Metro stations offer healthy beverage choices

Akshara Srivastava, Bharat Sharma

Chennai, Feb 15: Orange juice vending machines have started showing up at metro stations across the city, as part of Chennai Metro Rail Corporation’s (CMRL) efforts to make station food and beverage offerings diverse and healthier.

O. Jooz, at the Corporation’s ambitious machine squeezes fresh juice with no human intervention in less than 40 seconds.

At Rs. 100 a glass, it is not the cheapest alternative. However, unlike most vendors who use traditional juicers and fruit concentrate, the machine is entirely waste-free and has no additives.

A fairly new technology, it is the first of its kind in India and is imported from Singapore.

The vending machine cum juicer is designed to allow a transparent view of the juicing process. From skinning to squeezing, one can witness every step of the preparation.

According to Karuppusamy Andi, who works for O. Jooz, there are currently 20 juice machines across the Metro line.”These machines are located at stations like Central and Vadapalani. The feedback has been positive so we are looking to expand slowly but surely”, he said. The machines are washed and topped up every day.

The juice remains consumable if stored between 3-6 degree Celsius. It has no added sugar or preservatives, which is usually the case with packaged juices.

An O.Jooz kiosk at Chennai Central.

According to Rathinam Devendrar a daily Metro commuter, the machine has eradicated his dependence on carbonated cola drinks. “I drink this juice every day. It is a little pricey, but better than Pepsi which is simply unhealthy… It refreshes me but also makes me feel healthy…”, he said.

The Chennai Metro Rail Corporation (CMRL) has vending machines that sell carbonated drinks at every platform. However, this venture is part of its attempts to make stations offer instant healthy beverage alternatives.

Shruthi, Assistant Public Relations Manager, CMRL claimed that more healthy options will start showing up at stations soon. “This is just the start. Soon, one will be able to find mega chains like Subway and local chains like A2B at stations… However, we prefer more mechanised options… whereby vending machine technology is utilised to the max”, she said. They’re in talks to procure coconut water and salad vending machines soon.

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