Have you ever wondered why you can get orange juice 365 days a year? Or why your favorite orange juice brand tastes the same no matter where you buy it?
It’s because commercial orange juice is NOT real orange juice.
If orange juice was really freshly squeezed and packaged as is, then different batches would have different flavors because not every orange tastes exactly the same, Dr. Joseph Mercola points out. Some are sweeter than the others, while there are more sour ones.
Tropicana does not taste like Minute Maid because of one simple reason: all juice brands have their own patented formulas. These recipes include artificial ingredients that don’t resemble anything found in nature.
How Supermarket Orange Juice is Made
Orange juice manufacturers use a technology known as aseptic storage. They take out the oxygen from the squeezed orange juice in a process known as “daeration.” This protects the orange juice from oxidation, allowing manufacturers to keep millions of gallons of juice in storage tanks for more than a year.
While daeration extends orange juice’s shelf life, it also strips it of its natural flavor. To solve this problem, juice manufacturers hire flavor and fragrance companies to artificially engineer flavor packs that are added to the juice to make it taste fresh. They are not required to list flavor packs as ingredients because they come from orange essences and oils.
The flavor packs for the North American market often contain high levels of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of freshly squeezed orange juice that is appealing to Americans. You’d be better off if you consume an orange, which contains more fiber and vitamin C, or make your own orange juice.
Orange Juice is Not a Health Food
While oranges and freshly squeezed orange juice can be a good source of vitamins and other nutrients, it’s also very high in fructose, Dr. Mercola points out. One eight-ounce glass of orange juice contains the equivalent of about eight full teaspoons of sugar, with at least 50 percent of that sugar in the form of fructose.
An eight-ounce glass of orange juice will give you 25 grams of fructose (almost the same amount of fructose in a can of soda), which exceeds the amount of sugar you should have the entire day.
Fructose, particularly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is believed to be a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. HFCS is added in majority of processed foods and beverages.
Natural fructose from fresh fruit causes less of a problem, but you should still avoid eating too much fruit if you’re having problems managing your insulin and weight. Juicing vegetables is a healthier alternative. People who drink vegetable juice are able to manage their weight better because they are less likely to eat junk food and processed foods.
Dr. Mercola is convinced that juicing is an important habit that can help give you a radiant, energetic life and truly optimal health.