A Review of Juices
Daily we go to the supermarket and we see all sorts of drink products that are packaged and sold as “juices”. But are they truly real juices? Here is a quick review of juices in general, to help you as you make your supermarket purchases and decide on necessary nutrition for you and your family.
Typically when you see drink products with this labeling, it usually means that the item is all juice, without the fibrous pulp. Typically, such juices are pasteurized in order to destroy harmful microorganisms such as E-Coli. For some older pasteurization techniques however, the flavor can be lost and it is then added back via artificial means.
Made From Concentrate
Juices with “Made From Concentrate” labels typically mean freshly squeezed juice which is pasteurized, then evaporated under vacuum heat (to remove most of the water). It is then frozen. The juice is concentrated to approximately 65 per cent brix (brix indicates the sugar concentration), the evaporation not only removes water but also essential oils which add to flavor. The oils are re-added at the end of the process in order to restore flavor. Water is added to the concentrate in order to take it to a brix level of 42 per cent (three times sweeter than fresh juice) before it is frozen into concentrate that is ready for sale. The frozen concentrate can simply be reconstituted by adding water.
No Sugar Added
“No Sugar Added” juices will likely be either 100 per cent juice, or juice from concentrate which is sold without sugar being added to the processing. With this labeling, the manufacturer is stating that they did not add sugar during the product’s processing.
My thoughts on the whole issue of juices? Why not consume whole fruit instead? Whole fruit are more advantageous over juices in many different ways, especially for people wanting to minimize calorie intake and others who may be concerned about the effect of consumed sugars on their blood sugar levels. Whole fruit have the pulp and membranes that offer excellent fibre, flavor, and most of its nutrients intact. Whole fruit are also filling and will help to create a sense of satisfaction that you won’t get from drinking juices. Take this example – one small fruit is equivalent to four ounces of juice (1 mouthful). Easy choice for me!
Submitted by Katherine H., Austin, TX.