Is “juicing” becoming a craze, just a fad or here to stay? What is most important to know about juicing are provenance, preparation and combinations. Where is the food item sourced from, who is handling it and how is it processed, and what combinations of food are important medicinally. There are so many juices out there, in Miami we have a local favorite, Jugo Fresh, and Blue Print and others have large followers. You must be sharp and know to read between the lines the next time you’re at the super market or the juice bar.
“Contains 100% Juice” Everything in the bottle came from fruit or vegetables, but not necessarily the ones front and center on the label. For example, a cranberry juice might have pure cranberry juice diluted with apple or pear juice. This is still considered “100% juice.”
“Raw” At the present time, this term is either used to refer to unpasteurized cold-pressed juice that has a shelf life of two to three days or HPP-treated cold-pressed juice with a shelf life of up to 45 days. Check the label to see if and how the juice has been pasteurized.
“Unpasteurized” A very small percentage of commercially sold cold-pressed juice in the United States is unpasteurized, though it is gaining popularity. Imagine the fresh-squeezed apple cider at a local orchard, or premium green juice blends made at popular juice bars like NYC-based Juice Press and Liquiteria. These juices have a shelf life of a mere two to three days and are usually created with organic ingredients, making them about three times more expensive than your average lunchtime juice box.
“Pasteurized” Usually referring to thermal pasteurization, where a product is heated, pasteurization is used to prevent spoiling and to kill harmful pathogens, like E. coli. In addition to juice, milk, cheese, canned foods, wines and syrups are commonly pasteurized. Some companies use “flash pasteurization,” which supposedly maintains the color and flavor better. HPP is sometimes considered a form of pasteurization, though it does not use heat.
“From Concentrate” Many companies create a shelf-stable pasteurized juice product by extracting water from juice and creating a “concentrated” juice product. To make “reconstituted juice,” either the consumer or the manufacturer will add in water to dilute the concentrated juice before serving.
“Not From Concentrate” Used by numerous brands including Tropicana and Florida’s Natural, this phrase was coined in the 80s to distinguish pasteurized juice from juice made from concentrate. Though no water has been removed from this product, some larger producers strip the juice of oxygen, to keep juice stable while oranges are out of season, which reduces some natural flavoring. Some companies add in proprietary “flavor packs” so the product has the taste and aroma of just-squeezed juice. The FDA does not currently require that companies list flavor packs on a product’s packaging.