Orange juice is the juice that, I think, comes to most of our minds when we contemplate breakfast. There are so many different options when it comes to this drink at the grocery store: Organic, All Natural, No Artificial Ingredients, 100% Juice, From Concentrate, Not From Concentrate, Low Acid, High Pulp, Low Pulp, No Pulp. Picking one that’s right for you can be a little daunting.
Let’s assume for the moment that you decide on the most natural seeming juice in the store. Something that’s not from concentrate, 100% juice, and organic. So, what you have in your hands now is nothing but orange juice, right? Wrong.
To start off, let’s take a look at how orange juice, like the one in your hands now, is made. It starts off just like you would think: oranges are picked and then are sent to a plant to have the juice squeezed out of them. But it’s what comes next that matters.
After the juice is squeezed, it is then stored in gigantic vats which are airtight. All the oxygen in these vats is then removed so that the juice can be stored for up to a year without spoiling and orange juice manufactures can keep those shelves filled with juice all year long and not just during orange season.
Removing the oxygen has side effects though, namely it also removes the natural flavors of oranges. So what is in the tank six months down the line tastes nothing like an orange at all.
What’s a company to do then? They can’t sell orange juice that doesn’t taste like, well, orange juice. No one would buy it! So they hire flavor and fragrance companies. The exact same ones that make your favorite perfume or cologne. These companies create what are know as “flavor packs” which are added to the juice to make it taste like juice again.
How is it able to be labeled as 100% juice then or claim that it’s “Simply Unfooled Around With?” It’s because these “flavor packs” are made from orange byproducts so the government doesn’t consider them an extra ingredient, even though these byproducts have been chemically altered.
So, in the end, all orange juice at the store is basically the same. The only reason you prefer one brand over another is the “flavor pack” that company decided to use. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll get a juice press.