'The fruit juice is completely hygienic which does not require any preservative as ingredient at all'
Akij Food and Beverage Limited (AFBL), a sister concern of Akij Group, has invested Tk300 crore to establish an aseptic mango juice plant at its Dhamrai factory.
The plant will produce mango juice Frutika and Aafi juice in an aseptic process that prevents any microbiological germs and help the juices remain drinkable without refrigeration for a long time.
“We have installed the plant in September last year and ran it for few days on a trial basis. We found very excellent output,” said Engineer Md Noor Ferdous, senior general manger (head of plant), AFBL.
“The fruit juice is completely hygienic which does not require any preservative as ingredient at all,” he said while talking to a group of journalists at AFBL factory on Sunday.
Besides, the aseptic process did not require any artificial colour or chemical, he added, saying that the plant added a new dimension in the local juice industry.
The plant is the largest aseptic plant in Asia with capacity of mixing 135,000 litre ingredients at a time in three hours, and filling and labeling 1,296,000 pieces of bottles per day.
“We invested Tk300 crore for installing the plant after realizing that the market has lack of quality juice products despite having a growing demand,” the official said.
Ferdous informed that the AFBL would shift to the aseptic plant fully for its juice production from next month.
Akij produces juice and markets those with the two brand names – Frutika and Aafi. Frutika is for domestic market and Aafi for export purpose. The company exports fruit juices in 22 countries, including Middle Eastern countries.
The juice manufacturing process starts with checking mango pulp by chemical engineers. The pulps are produced in aseptic process at a separate factory named Akij Agro Processing Farm (AAPP) located in Chapainawabganj.
After being checked, the pulp goes to mixture plant and is blended with other ingredients including water, sugar, salt, flavor, citric acid and food-grade colour.
The amount of mango in the juice is 14%, an AFBL official says.
The automated plant does not function if there is any air or dust in the mixture plant and thus the juices remain germ-free.