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International orange juice production is estimated at 1.75 million tons.

Orange juice output for all major producing countries is put at about 1.75 million tons for 1991-92 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), up slightly from 1.74 million during 1990-91, but still far from the record 1.97 million set in 1988-89.

Brazil, at a projected 925,000 tons, up from 905,000, accounts for more than half the world's production; and at a projected 900,000 tons (down from 925,000) dominates the world export trade put at 1. I million tons (off from 1.16 million).

USDA figures are in terms of frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) at 65 degrees Brix, and while they include "all processed orange juice whether or not concentrated," the lion's share of production and virtually all exports can be considered to be FCOJ. Because the northern and southern hemispheres have different growing and marketing seasons, the world totals do not all reflect the same period.

United States (mostly Florida) output for 1991-92 is projected at 775,000 tons, down from 784,000 for 1990-91, with both imports and exports expected to decline. Running a distant third in OJ production is Italy, at a projected 35,000 tons for 1991-92, up from 31,000 in 1990-91. Israel, which has traditionally been Europe's second largest supplier, next to Brazil, has experienced declining output: off from 61,000 tons in 1989-90 to 39,500 in 1990-91 and a projected 24,000 for 1991-92. The worst winter weather in 100 years devastated the Israeli industry in 1991-92. Other producers include Mexico, Spain, Morocco, South Africa, Argentina and Greece.

Germany has overtaken the U.S. as the largest single importer, at nearly 259,000 tons projected for 1991-92 up from 252,000), vs. 225,000 (down from 233,000). But the fastest-growing importer is Japan, where purchases rose from 28,000 to 37,000 tons in 1990-91, with a projection for 1991-92 of 60,000. Japanese consumption increased during the same period from 27,000 to 35,000 tons, and it is expected to reach 58,000 this year. Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden are other significant importers. Raw figures actually show the Netherlands as top importer, but most of the FCOJ shipped there is re-exported - especially to Germany

For the calendar year of 1990, Brazilian exports were 953,936 tons, a sharp jump from 724,533 the year before. For 1991, the USDA has figures only through November, with a total of 836,116. The United States accounted for 404,726 tons in 1990 and 270,366 for eleven months of 1991, vs. 463,718 and 438,480 for the European Community South Korea is showing the biggest increase in imports from Brazil - at 35,124 tons for eleven months of 1991 vs. 15,444 for all of 1990. But Japan is also increasing its imports - 23,268 tons for eleven months of 1991 vs. 20,625 for all of 1990. Canada imported 47,574 tons of Brazilian FCOJ for the eleven months of 1991, vs. 34,670 in 1990. Other Brazilian export markets are non-EEC European countries (a mere 6,034 tons through November 1991), Australia and New Zealand.

World supplies were tighter last year, with a carryover of 230,215 tons estimated for 1991-92 vs. 244,705 for 1990-91 and 349,822 for 1989-90. The smaller - by 40,000 tons - 1991-92 carryover for Brazil forced a cutback in exports, despite increased production there. An unexpectedly late harvest was apparently responsible for a projected decrease in FCOJ yield from 4.19 to 3.91 Kg a box (230 million boxes were allocated to FCOJ for 1991-92, vs. 210 million for 1990-91).

But the 1992 Brazilian harvest was so huge that, combined with a bumper crop expected in Florida, it is sending prices sinking again (They were already in the basement for most of 1991 in the U.S., although they rose somewhat toward the end of the year).

The pending North American free trade treaty could have an impact on the future of the FCOJ trade. With an end to trade barriers between the U.S. and Mexico, plus a more receptive attitude in Mexico towards U.S. investment, there could be a move to develop orange plantations and FCOJ processing in Mexico in competition with Brazil.

Coca Cola Co., which owns Minute Maid, has already invested in land in Belize for future orange groves. Given the opportunity, it might well do the same in Mexico.

Fresher-Tasting FCOJ? Use Ultra

Filtration, Reverse Osmosis

Frozen orange juice can taste a lot more like fresh now, thanks to recent advances in processing technology that sharply reduce the use of heat during the concentration process and restore natural essences previously lost in the process, according to Dr. Nazmy Elewhany, who heads the Elewhany Associates consulting firm in Oxford, Maryland, USA.

Ultra Filtration and Reverse Osmosis are the related advances that should revolutionize the frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) industry The first removes volatile essences that give fresh juice its flavor and aroma during the concentration process, while the second restores them. Newly-developed cross-flow techniques and specialized membranes have changed the essence of filtration.

Conventional filtration can be blocked by build-up of solids on the surface of the membrane - that makes it impractical for concentrating orange juice. But under cross-flow techniques, a liquid is conveyed at high speed across a membrane under pressures high enough to force some of it through without a build-up of solids on the surface. If the feed is continuously recycling, a loop is formed and the solids remain suspended as more of the liquid goes through the membrane on each pass. Eventually, virtually all the solids are separated.

Over the past 20 years, Elewhany related, membranes have progressively become more precisely selective and durable - now it is possible to produce asymmetric membranes of more than one material. The thin surface material gives such membranes their selectively; while the more open, porous layers reduce the hydraulic resistance and increase the capacity Using cross-flow techniques, such membranes can separate single-strength orange juice into two flows - a clarified serum containing delicate flavor components, and a concentrated pulp that includes all suspended solids, bacteria, molds, yeasts and pectins.

Only the pulp stream - five percent of the total - has to be pasteurized. The clarified juice serum, meanwhile, is gently concentrated through reverse osmosis. Normally, when a semi-permeable membrane separates water from juice, the water passes through to dilute the juice through direct osmosis. If enough pressure is applied to the juice side, however, the water will change direction - flowing to the water side and leaving a more concentrated juice behind. The clarified, concentrated serum can then be blended back with the pasteurized pulp to produce a high-quality FCOJ, only five percent of which has been heat-treated.
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Title Annotation:US Dept. of Agriculture report
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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