Everyone enjoys a good juice every now and then, especially when you’re craving something both sweet and tangy. There are lots of commercial juice flavors in the market today, from familiar ones such as apples, oranges, and grapes to tropical fruits like mangoes and coconut.
Big brands have mastered the art of manufacturing commercial juice. It’s an interesting process that involves heavy equipment and machinery to produce the flavors that you know and love today.
How It’s Made
Here are the general steps on how a commercial orange juice is made:
- Harvesting – Most big brands grow their own fruits on large plantations. They have huge machinery that productively harvests the fruits and massive tractors that bring them to the extraction area for handling.
- Cleaning and Grading – After harvest, thousands of fruits are prepared for extraction. Before they’re extracted, fruits are first cleaned with water to remove dirt and debris.
An inspector evaluates whether that batch has reached the maturity requirements before it can be processed.
- Extracting – There are two common ways of extraction. One standard automated extraction method places the fruit in the middle of two metal cups, both of which have sharp metal tubes at the base. This fancy machine literally beats the pulp out of the oranges.
Meanwhile, another way involves cutting the fruit in half first before a piece of specialized equipment can extract the juice.
- Pasteurizing – The juice is then filtered for extra bits that may have entered the stream and sterilized to prevent early spoilage.
Sulfur dioxide or sodium benzoate is also added to extend its shelf life. Antioxidants – ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, EDTA, BHA, or BHT – as well as corn syrup, honey, and other artificial sweeteners, may also be included.
- Packaging – It’s crucial that the pasteurized juice is transferred to a container while it’s still hot to keep it sterile. These empty packages go down a conveyor belt and filled by a machine. They are then prepared for shipment to shops and supermarkets.
Benefits of Commercial Juice
The three primary benefits of buying commercially-made juices are:
Fresh juice is now more accessible than ever. You can consume this beverage whenever you feel like it because you have the option of buying ready-to-drink fruit juice or making one with your goodnature juicer. Both choices can save you time, especially on hectic workday mornings when you need to rush to the door so that you won’t be late for school or work.
There are also lots of fruit juice varieties that you can choose from in the supermarket. You get access to flavors that aren’t always in season or aren’t as prevalent in your area. With this, you can enjoy different selections based on what taste you’re craving for at the moment.
- More Fiber
Consuming fresh fruit drinks like tomato juice or the classic O.J. is an excellent way of increasing your fiber intake. As much as possible, choose a beverage that comes from real fruit instead of one that’s mostly sugar. This way, you can reap the nutritional benefits that come with the package.
Always read the nutritional label and to find out whether the beverage is made from pure fruit or if it’s a mixture of fresh juice and fructose corn syrup. You will get more vitamins and minerals from freshly-squeezed juice or concentrated ones.
When buying a commercially-made juice, these are the terms that you should keep in mind:
- Concentrate – This label means that a portion of the water content has been removed to make the fruit juice thicker.
- Reconstituted – A reconstituted drink means that water is added to a concentrated juice to dilute the beverage. If, for instance, you bought concentrated orange juice, you’ll just need a small amount of the product and then add water to it depending on the level of flavor you want.
- Not From Concentrate – No addition or removal of water has been done to NFC juices. Nonetheless, they’re typically pasteurized to boost their shelf life.
- Fresh or Natural – There aren’t additives in fresh or natural juices nor have their water content been tweaked. This beverage typically has a shorter shelf life because it hasn’t undergone through a pasteurization or concentration process.
- Pure – Pure juice is different from fresh fruit drinks because it could be a combination of fruit juices. However, it still doesn’t have additives.
- 100% – This tag can be used to inform consumers that the drink is pure. Sometimes, it also indicates where the juice came from if not from natural sources like “100% juice from concentrate” or “100% reconstituted fruit juice.”
While there are concerns about the sugar content of store-bought juices, it just takes a little research to understand the process of how it’s made and know the terms used in the nutritional facts section of the packaging. There are lots of healthier commercial options nowadays that offer a variety of flavors and sizes.