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The challenge

Consumer trends and fruit juices

Preshafruit single variety, high pressure processed apple juice  ©Preshafruit
Preshafruit single variety, high pressure processed apple juice ©Preshafruit

New food and drink experiences, exciting flavours, healthier choices and convenient packaging are key ongoing consumer trends.

Food and beverage manufacturing companies are constantly striving towards meeting consumer demands such as these.

However, most fruit juices in the past were reconstituted, had preservatives added and were heat treated, which although makes juice safe to drink, can change the natural taste and colour of juice and destroy some nutrients.

Our response

The benefits of high pressure processing

A small Victorian company, Preshafood, worked with CSIRO to develop premium fruit juices that are pasteurised using high pressure processing (HPP) instead of heat.

HPP is an emerging technology that uses very high pressures to kill yeasts, moulds and bacteria.

The technology has the potential to extend the shelf-life of chilled perishable products and provide improved safety, taste, texture, quality, fresh-like characteristics and nutritional value, without having to use chemical preservatives.

CSIRO are world leaders in the development and implementation of HPP technology in not only juices but also across a range of product categories such as meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetable products, meal solutions, dips and sauces.

In a world first, Preshafood started by manufacturing single variety apple juices such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Royal Gala and more in distinctive triangular shaped bottles.

[Music plays and text appears: Preshfood, High pressure innovation]

 [Images show male walking into factory building and through factory. Image changes to show Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

 Alastair Mclachlan: We produce a range of products including single variety apple juices, vegetable juices and smoothies.

 [Images flash through various factory processes]

Our life began at the CSIRO. The initial production occurred in the CSIRO food sciences labs. We were really looking for a product that nobody had ever experienced before. To provide shelf life, traditional processes have to heat their products or add preservatives which destroys the nutrition, taste, colour and flavour of juices.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

We don’t have to do that at all.

[Image shows factory machinery]

HPP is an emerging technology that uses extremely high pressure rather than heat to kill yeasts, mould and bacteria.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

The unique benefits of HPP are that it gives chilled foods an extended shelf life and doesn’t affect the flavour, colour and nutritional value. It’s all about taste and once you taste it you’ll never go back.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

The success of Preshafruit juices is great for everyone.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

From growers to bottle suppliers, carton manufacturers, everyone has been able to participate in the success. Recently we’ve worked with one of our major suppliers Montagues. Using our technology we’ve been able to develop a Jazz single variety apple juice that has spectacular taste.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

We see working together with Montagues as an excellent opportunity to provide the market with another superior apple juice.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

Over the past six months we’ve doubled the size of the factory, added a second HPP machine and this has resulted in 20 additional employees and significantly more opportunity for growth in the business over the next four to five years.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

Over the last few years we’ve been developing the market in Asia because there are very few other products that are of similar quality in their markets.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

So we see over the next five years many opportunities to grow those markets with a super premium juice that they’ve never experienced previously.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

Preshafood is living proof that you can work with the CSIRO to develop super premium products that have not been available to the Australian market or world markets in the past.

[Images flash through various factory processes. Image changes back to Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

One thing that I am sure of is we would never be in the position that we are now if we didn’t start with the collaborative work with CSIRO.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood standing in front of Preshafood factory]

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here]

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The results

High pressure processing and Preshafruit juices

Owing to HPP, Preshafruit juices retain the taste, colour and fresh-like characteristics of fruit and can be stored up to five times longer than other chilled juices.

The company has expanded into seasonal juice blends, smoothies and vegetable juices, which are sold in supermarkets nationally. They are also increasing their sales in Asia, where the consumer demand for premium Australian food and beverages is high and there are still few similar quality juice products competing with Preshafruit juices.

The company has gone from starting life in our world class pilot plant in Werribee to recently expanding their investment in HPP technology and becoming the largest HPP operation in Australia, creating new jobs and growing sales both in Australia and in export markets.

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