By L.J. Hodek-Creapeau, Managing Editor
Tropicana, the company that has been advertising for years that their o.j is “pure” “all natural” and “freshly made”, is in fact pasteurized, deaerated, stripped of flavor and aroma, stored for long periods of time before being made available to the public, and colored and flavored before being packaged and then shipped all over the country.
In the Lynch vs. Tropicana lawsuit which began in 2011, plaintiffs were suing PepsiCo – owners of Tropicana – for “unjust enrichment; breach of express warranty; numerous violations of New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin laws; punitive damages; injunctive relief and declaratory relief, among other complaints.”
However, you may be surprised to learn that what Tropicana does to make their orange juice is the norm in the food industry. Orange juice not from concentrate is stripped of its oxygen so it can be stored in large vats for up to a year before it is even packaged and shipped to stores. And because it is stripped of it’s oxygen properties, it also loses all of it’s nutritional value and taste. So what do o.j manufacturers do to compensate? They hire chemists to develop chemical flavorings that we have all come to believe is “fresh orange” flavor. Chemical packets are added back to the orange juice, and usually added sugar as well, before it is packaged to add back the flavor and nutrients lost during the deliberate deaeration performed by the storage facilities.
The only way to get truly pure, all natural, fresh orange juice is to squeeze it yourself. The concentrates are actually better for you because they are frozen orange juice and do not go through the pasteurization and deaeration ready-to-pour orange juices do. A fresh orange has a lot less sugar than manufactured orange juices as well.
Another thing you should know about orange juices is that most of them use oranges from countries other than the U.S. Why is this a concern? Because in the past (2012 to be exact) it was found that Minute Maid – which bought oranges from Brazil for their juices – discovered they were getting more than oranges with their fruit. Their orangee contained a fungicide that is approved in Brazil but not by the U.S. Minute Maid (manufactured by Coca Cola) discontinued the practice of using oranges from other countries because of the pesticides and fungicides later found in their orange juices.
Therefore, Orange Juice labeled (and we mean the actual ingredient label not what’s on the front packaging) “from Florida oranges” is much healthier than brands that import who-knows-what from other countries.
Long story short, if you truly want the vitamin C, potassium and flavor of real oranges, you’ll have to eat real oranges.