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How Juice Is Made: From Produce to Product

Image Credit: UFL

What makes fruit juices so popular? The answer lies in its namesake: fruit. People instinctively and naturally associate fruit juices with the fresh, fleshy, edible, plucked produce that grow on trees and plants. As a result, fruit juices are perceived to be healthy.Orange juice is one of the more, if not the most, popular fruit juice. It has roots in World War 2. However, is its nutritional value as rich as its history? What happens to freshly picked, whole oranges before they end up in the market as juice? Let’s take a look at the manufacturing process, as recorded in the Morris Citrus Economics Newsletter.Harvested oranges go through a grading and selection process at the processing plant. Using juicing machines, juice from the oranges is then extracted through the application of delicate techniques. Next, the juice is filtered to remove the pulp, seeds, and peel. Orange essence and oils are then extracted from the peel to be used as flavouring in the later stages. At this stage, it is made into one of two product forms: frozen concentrated juice or not-from-concentrate.To made not-from-concentrate juice, the juice is pasteurized and deaerated for better storage. To make frozen concentrated juice, besides pasteurization and deaeration, high heat is applied in an evaporator to remove excess water from the juice. This enables the production of a concentrate, which is then frozen and stored. At this point in the process, what is left is essentially a flavourless liquid. This liquid is then frozen or stored in tanks.When it is time to package the product, water is blended back in to restore the concentrate. Some manufacturers add the previously removed pulp back into their juice product. Flavouring* made from orange essence and oils (known as flavour packs**) is added. After packaging, this product is labelled as 100% orange juice!What do you think of “100% orange juice”? Share with us your thoughts by commenting below or on our Facebook page! This is Part 2 of our Juice Journey! Read Part 1 here *Since flavour packs contain “all-natural” orange essence and oils, they do not appear as distinct ingredients on the ingredients list.**Flavour packs restore and standardize the orange-ness of the juice. This is why commercial orange juice tastes the same regardless of whether the fruit is in or out of season.

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