virgin-quality plastic.
Carbios’ patented enzymatic PET recycling process enables a wide variety of PET plastics to be recycled into virgin quality, food grade rPET. PET plastics that would otherwise go to waste or be incinerated, can now be brought back into a continuous circular system of recycling. And this can be achieved at high speed – breaking down 97 % of plastic in just 16 hours – 10,000 times more efficient than any biological plastic recycling trial to date (peer-reviewed article in Nature).
Together, these brands will work to scale this innovation to help meet the global demand for sustainable packaging solutions. In September 2021, Carbios will break ground on a demonstration plant, before launching a 40,000 tons capacity industrial facility, by 2025.
Enzymatic recycling overcomes the issue of degradation in conventional recycling and can be used on any type of PET plastic. Because Carbios’ recycling process works under mild conditions, it also lowers the carbon footprint of PET waste treatment by saving 30 % of CO2 emissions compared to a conventional end of life mix of incineration and landfill, taking virgin PET production substitution into account.**
The successful completion of these initial food-grade bottles is a major milestone in the Consortium’s validation of Carbios’ technology. This partnership is part of a growing trend amongst brands to collaborate across industries to tackle these global challenges, working towards a world of circularity, where we limit the production of virgin plastic.
Carbios will license its technology to PET manufacturers worldwide, accelerating the global adoption of enzymatic recycling for all kinds of PET based products.
*Pepsi Max® also known as Pepsi Black or Pepsi Zero Sugar in other global markets.
**Preliminary Life Cycle Assessment of Carbios PET recycling process, 2021
As the market for oat drinks grows, Novozymes has developed a new toolbox to guide producers to expand their businesses into oat drinks.
Half a billion people worldwide are either vegan or vegetarian, 26 % of millennials have already embraced this lifestyle and 73 % among them are willing to pay more for sustainable food and drinks1. The combination of these trends is giving the sale of oat drinks a boost, with an expected growth of 30 % a year2.
“A new market is opening up and booming. To help dairies and beverage producers expand their portfolio and create new types of oat drinks, we have developed a toolbox that can help them expand their business into this new territory,” says Alessandro Palumbo, Market Development Manager at Novozymes.
Oat drinks is the fastest growing category in the plant based beverage segment. This is mainly due to the fact that oat drinks have one of the best nutritional profiles among dairy alternatives. Oat drinks is also known for its benefits when it comes to sustainability.
In spite of huge interest and a growing market, a study finds only 2 in 10 consumers think that plant protein is extremely good tasting2.
“The fast-growing demand gives producers the opportunity to develop and market new types of oat drinks. But at the same time, it’s also a challenge to come up with products that match the consumer’s taste and preference,” Alessandro Palumbo says.
Speed up development and help match consumer’s taste and preference
The new enzymatic toolbox is developed by Novozymes and is the first of its kind. It provides insights into how to use and combine enzymes, raw material and production parameters to adjust sweetness, mouthfeel and nutritional profile in oat drinks. It also provides insights for producers into how to optimize the production process and save costs.
“The toolbox gives dairy and beverage producers the opportunity to develop the oat drinks consumers want. By teaming up with Novozymes, they will be able to select the flavor and nutritional profile of their drink, starting from a prototype and quickly scale it up using the perfect combination of enzymes, raw materials and equipment,” says Alessandro Palumbo.
“This will help them to speed up the go-to-market process while reducing their risks related to new product development”.
By working with Novozymes, producers will also have access to a team of experts, who can provide 360° technical support from raw material to finished product. The toolbox can be accessed from here.
1Vegans, millennials and willingness to pay a premium
2Findings from Quid platform on healthy eating and a Novozymes’ plant protein consumer research conducted in the USA in December 2018 with an online panel of 1,000 respondents, carried out by Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
Patented natural process converts sugar to fibers in just one-step
Better Juice Ltd. has developed innovative technology to reduce the load of simple sugars in orange juice. The patent-pending enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert monosaccharides and disaccharides (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) into prebiotic and other non-digestible fibers and sugars, while keeping the juicy flavor of the beverage.
Popular juices, such as orange juice and apple juice, have nearly 1 oz. (25 g) of sugar per 1-cup serving (250 ml). Although juice contains the vitamins and minerals you’d find in fresh produce, it’s devoid of most of the natural dietary fiber as an outcome of traditional methods of juicing. In addition to its intrinsic health benefits, fiber also adds to the feeling of fullness.
Better Juice’s process harnesses a natural enzymatic activity in non-GMO microorganisms to convert a portion of the simple fructose, glucose, and sucrose sugars into fibers and other non-digestible natural sugars. The process works on all types of sugars. Yet the process preserves the great flavor and the full complement of vitamins and other nutrients inherent in the fruits. The technology was developed in collaboration with Hebrew University in Rehovot, Israel.
“This natural a non fermentative process occurs without adding or removing ingredients,” says Eran Blachinsky, PhD, Founder and CEO of Better Juice. “It also will not alter the flavor or aroma of the juice.” Better Juice uses an advanced solution that involves just one short and simple pass-through step in the juice-making process, allowing the product to be marketed at a price point comparable to other premium juice products.
”While the process does slightly reduce the sweetness of the juice,” explains Blachinsky, “It actually brings out more of the fruit flavor, making for a better-tasting juice product overall.”
Better Juice conducted several trials with different beverage companies and succeeded in reducing sugars in orange juice from 30 %, up to 80 %. The start-up can now provide proof of concept for orange juice.
Mono-and disaccharides – often called “simple sugars” – are easy for the body to digest and thus quickly metabolized. If the energy they provide can’t be used, it is converted to fat and stored. But when these individual sugar molecules link up, they become prebiotic fibers that are non-digestible. The shorter of these fibers, called oliggosaccharides, are still sweet yet have been shown to bestow a number of health benefits, from protecting against disease to helping manage weight. There are other natural monosaccharides that are not easily digested. These sugars have no glycemic index and low caloric values.
“Consumers, especially children, enjoy drinking natural juices but are not always aware of the less nutritious aspects of juice,” notes Blachinsky. “They want the whole package — great flavor, health, and natural ingredients, including the fibers that are essential part of fruits.”
The company will market an advanced device with the unique technology to fruit juice producers and, eventually, to cafés and restaurants.