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The Secret Ingredient Not Listed on Your Orange Juice



Many homes across the country love to have a delicious glass of OJ with breakfast. Isn’t it amazing how they get it to taste so good all year round, as though oranges are not a seasonal fruit?


I don’t know about you, but I usually pay extra to buy the orange juice that is not from concentrate. It’s better for you, right? Wrong!  


You may be surprised to learn that the premium pricing actually has a lot more to do with storage costs than higher quality. Your “fresh” juice was probably stored for up to a year before you bought it!


Orange juice companies add chemically created flavorings to orange juice to give it that consistently delicious flavor- and they don’t have to list it on the packaging as an ingredient!


How do they process the juice?


Since oranges are seasonal, first they get the juices of the oranges and remove all the oxygen so that the juice may be stored in large vats for up to a year. The problem is, that when the oxygen gets removed they’re left with something that is flavorless. When the oxygen gets removed they are also stripping away the natural essence and nutrients.


 So, how do they add back in that delicious flavor we love? They hire fragrance companies, the same ones who manufacture fragrances for perfumes, to chemically create  ”flavor packs” that give your juice that fresh from the orchard flavor.


The companies use flavor packs, which are chemically created from oils and essences of orange that have been broken down and taken from orange byproducts.  Natural, right?


Different companies have different trademark flavors, and so they mix and match the chemicals to customize the flavor of the juice so that each carton of your favorite brand will taste the same.


Unfortunately, they get away with not listing the “flavor packs” on the ingredient list since they are technically derived from orange byproducts. And yet these flavor packs don’t resemble anything found in nature.

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/orange-juice-moms-secret-ingredient-worries/story?id=15154617#.TxyJcpgTszY
http://civileats.com/2009/05/06/freshly-squeezed-the-truth-about-orange-juice-in-boxes/
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25 comments to The Secret Ingredient Not Listed on Your Orange Juice

  • I heard that on Dr Oz. about the flavor packets. I am so glad I dont buy OJ, it hurts my stomach (wonder if it is the chemicals) and I just cant drink it. Store bought OJ doesnt even look like fresh squeezed. My mom grows oranges and brought us a ton for Christmas, there is nothing like fresh squeezed OJ! That is the only way I like it!

  • WOW! Great post! I am going to share this link over on FB…such important information!

  • Okay, well that's just nasty.

  • Katie

    It really is!

    Katie

  • Jen

    So if we like orange juice, the best way to drink it is from the frozen concentrate? Or what are we suppose to drink?

  • Katie

    Thanks. Glad it was helpful!

    Katie

  • rjones945

    These "flavor packs" are nothing more than using highly concentrated oils that are found in the peels to increase flavor. The flavor packs are made by boiling the peels of the oranges in water, not in a lab, like most people think. Everything is made of chemicals, you just have to understand which ones are actually hazardous and which are harmless. The media likes to trick people into a frenzy by saying the word "chemicals," it's up to you to decipher if they are really that bad.

    When they talk about storing the orange juice for a year, they most likely mean they have frozen it and are storing it in a freezer for a year, not just sitting at room temperature on a shelf. Who hasn't kept a can of juice concentrate in their freezer for a year and then used it? I sure have. It's harmless. Because of the high demand for orange juice year round and the fact that like all produce, oranges have a specific growing season, they have to store the juice for some period of time. Also, people expect a consistent flavor of the juice, so they use a mixture of different varieties of oranges which each have their own growing season, so they must store certain oranges for a period of time to get that specific mixture.

    If you read this article more in depthly, it will give you accurate information on this topic: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/orange-juice-moms-se

    Also, if you are still concerned about the "flavor packs," go buy a juicer and juice the oranges yourself. But be warned, the oranges you buy in any season except winter and spring will have been stored or flown in from outside the US.

  • Katie

    I am totally jealous! Having fresh oranges would be so wonderful!

    Katie

  • Katie

    I'm not sure that any form is better than the other. It just seems as if paying extra for \”not from concentrate\” is probably not worth the money(in my opinion)

    Katie

  • Katie

    Me neither, until I came across a few different articles. It is surprising some of the stuff that goes on with food manufacturing.

    Katie

  • Katie

    Thanks for your input on the flavor packs. I do realize that the flavor packs are created using orange by products, but I think that the OJ companies make it out to sound like the not concentrate OJ is fresh and minimally processed when in reality it goes through having the oxygen removed and then having the flavor packs created and added.

    Each person must make their own decision. To me it seems highly unnatural. It makes me wonder if there is any real nutrition still available from the juice once they finish all the processing.

    Katie

  • rjones945

    There really isn't much nutritional value left in the juice after processing. Most of the best nutrients degrade rather quickly after juicing, so if you are really interested in getting the most nutrients from oranges is to juice it yourself.

    In fact, most nutrients and vitamins in our foods are added back in because they usually change during processing and therefore are useless to our bodies. The manufacturers add them back in to make up for taking them out.

    I'm a huge proponent of organic foods and I'm definitely a shop around the outer edges of the store kind of person. I hardly ever buy processed foods and if I do, it's minimally processed. I definitely agree that people need to be more educated about what goes in our foods, and I also agree that there are a lot of smoke and mirrors going on with our food, but most don't understand that almost all of our food is processed in one form or another. The labels on the packages are always misleading. It's called marketing.

    Have a great day!

  • Katie

    I totally understand! Hope you have a great day, too!

    Katie

  • Unbelievable. I can't stand this kind of thing. Sharing on Facebook. We don't drink juice. Here's another reason why not to.

  • Katie

    It was really shocking to me as well. Sometimes it seems like we have no idea what's going on with our food! I guess it's another reason to try to buy minimally/not processed foods.

    Katie

  • Wow Katie. I had no idea. It's really disturbing. We don't buy juice. I don't drink store bought and haven't for years but I know so many people who do. It's kidda scary what they can get away with.

  • Katie

    It is scary!

    Katie

  • Ew. Thanks for sharing this info; I had no idea. Just went from rarely buying bottled juice to never buying bottled juice.

  • Katie

    You're welcome :)

    Katie

  • Katie

    Fresh OJ really is different. Having a juicer would be great!

    Katie

  • Curly J

    A YEAR?! Wow. That's insane! About a month ago I stopped drinking store bought OJ (we were getting in the habit of buying "not from concentrate" Tropicana every week) and instead we bought a juicer and make our own FRESH orange juice (among many other kinds!)! Last week I ran out of oranges and poured myself half a glass of Tropicana just because I wanted "something"… I threw it out! The taste was totally different compared to fresh!

  • I remember hearing about this on a tv show some time ago … I had totally forgotten about it. I plan to share this on my Facebook page. Thanks for the great explanation!

  • Katie

    You're very welcome, Kathy! Thanks for sharing it to help spread the word about real food.

    Katie

  • [...] has usually been stored for a very long time.  You may find this post interesting to read on the Secret Ingredient not in your orange juice carton.   If you use a carton of orange juice, this drink will be extremely quick to make. However, as I [...]

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