JuiceBot Rolls Out Self-Serve Cold-Pressed Fruit Juice Dispenser

Posted On: 6/18/2019

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LOS ANGELES -- Now in operation here in five public locations after extensive trials are five robotic >JuiceBot juice dispensers designed to deliver 100% raw organic juices and smoothies in compostable cups.

Kamal Mohamed, Eric Ploeger and LJ Stead founded JuiceBot with the objective of transforming the distribution system for foods and beverages that have no shelf-life. That meant finding a way to deliver a product that contains no preservatives, emulsifiers or additives.

They have begun with raw, cold-pressed fruit beverages, prepared fresh every day in a commercial kitchen and poured immediately into sterile stainless-steel tanks for transport to the location. These “kegs” are equipped with agitators to keep the particles in suspension. and are held under refrigeration throughout the process, maintaining a cold chain supply from the preparation facility to the JuiceBots in the field.

The inventors worked with a biotechnology company, >PathSensors, to develop a fast food safety test for fresh, raw, unpasteurized foods that can detect path­ogens, like salmonella and listeria, in under 24 hours. (Routine food safety testing generally requires two weeks between submission of the sample and receipt of the test result).

Equipped with this new technology, JuiceBot convinced California to amend its food safety legislation to allow the Department of Public Health to issue a variance for dispensing bulk potentially hazardous food from vending machines. At present, JuiceBot’s fruit drinks are the only products to have received this variance. The company is seeking to develop equivalent fast tests for nut milks, which now must be pasteurized before sale.

Juicebot started an initiative to provide complimentary 100% organic smoothies or cold-press juice to those with a valid CalFresh/ federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card (formerly Food Stamps). This is currently a beta program, part of ongoing trials to move JuiceBot closer to its mission of providing fresh and healthy juice to the people of the community, regardless of socioeconomic status.

“In order to make fresh raw foods as convenient and accessible as getting a soda from a vending machine, we had to rethink and create a new model,” said Kamal Mohamed, chief executive officer of JuiceBot. “The old system favored pre-packaged, longest shelf life, and just mass in general. Our mission is to change the distribution model to fit good healthy food, not the other way around.”

The latest version of JuiceBot vends its fresh juice drinks into compostable cups made out of corn.

“What makes JuiceBot unique is not the machine itself, but rather the whole supply chain from kitchen to Bot,” said Mohamed. “We currently don’t sell the machines; we run everything internally. But that model will change in the future, because the demand is so high from other juice bars in the country and internationally.” The inventors plan to determine all the supply-chain constraints and potential kinks before they offer JuiceBots for sale.