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?
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