What to know about Juice

Fruit Juice Australia (FJA), through its voluntary Code of Practice, actually monitors fruit juice samples from the marketplace, analysing their contents for truth in labelling on an ongoing basis, and ensuring both compliance to the Australian Food Standards and the safety of consumers.

Oranges and other fruits are squeezed using machines much like that found in home juicers. This juice is then ‘condensed’ by removal of water using heat. The created concentrate is transported to factories around Australia where the water is added back in. This process is called reconstitution. The primary reason for using reconstituted juice is economic, and allows juice producers to ease transportation costs, and to ensure availability all year round.

Some fruit juices or juice drinks may contain preservatives. However, any juice labelled 100% juice will not. Preservatives are needed to maintain product quality for the required shelf-life so that juice can be made available conveniently. Many preservatives can be found naturally in raw foods, such as citric acid (in oranges and lemons) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Whenever possible there is a strong desire for all Australian juice producers to sourcing within Australia, however, there are sometimes needs to use imported fruits to meet production requirements. For example, although Australia grows an excess of 600 kilo tonnes of oranges every year, the harvest can vary greatly due to seasonal variations. Shortfall of concentrate availability necessitates importation of juice during some periods.

Juice does not become spoiled on the use by date. The juice will last past this date as long as it has been stored properly. The quality may not be as good as when first made. It should be assessed if it is ‘fit to drink’.

Most juices on the market are made from concentrate which does not have the ‘fresh aroma’ due to the heat treatment. There are some products on the market which are made only from juice which has not been concentrated. These juices do taste more like the ‘home made’ product.

In Australia no food including fruit juices can be irradiated by law.

100% juice is the liquid obtained from fruits or vegetables. It does not include juice derived from concentrate or juice that contains any additives whatsoever, including added preservatives or sugar. If a product is labelled 100% juice, you can be sure it is.

Organic juices are prepared from fruit grown without the use of ‘chemicals’ and not derived from genetically modified crops. All manufacturers are independently certified before they are able to use the term organic.

If “No Sugar Added” is on a juice label, the products must not contain any added sugar (which includes honey, malt, malt extract or maltose) but, of course, may still contain the natural sugars of the fruit juice.

Juice is transported around Australia and indeed the world in a concentrated form (two thirds of the water has been removed). The reason for this is that it is expensive to transport this extra volume. The water is extracted by evaporation, but the juice retains all its nutritional characteristics except for the fact that it loses some of its Vitamin C. Reconstituted juice is simply this concentrated juice with the same amount of water added back as was originally evaporated off. You would have noticed in the ingredient labelling of most brands containing reconstituted juice that the company has added Vitamin C to more than compensate for that lost during the evaporation process. No sugar is added or removed during the concentration process.

If sugar is not mentioned in the ingredient listing there will not be any sugar added to the juice.

Fruit Juice Australia (FJA), through its voluntary Code of Practice, actually monitors fruit juice samples from the marketplace and analyse their contents for truth in labelling on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance to the Australian Food Standards and the safety of consumers.

Including a glass of fruit juice each day, as part of a healthy and varied diet, is a great tasting way to improve intake of important nutrients which are vital for wellbeing. Each glass of 100% Juice is a powerhouse of anti-oxidants, essential minerals, vitamins, and phyto-nutrients that can provide long term benefits for your health.

Studies of Australia’s eating habits show that fruit juice provided %33 of the vitamin C in children’s diet, and contributed more vitamin C than whole fruit. Together, fruit juice and fruit provided half of the vitamin C in children’s diets.

Orange juice is a naturally good source of potassium, essential for the functioning of our nerves and helping reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Drinking your juice with meals boosts the absorption of important minerals like iron. Simply having a glass of orange juice with your breakfast cereal will boost the amount of iron your body absorbs during that meal.

Citrus juices may protect against common chronic diseases such as cancer, degenerative eye disease, and cognitive conditions.

Fruit juice and whole fruit are very similar in both total energy and sugars. A 125ml glass of 100% juice has comparable sugar content as a serve of fruit.

 

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