What IS in your 100 per cent pure, natural OJ How juices are held in tanks for up to a year and heavily processed
A glass of OJ is a morning ritual to many.
Many brands of orange juice will say that they contain, simply, oranges – and profess to being “not from concentrate” and “100 per cent pure squeezed fruit.”
The truth may be far more complex, with many premium brands adding undisclosed, but naturally derived, chemicals to the manufacturing process in a bid to ensure consistency of flavour and quality.
Fresh Some juices are stored for up to a year, with added “flavour packs” – a concern to some – boosting their taste before being packaged
According to ABC news, the hidden “flavour packs” that are added to packaged orange juices, such as Tropicana, Florida Natural and Minute Maid after the pasteurisation and storage process are posing a health concern to some.
The added flavours, fully approved by the FDA and made by capturing natural aromas that leave juice in the pasteurisation process, are termed as “orange” and so are not mentioned on ingredients lists – a false impression that some mothers are taking to task.
Mother and food writer Natalya Murakhver, 40, said she will be buying a juicer and feels she has been misled by the lack of transparency on her favourite brand”s label. “It”s arguable if it”s bad for you or not. Still, it”s a secret ingredient and no one seems to know about it.
“”Oranges” is all it says on the label – a perfect product,” she told the site.
Manufacturers are likely to agree that their product is “perfect.”
Kristen Gunter, executive director of the Florida Citrus Processors Association, explained that by blending various stored batches and adding a naturally made flavour pack, juice companies are able to provide a consistent product all year round.
“You buy branded orange juice, you kind of want it to taste, generally, the same. That expectation is met by blending different varieties and, in order to blend, storage is involved,” she told the network.
100 per cent pure Tropicana orange juice uses flavour packs
Storage can last for up to a year in million-litre, de-aerated, vats. The juice loses its full body in the process and so needs re-invigorating with flavour packs after blending. It all sounds a long way off from the “100 per cent natural” label customers buy into at around $4 a time.
While derived from oranges, the flavour chemicals are so highly sophisticated that they “do not exist in nature,” Alissa Hamilton, formerly of the Institute of Agriculture and Trade, told the network.
Major juice manufacturers maintain, however, that the added flavour, a key stage in the treatment of pasteurised juices, is entirely natural.
“It”s not made in a lab or made in a chemical process, but comes through the physical process of boiling and capturing the [orange essence].”
Safety and freshness-wise, pasteurisation and its associated manufacturing techniques are essential for many food producers – and customers may unknowingly come across “secret ingredients” many times a day.
Freshly squeezed (unpasteurised) juices come with the risk of bacteria, according to the ABC.
Mother-of-two Yujin Kim, from New York, told the network that she intends to use a juice machine rather than buying juices since learning of the production of “not from concentrate” juice brands.
“It”snot arsenic but still something I didn”t know I was drinking, so I ended up researching juice machines and bought one today,” the 36-year-old told the news site.
“I definitely will not be buying any juice from now on.”
Of course, peeling and eating an orange is a fail-safe way to boost vitamin levels and fibre levels – and comes with no “flavour pack” worries.