Squeezing the 100% Truth Out of Fruit Juice

Imagine for a moment, It’s Saturday morning, and you’ve just poured yourself a refreshing glass of fresh juice. That initial gulp is so satisfying as you quench your thirst. Have you ever paused and asked yourself, how is this juice produced? It tastes great and says it’s 100% juice on the bottle, but what’s the whole story?

Commercial juice producers such as Tropicana, Minute Maid, and Ocean Spray among many others, claim that their pasteurized, 100% not from concentrate juice is pure and simple. However, some of the juicy details of how the juice is produced is conveniently left unsaid. How can this be? Fresh squeezed juice should be simple to make. Take fruit and squeeze to extract the juice and pulp right?

First, oxygen is removed from mass produced juice as this increases its shelf life up to one year. Big deal, the oxygen is removed, why do I care? The oxygen can be re-added prior to delivering to the grocery store right? The issue is that removing the oxygen also removes flavor. How is the removed flavor added back to our precious morning beverage?

The answer is with flavor and fragrance companies that produce flavor packs to give the juice its aroma and flavor. The flavor packs vary depending on region. For example, the flavor is slightly different in the United States than countries in South America such as Brazil due to different consumer palates. These companies often produce perfumes and fragrances.

The flavor packs can be omitted from the ingredient list because they are derived from byproducts of actual fruit. Again, the label says that the juice is 100% juice, but what about the flavor? Is this ethical? Is this deceiving? Should these companies inform their consumers that they are drinking re-flavored juice?

References:

Hamilton, A. (May 6, 2009). Freshly Squeezed: The Truth About Orange Juice in Boxes. Retrieved from http://civileats.com/2009/05/06/freshly-squeezed-the-truth-about-orange-juice-in-boxes/
Chan, C. (2011). Dirty Little Secret: Orange Juice IS Artificially Flavored to Taste Like Oranges. Retrieved From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/100-percent-orange-juice-artificial_n_913395.html

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5 Responses to Squeezing the 100% Truth Out of Fruit Juice

  1. Ashley Jiang says:

    This is a very interesting topic, which reminds me of the article by Andrea Whitfill talking about how big corporates are using all these deceptive and unsubstantiated health claims to drive sales. She said, “Marketing strategies have been fooling us to trust that the niche brands continue to be small, environmentally conscious businesses that combine ecologically sound practices with a political agenda to put products out on the market under a business model of “the Greater Good.”

    I think by no means would these big corporations speak out the “Truth” because that’s the way they’re making money, but for small, really organic and “real food” companies, they can try to occupy the niche market by branding themselves as the “Real Food Provider.” For example, Tillamook has done the campaign to raise consumers’ awareness of those “fake” cheese and diary products; instead, they focus on the local farmers and food processing. These small brands can be the one that challenges the industry while educating consumers about the big corporates’ lies.

  2. pfistere says:

    Unfortunately this is a sad reality of not only the food industry, but industry at large. As consumers, it’s becoming increasingly important that we question products and read between the lines. In order to drive profits, attract a target audience and ultimately improve sales, companies will bend the rules in order to optimize competitive advantage. It’s all a business. I don’t think it’s ethical and labels can certainly be deceiving, particularly when it comes to “organic” and “all natural” foods. However, these labels are unlikely to change in the near future. Therefore, the consumer has some responsibility to self-educate and take initiative when choosing products, whether it be juice, or even media. Our purchasing power and what we choose to invest in are the most powerful tools we have as consumers. To some extent, each purchase is a vote for what we believe in.

  3. labbasi says:

    It is crazy how much marketing strategies are about deception and looking the other way. I don’t find it ethical at all. I feel many healthy food items end up being worse for you by all the deception and advertising around it. As soon as the organic stamp/sign is above an item, it is considered healthy. Not many consumers are looking at the small details since we are trained 100% real juice or organic signs are all we need to know what to eat right. It seems to be that the only way for any juice to be 100% real and fruit is if we make it ourselves!

  4. ruoqihao says:

    It is so obvious that we consider commercials lying or cheating as unethical advertising. It is hard for general audience to notice a commercial as unethical when it hides certain facts. Commericals work for brands and what brands want initially is profit. If certain truth would bother their way of selling, why expose, they may think. I am wondering if commercials work for brands, who would protect consumers. One may say “Regulations”. But if regulation could work, what about the procedure of making so called 100% juice.

  5. sunniexyy says:

    Maybe it has become a common view that information from advertisement can not be fully trusted. Surely the information is not totally deceptive or wrong in most cases, but advertisements tend to present the information in a more cunning way so as to lead customers to form certain opinions.
    Today, the voices get more diverse and opinions from different sources can spread at a rapid speed on social media or the Internet. Customers are not getting messages only from the advertisements and there are many sources through which customers can verify the information presented in them. Therefore, it comes with risk if brands continue to convey these relatively unethical messages.
    Authentic messages build better relationships. If brands want to have a strong and long-term relationship with customers, they had better give up the deceptive information and these cunning tactics.