What to Read Next

Not so sweet: Even "100 percent pure" orange juice is artificially flavoured

Lylah M. Alphonse
Shine from Yahoo! Canada
July 29, 2011


Photo: Thinkstock
Photo: Thinkstock


Photo: Thinkstock




Ever wonder why commercial orange juice—even the premium, not-from-concentrate, "100-percent pure" juice kind—tastes the same each time you buy it, but doesn't taste exactly like a freshly peeled orange?

Turns out there's a lot more to making juice than simply squeezing some citrus. As part of the  mass-production process, big-name brands like Tropicana, Minute Maid, Simply Orange, and Florida's Natural add  artificial flavouring in order to make sure your juice tastes consistent from carton to carton—and to make sure it tastes like oranges.

"It really rocks people's world to learn that most orange juice is not a fresh product," says Alisa Hamilton, author of "Squeezed: What You Don't Want to Know About Orange Juice" says in an interview posted on her website.

Pasteurized, not-from-concentrate orange juice takes up a lot of storage space. In order to keep it from spoiling without adding chemical preservatives, the companies "deaerate" (or strip the oxygen out of) the juice. (Another surprise: During production, deaerated juice often sit in million-gallon tanks for as long as a year before it hits supermarket shelves.)


[See also: Fruits to keep out of the fridge]



But when they remove the oxygen, they also remove much of the natural flavour of the oranges. "So in order to have OJ actually taste like oranges, drink companies hire flavour and fragrance companies, the same ones that make perfumes for Dior, to create these 'flavour packs' to make juice taste like, well, juice again," Casey Chan explains over at Gizmodo.

Tropicana (owned by PepsiCo), Minute Maid (Coca Cola), Simply Orange (also Coca Cola), and independently owned Florida's Natural all add the flavour packs, Hamilton says.

"The formulas vary to give a brand’s trademark taste," she writes in a report. "If you’re discerning you may have noticed Minute Maid has a candy like orange flavour. That’s largely due to the flavour pack Coca-Cola has chosen for it."

The artificial flavour also varies depending on where the final product is supposed to end up, the report says. "The packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favour. Mexicans and Brazilians have a different palate. Flavour packs fabricated for juice geared to these markets therefore highlight different chemicals."

Since the artificial flavour is technically derived from naturally occurring orange essences and oil, it doesn't have to be listed as an ingredient. So what you see is on the label is "100 percent orange juice"—even though that's not all there is inside the carton.

More from Shine on Yahoo! Canada

Keep healthy food healthy

14 ways to keep food fresh longer

6 surprising uses for lemons

How to get rid of fruit flies

Bounce Back From The Holidays & Transfer A Balance

Holiday fun means holiday spending. Don't pay interest on your purchases for up to 15 months with the top ranked balance transfer credit cards.

Find Your High School Yearbook

View class yearbooks online free. Reminisce & buy a reprint today.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Save Big on Top Brands at Sears Today

Save On Top Brands and Shop Everything From Appliances, Apparel, Lawn and Garden, Tools and more. 1 store Over 100 million items. It s all at Sears!

Toddler tantrum email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track for advice on how to handle different situations that may arise with your little one.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are surprised that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Drive part-time, full-time, or anytime with Uber!

As an Uber independent contractor you can get paid to drive your own car! We connect you with riders, and you work when you want to.

Earn Cash Back On Dining Out.

It's easy to save money in the new year when you get cash back on all purchases. Learn more about simple and flexible credit card rewards here.

Got the Need for Speed?

Get on the fast track to a great career. Click here to learn more about training at MMI

Online Personal Loans: Compare Rates and Save

You don't have to leave your couch to get the money you need. LendingTree makes it easy to compare lenders and save. Today's rate as low as 5.99% APR.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!