• Truth About Concentrated Juices

    When you pick up a carton of “100% pure Orange Juice from concentrate,” what does that really mean? Most people think that they are picking up 100% of juice that came solely from oranges with nothing added or taken away. Why wouldn’t you think that? That is kind of what the label says. After all, when you read the ingredient list, it says, “Orange Juice from concentrate (100%).” If its only orange juice, shouldn’t the ingredient list only contain one word, “oranges?”

    What exactly does orange juice from concentrate mean? This means that once all the orange juice was squeezed, all the “water” was removed, usually then shipped to another facility or location, and then the “water” was added back in. Basically, the orange was dried and then rehydrated. Oranges are juicy enough when eating them straight off the peel; therefore, you can imagine how much of the nutrients and taste you lose when you unnaturally dehydrate the oranges. Therefore, what manufacturers usually do is add the various flavors and compounds back in after they have processed the juice. However, manufacturers can avoid declaring any of this on the labels because they artificially process the additives from the orange peels and other components that may already be found in oranges and therefore, there is technically nothing to declare.

    Thinking of this “concentrating” process is rather exhausting. Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat an orange or squeeze your own juice? At least, that way you are getting all the nutrients naturally and more nutrients than concentrated juice will give you. I’m going to pick on “Princes” Orange Juice because that is the first carton that I could get a hold of. Lets start with the front of the packaging. They state, “5 a-day: 150 ml serving constitutes 1 portion.” Now, if I go to the NHS site, they clearly state, “One 150 ml glass of unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice can count as a portion.” Nowhere do they say that concentrated juices count towards your five a day. This you could potentially argue as all being a technicality, but technicalities are why the food industry gets away with so much mislabeling.

    Now, lets go ahead to the actual nutritional comparison between concentrated juices and freshly squeezed or blended juices. First of all, orange juice bottles usually pride themselves on how high in vitamin C their juice is. However, if you look at the carton of Princes’ Orange Juice, for a 200 ml of serving, there is only 40 mg of vitamin C, which is only 66% of the recommended daily allowance. Keep in mind though that the carton says in the front that only 150 ml need to be drunk to meet one of your five a day. Anyhow, a freshly squeezed orange juice or even eating a single orange will give you 100% of the vitamin C you need a day, if not more. Oranges are an excellent anti-oxidant because they are high in vitamin C, but drinking one glass of concentrated orange juice will not help boost your immune system like a freshly squeezed orange juice will. In fact, you have to have more of the concentrated juice to match what a single orange can provide. Furthermore, oranges naturally do not have salt or sodium in them, but a concentrated juice label will tell you that there are trace amounts of it. Sodium and salts in fruits or vegetables are only naturally occurring if they come from the ground or the ocean. By consuming concentrated orange juice, you miss out on the benefits of quality fibre, vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, carotenes, pectin, potassium, and folic acid. Since oranges are high in all of these nutrients, if your concentrated orange juice really did contain them, the label would say so. However, the labels do not mention them. Therefore, the next time you reach for a carton of concentrated orange juice, ask yourself about all the vital nutrients you are missing and take one step in the healthier direction by picking up an actual orange instead.

    If you need help learning to make healthier choices or deciphering the truth on nutrition labels, please do not hesitate to contact me at: info@illuminatedhealth.com or give me a call on +44 (0) 7867 383748

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    Happy juicing!



11 Responsesso far.

  1. […] Food labeling is a new hot topic with revised labeling coming into effect in 2013. However, this new law will only modify what the labels looks like, but won’t always reveal the truth. Food labels are often misleading and you can see my articles about hidden sugars and concentrated juices for more insight into this. But for now, I would like to shed light upon the world of hidden additives and preservatives that you should stay clear of. Reality is that even “fresh” and “whole” foods are not always as pure as they look. For example, did you know that Oranges are often injected with Citrus Red No. 2 to make them more orange? And since you can buy a single “fresh” orange, there is no need to label the “extra” ingredients. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of examples like this out there. However, the lesson here is that buy organic and natural as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if you cannot always find everything organic. Sure, organic foods cost more, but they do taste much better and they are much easier on your body. The best part of eating whole foods and fresh foods and avoiding anything canned or boxed is that it will naturally help keep you looking younger. To help you all out, I have included below a list of the common top twelve preservatives that you should avoid. And remember, always read food labels carefully! Turn the box around and look for the ingredients, because more than often, whatever is stated in front of the packaging is usually misleading. For example, concentrated juice does not count as your one of your five a day! […]

  2. Nilesh says:

    I drink orange juice daily for keeping myself healthy…
    It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.

    great beneficial article… thanks 🙂

  3. T-Owen says:

    Interesting! surely the skin (not the peel) has nutrients in them? so your maybe missing out on that to when you squeeze the Oranges, also the peel is good for you (although would need to do more research)
    I got a juice box from Tropicana (Pure premium) smooth and no bots orange juice 100% squeezed (not from concentrate) but there is no sign on the label of some of the other vitamins and nutrients you mentioned? there is folic acid (25ug=13% RDA) at 100ml serving. So what im asking is, does this contain all these other nutrients/vitamins? it should do as its 100% pure squeezed but it’s not on the label….

    • Varsha says:

      Yes, majority of the nutrients are in the fruit itself, but the skin and peel also contain nutrients. When the juice is freshly squeezed, that is similar to using a juicer in that although you get some nutrients, you miss out on the fibre, which contains majority of the nutrients. That is probably why the Tropicana box does not list all the vitamins that I mention in my article.

      It is always best to either blend your own juices or eat the fruit fresh to maximise your nutrient intake from fruits.

      Health and happiness,


  4. Bryan G. says:

    Varsha…So basically what you’re saying is that concentrated drinks are somewhat healthy, but not nearly as helpful to our bodies as non-concentrated drinks. Right? This applies to apple, grape, and other drinks as well I assume. What are some suggested drinks or alternatives you recommend if you don’t mind giving your personal opinion? Thx.

    • Varsha says:

      Hi Bryan. Yes, I am saying that non-concentrated juices are better to have and this applies to all fruits. I recommend blending your own juices, which doesn’t take very much time and is actually quite simple. Alternatively, you can buy juices that state on the label that they are “not from concentrate.”

  5. valerie says:

    Thank you for your information…most useful. I would like to query juicing? When I use my juicer machine there is a lot of pulp left behind…is it best to add this to the juice extracted and strain…as I do not like the feel of bits in juice, as it makes me gag!
    Am I still getting the natural nutrients from juicing this way?

    • Varsha says:

      Hi Valerie. It’s best to blend the pulp back into the juice. Because even if you add the pulp back in and strain, you still won’t get as much back into it. I would recommend using a high power blender rather than a juicer.

  6. Blue says:

    So when water is added to a concentrate how does it taste sweet?

    I guess sugar but it is never stated in the cartons I buy.

  7. […] of its juices are pasteurized and come from concentrate: These processes destroy all the beneficial minerals, vitamins, and live enzymes found in the […]

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