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According to a WWF study, 42 percent of all cultivated fruits and vegetables worldwide are thrown away every year – even though they are eminently suitable for further processing. The Swedish company RSCUED wants to change this and has appointed itself fruit rescuers. Their business concept is as sustainable as it is unconventional and requires a special solution. This has now been delivered to them by the technology group GEA. With the innovative vacuum juicer GEA vaculiq, RSCUED can produce high-quality juices in the shortest possible time from raw materials that would otherwise have fallen victim to waste. The icing on the cake: the waste from production is also recycled into valuable fertilizer.

Shoulder to shoulder with the fruit rescuers: How a Swedish juice producer prevents food waste with GEA technology
The GEA vaculiq 100 vacuum spiral filter (left) and the GEA MultiCrush milling system are pre-assembled on movable skids and can be used flexibly. (Photo: GEA)

On its way to food recycling, RSCUED has taken a big step forward together with the technical solution from GEA. “The advantages of the GEA skid for us were the very short processing time, efficiency, high product quality and flexibility. We need to be able to respond to seasonal supply just as quickly as to fluctuating incoming goods,” explains Truls Christenson, co-founder of RSCUED. This is because the company receives the fruit and vegetables sorted out for regular trade via donations from wholesalers, supermarkets, farms and delivery services. Private individuals who have larger quantities from their gardens also participate in RSCUED’s appeal.

GEA vaculiq with its vacuum spiral filter delivers the desired flexibility in full measure: The system processes a ton of fruit or vegetables within about twenty minutes and cleaning the system between productions takes just five minutes. Different varieties can thus be turned into high-quality juice in quick succession. And it does so with maximum yield: in the first test phase, RSCUED was able to produce twice as much juice compared to its previously used press. With a capacity of up to 1,800 liters per hour, RSCUED is now able to easily increase its production in the future thanks to GEA vaculiq and is also capable of receiving goods – besides Sweden – from all over Northern Europe.

Shoulder to shoulder with the fruit rescuers: How a Swedish juice producer prevents food waste with GEA technology
RSCUED juices are becoming increasingly popular with customers. (Photo: RSCUED)

In addition, GEA’s vacuum spiral filter technology was convincing in terms of quality. With this juicing method, the products do not come into contact with oxygen, which is known to have unfavorable effects on vegetables and fruits. In addition, the gentle process preserves all healthy vitamins and secondary plant nutrients. Finally, the juice produced with GEA vaculiq not only looks better, it also tastes fresher and has a longer shelf life. “GEA’s overall concept is therefore an innovative and unique solution for us in the field of sustainable, industrial juice production,” adds Truls Christenson.

All’s well that ends well

And so the circle closes for GEA and RSCUED: The dry mash discharged by the vaculiq plant, together with remaining rejects, is ideally suited as a basis for fertilizer – which, as is well known, promotes the growth of new fruits and vegetables. This fertilizer is finally distributed through a large garden center chain in Sweden.

“When we founded RSCUED as a start-up seven years ago, we had the vision to stop the waste madness. Together with GEA, we have now been able to realize this on a higher level. With the new GEA vaculiq 100 vacuum juicer and the multiCrush milling system from GEA, we are very well positioned and can develop our production excellently”, says Truls Christenson. “And the faster, more flexible and more productive we are at RSCUED – the more we contribute to sustainability for a healthier planet.”

About RSCUED
RSCUED was founded in Helsingborg in 2015 as a start-up. The company employs around 15 staff members and expects revenues of EUR 3,2 million in 2022. The company’s purpose is to rescue all kind of fruit and vegetables which would otherwise be wasted. RSCUED receives the fruit and vegetables sorted out for regular trade via donations from wholesalers, supermarkets, farms and delivery services from Sweden as well as Northern Europe. The products are sold via their webshop as well as in selected grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants and in Sweden. Learn more here: rscued.se.

The World Citrus Organisation (WCO) Secretariat, together with its partner Fruitnet Media International, is finalising preparations for the first edition of the Global Citrus Congress, which will take place on 5 November 2020. The Global Citrus Congress will bring together the citrus community to discuss the current trends, challenges and opportunities for the citrus sector. More than 300 participants from across the globe have already registered to attend the virtual congress.

The programme of the first edition of the Global Citrus Congress 2020 will highlight the key areas of interest for the sector. This will include production and marketing trends, facilitating cooperation between suppliers and retailers to add value to the citrus category, new technologies and supply chain innovation helping citrus producers and marketers to respond to consumer demands towards increased sustainability, and harnessing the nutritional power of citrus to develop more effective marketing campaigns. Confirmed speakers include top representatives from the global citrus community, including Ms Naomi Pendleton from AM FRESH Group, Mr Jose Luis Molina from Hispatec, Mr John Chamberlain from Limoneira and Stephan Wesit from Rewe.

WCO Co-Chair and Director of AILIMPO Jose Antonio Garcia affirmed, “There is no doubt that this first edition of the Global Citrus Congress will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss the challenges of the future and consolidate the role of the World Citrus Organisation as a meeting point for the great citrus fruit family. Cooperation, communication and constructive debate are the key to tomorrow’s  success as these are the objectives of the Global Citrus Congress”. WCO Co-Chair and CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa Justin Chadwick added “As the World Citrus Organisation goes from strength to strength in terms of membership, this Congress will share important global citrus information and the views of leading actors in the sector. It is an event not to be missed”.

The Global Citrus Congress will be available live in both English and Spanish, and is free to join online and open to anyone with a smartphone or laptop and a high-speed internet connection. Registrations are still open at www.citruscongress.com.

Berlin startup share is the first beverage producer in Germany to sell its water in PET bottles made of 100 % recyclate. With its expertise from the Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program the KHS group supported the company by helping to design and develop the bottle in a very short time indeed.

The plans are ambitious: in 2019 share wants to fill water into about a million bottles a month made entirely of recycled PET and thus save over 200 metric tons of plastic waste a year, according to the company. For several weeks now the product has been on sale at Germany’s supermarket chain REWE and drug store dm and has caused quite a stir in the media. “It took a long time for the original idea to be implemented,” says Iris Braun, head of Product and Social Projects at share. “Finalizing the technology and obtaining certification are both lengthy processes. Your partners are thus crucial.” Besides the two aforementioned retailers share’s other partners are bottler Mineralbrunnen Allgäuer Alpenwasser and preform manufacturer Plastipack, which is also the world’s biggest converter. KHS Corpoplast was also largely instrumental in the implementation of the project.

Experience from over 4,000 realized bottle designs

The German engineering company supported the startup in several ways, including in the development of the recyclate bottle design, states Marc Eysel, who is responsible for sales in Northern Europe at KHS Corpoplast. “We implemented the development very quickly and worked on a suitable design together,” he says. Thanks to its holistic Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program the systems supplier was able to contribute to the share project experience drawn from over 4,000 designed bottles. “KHS developed the bottle very quickly for us which was enormously helpful,” says Braun. Eysel states that there were no unusual hurdles or challenges to be overcome through the use of 100 % recyclate. “Manufacture is actually simpler as the material’s darker color makes the preforms easier to heat than PET bottles made of virgin material.” Besides providing advice on the bottle design KHS also helps with production. share’s still and carbonated water is bottled at the Allgäuer Alpenwasser bottling plant in Oberstaufen using KHS technology. The bottles are blown on an InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder, with no special adaptations to the system necessary, according to Eysel.

Following the market launch of the recyclate bottle, interest is now also growing among other beverage producers, emphasize Braun and Eysel. “A number of bottlers wishing to increase the amount of recycled PET they use have now contacted us,” claims Eysel. “The protection of the environment also plays an important role at KHS. We support this by providing resource-saving plant engineering and also by developing sustainable PET bottles.” share hopes that it has provided the right incentives for more sustainability, states Braun. “In the end it’s the consumer who decides.”