Toronto juice firm backed for ‘cold pasteurization’


A Toronto organic juice processor that bills itself as shunning conventional pasteurization for its products has picked up federal funding to develop a “new-to-Canada” way to extend their shelf life.

The federal government on Friday announced a “repayable investment” of up to $6.3 million from the AgriInnovation program for Greenhouse Juice Co. to set up a “cold pasteurization” system in an expansion of its plant in Mississauga.

The money is expected to go toward “technologies to help increase the shelf life of (Greenhouse’s) organic juices, while maintaining the nutrition and freshness of its products,” the government said.

The company extracts juice from certified-organic fruits and vegetables using only hydraulic pressure, commonly called “cold pressing.”

On its website, the company describes the cold-pressed product as “vibrant, raw juice that stays fresh for three to seven days” without pasteurization.

Pasteurization, Greenhouse said, “has many positive applications,” but alleged it can reduce juices to “the fruit and vegetable equivalent of a zombie.”

The company, on its site, also said it won’t use high-pressure processing (HPP), which can extend a juice’s best-before date by up to 60 days but “requires that juice be bottled in plastic,” where Greenhouse prefers glass containers.

Greenhouse — which on its website says it sources the “majority” of its ingredients from Ontario organic farms when in season — operates several stores, supplies some retailers, juice bars, restaurants and other outlets in the GTA, and delivers directly to consumers via subscription.

“With the facility expansion and the adoption of the cold-pasteurization technology, Greenhouse Juice will purchase significantly more Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables, and produce juice for both Canadian and international markets,” the government said Friday.

Greenhouse didn’t provide any details about the proposed new technology in the government’s release. Elsewhere, the term “cold pasteurization” has been used by some other companies to describe any of several methods such as HPP and/or others that involve electronic pulses or irradiation.

In Canada, irradiation has so far only been approved for use to treat a short list of foods, including potatoes, onions, flour and, most recently, ground beef.

Greenhouse CEO Anthony Green said Friday the AgriInnovation funding “is making it possible for us to integrate innovative technologies from Canada and around the world to create a novel process that will allow us to grow without in any way compromising the quality or sustainability of our products.” — Network

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