“Orange juice”

That’s what it says under the ingredients on the carton of not-from-concentrate orange juice in my refrigerator right now. On the front of the carton it says “100% Orange Juice.” So you’d think that all that was in the carton was juice squeezed from oranges.

I’ve known many “fresh” not-from-concentrate orange juices aren’t always that fresh. Since oranges don’t grow in Florida all year round, at certain points during the year, it’s not possible to make juice from fresh Florida oranges. Not-from-concentrate orange juice can sit in storage tanks for months after it’s been extracted before it goes to market.

I learned a lot of new things about orange juice from the following video. A new book, Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice by Alissa Hamilton, delves into some of the surprising things that may be found in not-from-concentrate orange juice.

Some of the things the author says happens to the juice:

  • Oxygen is taken out of the orange juice before it hits the storage tanks so it doesn’t spoil. When the oxygen is taken out, so is a lot of the orange flavor.
  • To replace the flavor fragrance and flavor are added — this is how certain brands can make their juice taste the same with every carton. (I’ve always wondered why that was.)

At the end of the interview, the author says she’s not an nutritionist so she can’t speak to the health implications of these juices. Neither can I, but it’s sure is something to get you thinking, isn’t it?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.