Are you one of those people that start their day with a tall glass of commercial orange juice? If you are, then you’re in for a surprise.
The next time you reach for that carton of “fresh” O.J. from the supermarket, take a closer look at the ingredient list. Chances are, your juice is loaded with sugar and most importantly, other additives.
Ever wonder what goes into your favourite commercial orange juice morning drink?
Keep reading to find out.
You might be surprised to learn that your favourite morning drink contains more than just pure and “fresh” orange juice.
Continue reading to discover the other ingredients that go into making your energizing beverage.
Scoop: The sugar might not be your biggest concern.
Here is the unknown truth about your “fresh” supermarket juice
The Unknown Truth About Orange Juice
There are generally five (5) types of orange juice
- Freshly squeezed – juice is made by pressing the whole fruit.
- From concentrate – This is the syrup which remains after the water has been evaporated from the fruit’s juice. The is the most popular state in fruit juice.
- Not from concentrate –The juice is extracted from the fruit. The juice is then pasteurized, meaning it is heated up to kill any bacteria. After that, the juice is de-aerated to prevent it from oxidizing. Finally, it is stored in large tanks.
- Nectars – Juice that is not fresh and has been processed with lots of sugar, colours, and preservatives. It usually contains only 5% juice.
- Squeezed at Home – A cold pressed orange juice fresh squeezed from the fruit. The best of all the choices. At least you know what you’re putting in your glass!
If you’re buying O.J. from the supermarket, there’s a good chance that it’s not as fresh as you think.
In fact, it might be twelve (12) months old by the time it hits the shelves.
The process of making it is pretty long and complicated. First, the oranges are picked and then squeezed for their juice. The juice is then stored in huge vats called aseptic storage tanks.
These tanks can hold millions of litres of juice and they’re kept at a cool temperature to prevent the juice from going bad.
The problem is that when the O.J. is exposed to oxygen, it starts to turn brown and lose its flavour. To prevent this from happening, manufacturers remove the oxygen from the juice to prevent it from going bad, which also removes essential flavour and aroma compounds.
Is My Pure Orange Juice Really Pure Then?
Technically, it is pure with real orange. However, chemical compounds such as ascorbic acid is being added in the form of vitamin C and it helps to keep the juice looking fresh and tasting delicious.
And I wish it was the only additive it had.
But here’s the thing: ascorbic acid also has a downside. When it’s added to orange juice, it can make the drink taste a bit sour. That’s why many brands add sugar to their orange juice to offset the sourness.
Wait, it gets better!
Some manufacturers also add artificial flavours in form of ethyl butyrate and colours to their orange juice.
What Is Ethyl Butyrate?
Although ethyl butyrate is mostly used as a flavouring agent in orange juices, it can also be used in other products. The clear, colourless liquid has a sweet, fruity smell and taste.
Because of its properties, it is often used in perfumes and cosmetics. (Yes we are also talking about that in the flavour packs explanation paragraph.
It is used to give a tart, sour taste to orange juices and other fruit drinks.
Hence the fact that sugar mixtures are being added to upset the sour and tart tastes as mentioned above.
Some manufacturers add artificial colours to their orange juice to make it more vibrant. This can be a controversial topic, as some believe natural is always better. However, no negative health effects are associated with consuming artificially coloured orange juice.
So, in the end, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
These colours aren’t modifying the flavour of the juice. In fact, they’re not affecting the taste at all. The only thing that matters when it comes to the flavour of the juice is what’s inside the bottle.
Here is the freaky part
The Mysterious Chemical Flavour Pack
Ethyl butyrate is the main flavouring chemical found in orange juice. Though it occurs naturally
in citrus foods, manufacturers add more synthetic ethyl butyrate to their flavour packs because it gives off the fragrance of a freshly squeezed orange.
“The exact formula and chemical composition of flavour packs is a mystery, companies keep their “secret formula” well hidden. This wall of secrecy has concerned the FDA since the 1960s.” Source: The Health Coach
Synthetic ethyl butyrate may cause skin and respiratory irritation. Source data-sheet: ehslegacy.unr.edu
“Did you know juice companies hire flavour and fragrance companies to engineer flavor packs, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein?” Source: thehealthcoach.com
So when you want to go out at night, you can either choose your favourite perfume, or a little dab of orange juice!
Ah. Ok, this is a bit extreme but funny.
What Are The Health Risks Of Drinking Orange Juice With Ethyl Butyrate?
There are no known health risks associated with drinking orange juice that contains ethyl butyrate. However, some people may be sensitive to this flavouring agent and may experience in rare cases gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or nausea.
Should I drink orange juice?
With all the information mentioned above, should I drink orange just at all? Of course, but drinking freshly squeezed orange juice (made yourself) is fine if you have your own juicer. Fruit juice is high in natural sugars which are better than sugary additives added by manufacturers.
Eating whole fruit is a better option as it contains fibre which slows down fructose (sugar) absorption into your bloodstream.
Avoid shop-bought juice as it’s been artificially manufactured using an array of toxic chemicals.
When it comes to orange juice, there are a few things you should know.
First of all, many brands add sugar and artificial flavours (ethyl butyrate) to offset the sourness. Some manufacturers also add artificial colours to their orange juice.
Secondly, ethyl butyrate is the main flavouring chemical found in orange juice and it occurs naturally in citrus foods. However, because it gives off the fragrance of a freshly squeezed orange, manufacturers add more synthetic ethyl butyrate to their flavour packs.
Lastly, there are no known health risks associated with drinking orange juice that contains ethyl butyrate; however, some people may be sensitive to this flavouring agent and may experience in some rare cases, gastrointestinal problems such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or nausea.
Don’t stop drinking your orange or favourite juice(s) in the morning just don’t take manufacturers’ label claims at face value.
Instead, do your own research to be sure you’re getting what you expect and even better, squeeze your own juice!