Orange juice facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Orange juice 1 edit1
Orange juice without the pulp

Orange juice is juice of oranges which is made by squeezing the fruit. It comes in several varieties, such as blood orange. It has a lot of Vitamin C. Orange Juice also has folic acid in it, which can be harsh on a sensitive stomach.

Commercial orange juice and concentrate

Frozen concentrated orange juice

Commercial squeezed orange juice is pasteurized and filtered before being evaporated under vacuum and heat. After removal of most of the water, this concentrate, about 65% sugar by weight, is then stored at about 10 °F (−12 °C). Essences, Vitamin C, and oils extracted during the vacuum concentration process may be added back to restore flavor and nutrition.

When water is added to freshly thawed concentrated orange juice, it is said to be reconstituted.

The product was developed in 1948 at the University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center. Since, it has emerged as a soft commodity, and futures contracts have traded in New York since 1966. Options on FCOJ were introduced in 1985. From the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, the product had the greatest orange juice market share, but not-from-concentrate juices surpassed FCOJ in the 1980s.

Not from concentrate

Orange juice that is pasteurized and then sold to consumers without having been concentrated is labeled as "not from concentrate". Just as "from concentrate" processing, most "not from concentrate" processing reduces the natural flavor from the juice. The largest producers of "not from concentrate" use a production process where the juice is placed in aseptic storage, with the oxygen stripped from it, for up to a year.

Removing the oxygen also strips out flavor-providing compounds, and so manufacturers add a flavor pack in the final step, which Cooks Illustrated magazine describes as containing "highly engineered additives." Flavor pack formulas vary by region, because consumers in different parts of the world have different preferences related to sweetness, freshness and acidity. According to the citrus industry, the Food and Drug Administration does not require the contents of flavor packs to be detailed on a product's packaging.

One common component of flavor packs is ethyl butyrate, a natural aroma that people associate with freshness, and which is removed from juice during pasteurization and storage. Cooks Illustrated sent juice samples to independent laboratories, and found that while fresh-squeezed juice naturally contained about 1.19 milligrams of ethyl butyrate per liter, juice that had been commercially processed had levels as high as 8.53 milligrams per liter.

Canned orange juice

A small fraction of fresh orange juice is canned. Canned orange juice retains vitamin C much better than bottled juice. The canned product loses flavor, however, when stored at room temperature for more than 12 weeks. In the early years of canned orange juice, the acidity of the juice caused the juice to have a metallic taste. In 1931, Dr. Philip Phillips developed a flash pasteurization process that eliminated this problem and significantly increased the market for canned orange juice.

Freshly squeezed, unpasteurized juice

Mexico City merchant with his freshly squeezed orange juice March 2010
Mexico City merchant with his freshly squeezed orange juice, March 2010

Fresh-squeezed, the unpasteurized juice is the closest to consuming the orange itself. This version of the juice consists of oranges that are squeezed and then bottled without having any additives or flavor packs inserted. The juice is not subjected to pasteurization. Depending on storage temperature, freshly squeezed, unpasteurized orange juice can have a shelf life of 5 to 23 days.

Major orange juice brands

In the U.S., the major orange juice brand is Tropicana Products (owned by PepsiCo Inc.), which possesses nearly 65% of the market share. Tropicana also has a large presence in Latin America, Europe, and Central Asia. Competing products include Minute Maid (of The Coca-Cola Company) and Florida's Natural (a Floridian agricultural cooperative that differentiates itself from the competition by being locally owned and using only Florida grown oranges; Tropicana and Simply Orange use a mixture of domestic and foreign stock).

In Australia, Daily Juice (owned by National Foods) is a major brand of partially fresh, partially preserved, orange juice.

In the United Kingdom, major orange juice brands include Del Monte and Princes.

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