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What is Really in Your Orange Juice?

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How often do you drink orange juice? Have you ever wondered why every variety essentially tastes exactly the same, whether you purchase it the middle of winter in Europe or the middle of summer in Florida? Regardless of whether you prefer Florida’s Natural, Tropicana Pure Premium, Simply Orange, or Minute Maid, the flavor is usually pretty consistent, if it is produced by the same manufacturer. However, each manufacturer tends to have its own unique taste, although it is all orange juice.

Now, consider any orange juice that you have made at home. It all tastes a tad different depending on the individual oranges used to make it. In most cases, beverages that constantly taste the same follow the same recipes, such as Coke and Pepsi. What does all this mean?

Well, the reason the orange juice you purchase at the store consistently tastes the same is due to chemistry. While you would think that making OJ is as simple as picking oranges and squeezing the juice into a carton, this isn’t the case. The OJ industry has an open secret squeezed in there. When oranges are squeezed, they use giant holding tanks to store the juice and remove the oxygen. This allows the OJ to stay good for up to an entire year. However, the liquid we think of as OJ tastes considerably different than that we get out of a carton.

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The truth is that it is bland, quite flavorless. As a result, the OJ industry opts to use “flavor packs” to reflavor the deoxygenated OJ.

When the oxygen is removed from juice, it also takes away its flavor providing chemicals. As a result, juice companies opt to hire fragrance and flavor companies, such as those that formulate perfumes, to produce flavor packs to put back into the juice and make it taste fresh. However, these flavor packs are not mentioned in the ingredients because it is simply a derivative of oil and orange essence. Of course, if you ask anyone in the industry, the flavor packs are nothing like what is found in nature. For example, packs added to OJ in North America tend to have high levels of ethyl butyrate, a chemical found in the fresh squeezed fragrance of orange juice that is preferred by Americans. However, Brazilians and Mexicans prefer a different flavor. Their flavor packs are made for each specific market to highlight certain chemicals, such as valencine.

Formulas are slightly varied to give each brand its own trademark flavor. In some cases, companies will request a certain flavor pack that mimics that of a popular competitor. This results in a “hall of mirrors” flavor pack. Although there are numerous interpretations of a freshly squeezed orange on the market, most have a shared source of inspiration, a Florida Valencia orange in the spring.

Why are flavor packs not listed as ingredients?
Well, this is because of our complicated labeling laws that industrial foods are known for. Orange packs are derived from orange byproducts, even though these byproducts are so chemically manipulated that they hardly qualify as byproducts. Because they are made from byproducts that were originally in the orange, they can be added to OJ without being thought of as an ingredient.

What can you do?
First and foremost, it is not a good idea to drink juice. After all, juice removed from fruit is simply concentrated fructose void of naturally occurring pectin, fiber, and other things that make a fruit good for you. Instead it is packed full of chemicals and sugar. Plus, juice tends to be rather expensive. Therefore, I suggest that you stick to fruit juices that you have made, preferably into a healthy, probiotic drink.

Source : foodrenegade 

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