The Disturbing Truth About Store-Bought Orange Juice

Posted on September 2nd, 2011 by Elaine Rosales  |  1 Comment »

artificially flavored orange juiceA glass of orange juice may seem refreshing and healthy, but have you noticed how packed store-bought orange juices, even those that are labeled “100 percent natural,” taste differently from the juice you get when you squeeze an orange? This is because the manufacturers use chemical “flavor packs” to re-flavor the juice.

Food Renegade reports:

“Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. (link)”

Dr. Joseph Mercola says that if the juice is really freshly squeezed and packed, then the flavor would vary from one batch to another, since not every orange taste the same—some are sour, while others are very sweet. So if the orange juice you get consistently tastes the same, it means that it’s made from a patented recipe.

Orange juice brands don’t mention these added flavors in their labels because these added flavors are derived from orange essences and oils. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are organic.

How is Orange Juice Processed?

Alissa Hamilton J.D, PhD, a Food and Society Policy Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and author of Squeezed: What You Don’t Know about Orange Juice, says that the technology used today for orange juice is called aseptic storage. This involves removing the oxygen from the juice, a process called “deaeration.” This prevents oxidation and allows the juice to stay fresh for a year.

Once the oxygen is removed from the juice, the flavor-providing chemicals are also eliminated. Therefore, manufacturers employ flavor and fragrance companies—the same ones who create popular perfumes for Calvin Klein and Dior—to create flavor packs and bring back the “fresh, orange taste.”

Hamilton adds that the juice created for the North American market contains excessive amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical often used for flavors and fragrances. Ethyl butyrate is inexpensive and can produce various flavors including orange, pineapple, cherry, mango, bubblegum, and guava.

Fruit Juices are NOT as Healthy as You Think

When you’re buying orange juice, look at the “Best Before” stamp. If the date is 60 or more days in the future, then the juice is heavily-processed. Real orange juice only lasts a few days. So if you want to drink orange juice, squeezing organic oranges at home would be your best option.

However, Dr. Mercola says that orange juice is not as healthy as it seems, and has even included it in the top five health foods to avoid if you are overweight or have:

  • Insulin resistance or diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Cancer
  • Gout

Despite being abundant in vitamins and minerals, fruit juices like orange juice are loaded with fructose, a primary culprit in the rise of obesity and other health problems. An eight ounce glass of orange juice can have at least eight full teaspoons of sugar, 50 percent of which is fructose. It’s almost as much as a can of soda, which has 10 teaspoons of sugar.

One negative effect of fructose is that it increases the levels of uric acid in your body. “Elevated uric acid levels is a major component of several chronic diseases that have also been linked to fructose consumption, such diabetes and heart disease,” says Dr. Mercola.

He recommends ingesting only 25 grams of fructose per day, with a maximum of 15 grams from whole fruit. As for fresh juice, Dr. Mercola advises switching to juices made from dark green and leafy vegetables. Drinking pure, clear water free from fluoride and other contaminants will also benefit your health.


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One Response to “The Disturbing Truth About Store-Bought Orange Juice”

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