Brenntag's Take on Apple Juice Production and Process
Apple Season is here! Since fall is in full swing and apple season is upon us, did you know that globally, apple is the most popular of all juices?
Apple juice seems very simple to most of us. Just squeeze the fruit and get the juice, right? While that might work for a small quantity, it is not feasible when you are processing apples by the ton!
By using enzymes, the world’s leading producers can improve their yield, clarity, and sweetness of the final juice. Brenntag offers a wide variety of enzymes for this application and has the technical expertise to guide you every step of the way.
When working with enzymes there is a lot to consider. What is the difference between the first and last apples picked in a season? How do you maintain consistent clarity or sweetness in your tanks? Everything must be considered. What type of press should you use? How early harvest apples differs from late harvest or stored apples? There is an enzyme for every step of the process. So, let’s look at the Apple Juice Process.
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Steps to the Apple Juice Process
- Visual inspection: Inspect the apples. No moldy apples allowed!
- Washing: Apples are then water-washed for up to 45 minutes. The goal is to remove pesticide and surface dirt. Physical scrubbing is sometimes included and can reduce wash time.
- Mash: The apple is macerated by a grinder or mill. From the washers, the apples are chopped up by a grinder, apple mill, or hammer mill and turned into apple mash. The primary enzymes used in apple juice production are pectinases. A blend of pectin methylesterase and endo-polygalactorunase can increase juice yield during the maceration process. The enzymes reduce stickiness and viscosity without impacting pressablity. Some blends including cellulase and hemicellulase will break down cell walls and improve juice production by at least 5%.
- Press: The mash moves to a hydraulic press to extract the juice. Typical yield is 60-70%. As apples age, they produce less juice and become more sticky and soft. This is the ripening process at work. The pulp residue and water are combined and pressed again. The goal of this is to increase the sweetness, which is measured in Brix. Brix is the measurement scale of soluble solids in a liquid and can go from 12 to 12.3 Brix during this process. In apples, the solids are mostly sugar, so this can be roughly translated as 12 to 12.3% sugar.
- Filtration: The apple juice then goes into holding tanks for sedimentation removal. Sometimes enzymes are added at this stage if they are not added to the mash. The goal of the enzyme addition may be to prevent filter clogging, increase filtration, improved clarity, or filtration rate.
So, enzymes play complex roles in apple juice production. Over the years, scientists have harnessed the power of different enzymes for a variety of food applications. Brenntag North America is one of the largest distributors of enzymes for food and nutrition, among other applications.
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