Orange juice is the nonalcoholic sweet and tasty fruit drink derived from orange. The global juice industry is estimated at $92 billion. In the Nigerian market, about 930,000 metric tonnes of citrus fruits are produced annually from an estimated three million hectares of land.
Juice processing methodology in Nigeria ranges from individual preparation at home for family consumption to multinational conglomerates using several interconnected high capacity plants. There is a massive demand for fruit juice in Nigeria. With a population of over 165 million people and an estimated national population growth rate of 5.7% per annum, Nigeria has a large market for fruit juice. The consumption of orange juice has increased by approximately 10% per year. It rose from 200 million litres in 2002 to 320 million litres in 2007. The number rose to about 550 million litres in 2017. The national demand for fruit juices annually is presently an estimated of about 550 million litres, while the current supply is estimated at 135 million litres.
Some of the challenges encountered in orange juice production could be seen in the areas of cultivation of oranges, harvesting, post-harvest processing, marketing, and storage. Nevertheless, this article aims at exploring the step-by-step guide to orange juice production, thus, proffering solutions to these challenges. It will also guide you on how to start your own orange juice production business.
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What Is Orange Juice?
Orange juice is a sweet liquid extract of the orange fruit, produced by squeezing or reaming oranges. It comes in several different varieties.
What is Orange Juice Production?
Orange juice production is the extraction of liquid from oranges. It is extracted either by mechanically squeezing or macerating the fruits.
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Business Opportunities in Orange Juice Production
1). Orange Juice as a Sweetener:
Orange juice has lots of nutritional benefits, including for culinary purposes. It is used as the sweetener in smoothies, pastries, soft drinks, and other dishes.
2). Orange Essential Oil Production:
Orange essential oil is extracted as a by-product of orange juice, and it is produced by centrifugation. The oil is used in aromatherapy, as a cleaning agent, for biological pest control, for cosmetics purposes and also for medicinal purposes.
Facts and Benefits of Orange Juice
- The chief soluble solids in orange juice are the soluble carbohydrates.
- The maximum juice yield from an orange is 40 to 60% by weight, depending on the fruit variety and local climate.
- Orange juice is easily digested and brings about a cleansing effect on the blood and the digestive tract.
- Orange juice has a high concentration of vitamin C, but also a very high level of simple sugars, comparable to soft drinks.
- The primary pigment in orange juice producing the orange colour is the carotenoid, β-cryptoxanthin.
- Canned orange juice tends to retain vitamin C much better than that of the bottled juice.
- The canned orange juice loses its flavour when stored at room temperature for more than 12 weeks.
- After the extraction of the juice from an orange, the resulting fruit pulp is a possible livestock feed, and the rind acid (oil) is an expensive commodity in the international market.
- Fresh-squeezed, unpasteurised juice is the closest to taking the orange itself.
- When orange juice is heat-treated, there is an increase in the number of fine particles and a decrease in that of coarse particles.
- The fine particles, in particular, are mainly responsible for the appearance, colour, and flavour of orange juice.
- In orange juice, the pulp is responsible for desirable flow properties, taste, and flavour.
- Orange juice helps in bone formation and gum health
- It prevents bone loss and blood pressure.
- Brazil, China, Mexico, India and the USA are the top producers of orange.
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Types of Orange Juice
1). Freshly Squeezed Juice:
This has an average shelf life of 5 to 6 days. It is not processed thermally, thus satisfying increasing demands for natural products.
2). Not-from-concentrate Juice:
Minimal thermal (heat) treatment is used for this type of juice. It is processed and best stored frozen, or quickly purified and stored in the aseptic form.
3). Frozen concentrate orange juice:
This form is very beneficial for storage and shipment, requiring less than five to six times volume than fresh juice. It consists of a concentrate of a mixture of specified quality from different orange varieties.
How to Start Orange Juice Production in Nigeria: Step-By-Step Guide
There are several requirements for starting orange juice production in Nigeria. First off, there is a need to have a business plan.
1). Sourcing for Raw Materials:
The significant raw material needed is oranges. They should be gotten from a reliable fruit supplier, or you could grow them yourself on private farmland. The former option is recommendable because oranges are abundant nationwide. In selecting the orange fruits, avoid the ones that would deteriorate immediately.
2). Processing The Fruit Juice:
This may include some of the following: Boiler, filling machine, filter press, blender, bowl with water, extractor, cutting boards, knives (stainless steel), peeler, and containers for storing the juice. Wash the oranges thoroughly and peel them. Put the peeled oranges in an extractor and press. Extract the liquid gotten from the fruits and put them into a blender tank. Add other ingredients as so desired. Filter the mixture and transfer it into a container.
If the fruit juice is freshly made and is meant for consumption immediately, preservatives may not be added. This is typical of fruit juice made for immediate consumption at hotels, bars, fast food centres, shopping malls. However, for large quantity productions, which would have a long shelf life, there is the need for added preservatives to keep them in good condition.
Typical packs for orange juice are the tetra pack, cans, bottles (plastic and glass), and pouches.
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Challenges of Orange Juice Production
The challenges of orange juice production include:
- High cost of equipment and machinery
- Oranges are highly perishable
- Low consumer purchasing power
- Orange fruits are seasonal, and this affects the price of orange juice
- Heavy market competition
- Short orange juice shelf life
- Absence of adequate storage facilities
- Marketing challenges
- Difficulty in reaching the international market
- Lack of loans for orange juice investors
- Limited support by the government
- Fluctuations in market prices
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To Sum It Up
Over the past years, the orange juice market has shown substantial growth due to shifting trends among health-conscious consumers from popular carbonated drinks to natural beverages free from flavours, sugars, and preservatives. For entrepreneurs in the industry, fruit juice has excellent potential for export, especially the west coast, where indeed, much export is taking place.
The orange juice production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a business to venture into, the orange juice production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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