DANBURY, Conn., November 14, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) today announced that it has successfully completed on-site microbial validation for its non-thermal Better Than Fresh™ beverage treatment process as required by the FDA Juice HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) Regulation. The Better Than Fresh system installed at Sun Orchard Inc.’s Haines City, Florida facility uses dense-phase carbon dioxide (CO2) to kill pathogens and spoilage microorganisms while maintaining the fresh-squeezed quality of orange juice. The juice produced using the Better Than Fresh process will be marketed by retailers as a premium product in the $4.4 billion U.S. refrigerated juice market.
"The completion of the on-site validation of the Better Than Fresh process is a major step in the final development and introduction of the new juice product line to the marketplace," said Marc Isaacs, Sun Orchard president and CEO. "The resulting juice product will provide the retail consumer with a fresh tasting alternative to fresh and not-from-concentrate (NFC) juices found in the grocer’s dairy and produce departments."
"This is an important milestone in the continuing commercialization of the Better Than Fresh process," stated Sam Johnston, Praxair business development manager. "This on-site microbial validation confirms that the Better Than Fresh process meets food safety guidelines for orange juice."
Sun Orchard, Inc. is a privately held company that specializes in the manufacture and national distribution of premium citrus juices, lemonades, bar and margarita mixes with a primary focus on the food-service industry. Sun Orchard has two, year-round manufacturing facilities (Tempe, Arizona and Haines City, Florida) and one seasonal facility (Strathmore, California).
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.