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The Secret Ingredient in Orange Juice (foodrenegade.com)
471 points by pmoriarty on Nov 26, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 262 comments

"Juice removed from the fruit is just concentrated fructose without any of the naturally-occurring fiber, pectin, and other goodies that make eating a whole fruit good for you. Did you know, for example, that it takes 6-8 medium sized apples to make just 1 cup of apple juice? You probably wouldn’t be able to eat 6-8 medium apples in a single sitting. (I know I can barely eat one!) But you can casually throw back a cup of apple juice, and you would probably be willing to return for seconds. That’s why fruit juice is dangerous. It’s far too easy to consume far too much sugar."

This paragraph is, arguably, far more important than all the hysteria about flavor packs, but it's only partially correct. Fibre does help provide satiety but, in and of itself, it isn't what's good for you about eating whole fruit unless you simply aren't getting enough fibre and have issues with constipation. What fibre does do is reduce the rate at which we absorb sugar. Apple juice will give you a nice fast sugar high and then a low, much like candy. An apple will give you a gradual surge of energy for a while. If you're going to eat something sweet, it's far better for you if it comes combined with fibre.

So don't go searching for juice that doesn't use flavor packs. Don't buy a juicer and juice your own either, because you're still throwing away what separates fruit from candy. Don't mess around with fermenting juices and all that probiotic jazz. If you simply must drink your fruit, use a blender.

Well, my wife works for Martinelli's - and it definitely doesn't take 2+ apples to make a cup of apple juice. (I'm not saying that apple juice should be your first choice.) They also carefully monitor "brix", which is the amount of sugar in their juice. They have acceptable targets for that as well as other measures (including John Martinelli tasting the product almost daily.)

Personally, I use my Vitamix to make my own "apple juice smoothy" and routinely ferment fruit for the probiotics. But I'm skeptical about the "juice is bad" meme.

But I'm skeptical about the "juice is bad" meme.

It is and for a simple reason that we've known about for a long time: glycaemic index. If the sugars (fructose) are locked in a matrix of cellulose (AKA dietary fibre) they're released gradually as your body digests the bulk matter. If you plot the blood sugar concentration of the person consuming a solid piece of fruit you see a nice curve where the levels rise, peak, and non-violently fall.

Now when you process the fruit you're effectively pre-digesting it - the sugars are free of the cellulose matrix (the bulk of the fruit) and when you plot the blood sugar concentration after consumption of juice, because no work needs to be done to digest it, the blood sugar level quickly spikes. This provides a rush, then your insulin response peaks, sending your blood sugar levels crashing. This happens much faster than the curve in blood sugar from eating unprocessed fruit.

The only argument I'll accept from people who drink juice: They like it. That's OK. You're allowed to like things. I like beer, which acts similarly to juice with regards to blood sugar concentration.

As I understand it, the process you describe is true of glucose but actually not fructose. Glucose gets absorbed into your blood, causes your pancreas to start releasing more insulin into the blood, which causes basically all the cells in your body to start absorbing glucose.

Fructose on the other hand can only be processed by your liver, so all the fructose you eat just kind of queues up for your liver to process it. It doesn't cause you to release insulin so it has a low glycemic index. Your liver can convert fructose to glycogen and then to glucose to feed your cells if you don't eat any carbs or glucose. But if you already have more than enough carbs/glucose, your liver instead converts the fructose to fat and stores it. This can lead to fatty liver and somewhat interestingly can also lead to insulin resistance which then makes you worse at processing glucose. Alcohol also gets processed exclusively in your liver and can cause fatty liver, so it is true that juice and beer can do a similar kind of damage.

Anyway, on the bigger point I 100% agree that juice is bad for you. It's sad to see it so often touted as healthy.

EDIT: One thing I do wonder about, people always point to fiber as a reason why fruit is ok but fruit juice isn't. It seems like it would be a lot easier to get people to start taking fiber supplements than to stop eating sugar, so why don't we ever hear that advice?

Fructose on the other hand can only be processed by your liver

You're correct and my original post is incorrect with regards to fructose. Thanks for pointing this out - it's better to be wrong but enlightened.

And that makes you're both right now!

Lustig goes through all the processes here:


But the sugars in fruit are not all fructose, right? It's a mixture of a bunch of different kinds of sugar molecules. I'm not sure what the exact ratio is, afaik in apple and orange juice the sugars are at least 50% glucose--but I'm not sure where I read that and it might be way off.

Either way, apple juice and orange juice have about 10-12g carbs per 100g (according to the packaging, in NL). Coca Cola has (not sure) I think, about 11g/100g? So I treat it about the same and drink it rarely.

The only difference is, you can mix up most types of juice 50/50 with tap water and it'll taste good (and if you're thirsty, actually better IMO). Try that with Coca Cola and ... nope :)

I've never understood the glycemic index stuff. It didn't seem to fit my experience. I just researched this, and I came upon this article: http://www.foodrenegade.com/glycemic-index-vs-glycemic-load/

I had never heard of glycemic load before today, and I'm always reading articles about nutrition science. It seems like fruit and veg have relatively high glycemic indices, but low glycemic load--which means that they're fine, which makes sense. Who here can imagine a doctor telling anyone on earth not to eat more carrots?

EDIT: I also found this article: http://www.calorieking.com/learnabouts/The-Glycemic-Index-Th... which had this quote: The glycemic load (GL) goes a step further than the GI by taking into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food. A weak point of the GI is that it fails to do this.

For example, carrots have a high GI of 47, but you have to eat a pound and a half of them for there to be a steep rise in blood sugar.

This completely meshes with my experience.

> Who here can imagine a doctor telling anyone on earth not to eat more carrots?

Completely tangential, but I can imagine doctors treating patients complaining of Carotenosis:

Carotenemia or carotenaemia (xanthaemia) is the presence of the orange pigment carotene in blood from excessive intake of carrots or other vegetables containing the pigment resulting in increased serum carotenoids. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotenosis

For example, carrots have a high GI of 47, but you have to eat a pound and a half of them for there to be a steep rise in blood sugar.

carrots are full of water, not to mention roughage, so they don't have high caloric density per unit mass/weight

the glycemic load is precisely articulating the index number adjusted per unit mass to account for stuff like caroots or beets etc.

So basically if you ate de-hydrated fruit or vegetables that will load higher (per unit mass) than stuff full of water...because whater has no cals...so water and starch dilute glycemic index

The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbs in a 10 gram portion of the food.

In practice, you can dilute glycemic index using fat and protein in addition to water.

> In practice, you can dilute glycemic index using fat and protein in addition to water.

And people really don't understand this. For instance, you basically can't find full-fat yogurt in an American grocery store. Instead there's 20 kinds of non-fat yogurt packed with sugar, which have a much higher glycemic load than yogurt with the same amount of sugar and fat would. But they're all advertised as being healthy because they're non-fat. It's crazy.

> If you plot the blood sugar concentration of the person consuming a solid piece of fruit you see a nice curve where the levels rise, peak, and non-violently fall.

There's nothing wrong with this except that it probably makes you feel more hungry and eat more. But the blood sugar surge isn't really unhealthy in normal people, it's usually the subsequent behavioral impact (the low that makes you feel hungry) that causes the real harm (ie: the total sugar matters more directly than the glycemic index).

There's nothing wrong with this

I agree there's nothing wrong with the part quoted. That's an ideal outcome. And the surge of blood sugar concentration from juice wasn't the part I was concerned about (unless it results in a child going into a hyperactive transdimensional shit-fit). The blood sugar crash is the significant part: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoglycemia#Signs_and_symptom...

Low blood sugar also plays a major part in decision fatigue. Do you make dinner after work or buy something on the way home? Making a healthy dinner is the better decision but right now you want satiety. Do you do the washing or sit in front of the TV? You don't just have decision fatigue, you're out of energy - the real deal.

This is in contrast to a low GI meal where the energy supply is provided over a longer period at a stable rate, providing the stamina to make good decisions and act on them.

Yep, totally agree with all this! Just pointing out that the low blood sugar in and of itself is probably not a huge deal from a health perspective, just the bad decision that comes from it.

>But I'm skeptical about the "juice is bad" meme.

The problem is that people can't separate an unbalanced diet from the foods that are throwing them out of balance.

Juice is fine and great. Getting most of your calories from simple sugars like all too many people do (and like juice provides)is bad. Replacing sodas with fruit juice doesn't do much to make your diet better. You should balance your sugars, fats, and proteins.

Can you ask your wife what the stuff that appears to be floating in my Martinelli apple juice is?

It's a cloud looking like substance in my juice. Does that mean it's been sitting too long? Fermented apple by chance? Smells almost like alcohol when opening it.

I may know what the cloudy stuff is. First, if the juice is outside the "best buy" date, just throw it away. The "cloudy juice" problem happened when they moved to a new production line in Watsonville. They discovered that as juice aged it got cloudy and then started to grow a "tree looking" like thing inside the bottle. It took them months to figure out that the big warehouse doors where they brought in apples was allowing mold spores to blow into the air and contaminate the juice. You've probably been holding on to that bottle for a while. (Some other brands don't filter their juice, and will appear cloudy.) This isn't a problem that anyone should be seeing anymore. (I should add that many, many bottles were tested and the mold wasn't a harmful mold. Many skeptical customers even arranged their own testing.)

Cool. Reminds me of this mystery fungus from a while ago: http://www.wired.com/2011/05/ff_angelsshare/

Wow. Interesting and makes plenty of sense. Thank you.

To be specific, I was trying to describe the "tree looking" like thing inside the bottle.

I only ever buy cloudy apple juice. Or is there something else going on in Martinelli?

Martinelli's uses a very fine filter for their juice - some juicers don't filter their juice (often because they want it to help define their brand - as unfiltered and natural.) Having heard a lot of stories about food production in general - you should try to choose a manufacturer that you trust. (For any food product, not just apple juice.) There are an incredible number of things which must be monitored and which can (and do) go wrong.

That stuff is delicious. I don't drink fruit juice, but I put Martinelli's in a different category.

As you should at $25/gallon [1]: 5x the price of Mott's for example.

1: http://store.martinellis.com/products/jaj128.shtml

With regards to "juice is bad", here is a BMJ article which appears to validate that belief at least with regards to type 2 diabetes: http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5001 Specifically: From the conclusion "Greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk."

> But I'm skeptical about the "juice is bad" meme.

Are you skeptical of "sugar is bad" meme? If you are, not sure how sugar disolved in water is a different.

> You probably wouldn’t be able to eat 6-8 medium apples in a single sitting.

I recently had to discover this, for any kind of raw food actually, even carrots. Anything 'processed' (either industrial pre-made meals, or even home made sauced/whatever) will tease your mouth and brain in an incomparably different manner. You can eat at least 3 times more of anything if it's dipped into fat/sugar/spices. Without these, your brain will very clearly and very quickly tell you "enough". Even delicious strawberries have enough acid, sour in it to make you sick pretty fast.

> If you're going to eat something sweet, it's far better for you if it comes combined with fibre.

My question is if the fibre has to be whole or not. If I put an apple into a high powered blender, it will get pulverized, but I'm not removing any fibre from it the way I would if I were running it through a juicer.

Does the "slowing" factor of the fibre depend on it being in clumps (i.e. a chunk of apple digests slower than apple sauce)?

It's definitely true that finely ground flour digests faster (more surface area, less breakdown needed, etc.). Effect probably exists for apples too.

Chewing is part of the digestive system ( Saliva contains digestive enzymes ), so you're missing out on that.

Whole, chewed fruit is much slower/evenly absorbed than sauced/pureed fruit... Once pureed, it's closer to juice.

You still get the benefit of eating the whole fruit though. None of the nutrients are removed, and you're less likely to eat 6 apples worth of puree than to drink 6 apples worth of apple juice.

> slower/evenly absorbed

Also, I'm curious what you mean here by "evenly absorbed." Even in what sense?

I mean it doesn't spike your blood glucose as much.

It sounds reasonable that fiber could reduce the rate of aborption of sugar. But I lose you when you start talking about sugar highs. I thought that was dispelled as a myth after a number of placebo controlled studies.

The affects of a "high" feeling, or rush is somewhat exaggerated, what it does to your blood glucose levels, and what that does to your body is well documented.

Fibre is more than roughage, it helps nurture the microbiome.

One of the dangers with juicers is that you end up making too many sweet drinks because they simply taste so good. Having both the auger style and centrifugal led me into the trap that auger was making better meals because it extracted more. Yet it was simply good at taking nearly all the solids out. Many of the recipes for these machines rely on fruits and they can be more addictive than other vices.

Going back to whole fruits the key I found was remembering those lessons as a kid, chew your food. This means even with fruits to make sure you don't just chew two or three times and swallow. That can lead to some gastric problems which turns many off to certain types of fruits. Better is to each vegetables, combined together they can be nearly as sweet tasting without the sugar

A blender still isn't that much better than juicing as you've already done a lot of the breakdown work that your digestive system does allowing for more absorption, which in and of itself isn't too bad.

For the most part, once you have enough protein in your diet, calories are calories. If you're predisposed to diabetes you're better off getting those calories from low glycemic sources. That doesn't make it easy to avoid too much of the good^Wbad stuff. However, you should also avoid getting more than 100g of sugar a day, though I try to stay under 100g of net carbs/day.

I'd like to see a citation on that. I researched that issue a while back and the best I could determine is that no one has ever done a study on blending vs chewing.

Does the fiber need to come with the sugar? What if I drink the equivalent of the apple juice in a couple of apples and chew on some lettuce which would contain the same amount of fiber as the apple?

Not an expert but I believe this does not work.

Sugar bound up in fiber (as is the case with natural fruit) is not immediately bioavailable. Your GI tract needs to break down the fiber in order to release the sugar, which takes time. The sugar is absorbed by your small intestine more slowly, causing a gentler glycemic response. This is analogous to 'extended release' medication, where the dose is delivered slowly over a longer period of time.

Separating the sugar from the fiber (as with juicing) means that all the sugar is bioavailable more or less immediately after you consume it, Causing the blood sugar high followed by the insulin spike. Adding fiber to your sugary meal does little to slow this down.

I'm no dietician, but I'd imagine it would be fine to do this. Of course, it takes about four cups of lettuce to give you the same amount of fibre as an apple. Multiply that by the number of apples it took to make your juice and that's a lot of lettuce even if you happen to really love lettuce.

Modern fruit has been selectively bred for higher sugar content. If it doesn't taste tartly sour, it's probably more sugar than your body really is evolved to consume.

> juices considered harmful

Nutrition threads in HN never fail to crack me up. Excess fiber consumption is exactly reason why I have a juicer, and because it tastes delicious.

Stop scaring people. Try doing some sports or having a walk instead of reading paleo/keto propaganda blogs for a change. Maybe that way you'll all be able to handle sugars just like any other healthy individual does.

I highly recommend to watch the documentary 'That Sugar Film'. It explains this in perfect detail and more aspects of sugar intake and the sugar industry.

>Don't mess around with fermenting juices and all that probiotic jazz.

Fermenting reduces the sugar in the beverage.The sugar is processed by the cultures.

Steve Jobs was a fruitarian for a while iirc and he died from pancreatic cancer. I wonder if all the fruit juices he drank had something to do with him getting cancer of the organ that creates a hormone to control blood sugar.

You do realize that the concept of a "sugar high" is fictional propaganda invented to help enforce sugar rationing during WW2. Painting juice consumption as dangerous is silly. Not everyone is an incipient diabetic.

Having a diabetic brother made me research a lot of stuff so I beg to differ.

If nothing else, high and uneven sugar levels are a recipe for getting fat and to get insulin resistance.

Excess glicose floating around in your bloodstream is harmful. You want a constant, baseline level, but the rest should be removed asap.

Having read the article I was left with the assumption that pretty much all commercial orange juice contained these "flavor packs". This does not seem to be the case: http://www.toxinless.com/orange-juice

Maybe don't buy your orange juice from subsidiaries of the Coca Cola company and Pepsico, as a starting point.

Also interesting: https://www.reddit.com/r/YouShouldKnow/comments/2684u1/ysk_t...

I maintain that toxinless.com page and usually buy the brands that claim to avoid flavor packs. It could be placebo, but I notice more flavor variation throughout the year with Costco and Whole Foods' brands, which I think supports their claims of using different sources of oranges throughout the seasons.

From your experience, is there one certain mid-price brand that stands out amongst the non flavor pack varieties?

I haven't noticed any difference, although I don't buy them frequently enough to make good comparisons.

I've considered switching to frozen concentrate for a lower-cost approach. I think it's likely to be promptly frozen after harvest, and may have lower pesticide levels due to smaller-scale production: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/chemical-residues-microbiol...

We've been drinking Uncle Matt's for a while now. It's usually about $4-5 where I live and that seems quite reasonable to me.

No flavor packs, enzyme and BPA free. And it's organic. And it actually tastes like oranges.

Or water. I've always found Dasani to have a suspiciously consistent and unique flavor and mouth feel.

Dasani is tap water that has been purified with reverse osmosis and then remineralised.

It's rather strange as a Brit to hear that some bottled waters in the US are tap water. Here everything seems to be mineral water.

Dasani was launched in the UK in the mid-2000s. Was a bit of a marketing disaster and then was found to be contaminated and had to be recalled.

I'll just remark that for water, I do want to drink a pure chemical, possibly with a little bit of minerals in, if it can't be helped.

Those little minerals are important. Purified water will pull minerals out of your system through osmotic pressure. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientschap...

Just eat something with it. Anything.

I hope you dont mean pure h2o because that's dangerous.

Distilled water is not "pure H2O." If I'm not mistaken there is only a few facilities in the world that can make pure H2O. Pure H2O has no flavor and will kill you if you drink too much of it. Distilled water or reverse osmosis machines only remove -most- things from water.

I believe there is an episode on National Geographic channel from the show "Going Deep With David Rees" where he visits a lab that makes Pure H20. He is only allowed to sip it. The episode was about creating ice without impurities. (it was found that pure H2O is not necessary to creating perfect ice, not is it made for human consumption.)

> [...] and will kill you if you drink too much of it.

Only if you don't eat anything at all with it.

I am very curious about your comment. how is pure h20 dangerous?

Distilled water (pure) has such a low mineral/salt level that it pulls important salts out of your cells. Your body is mostly water, but it's mostly salty water.

Well... not while eating a healthy diet.

Total dissolved solids must be under 500mg/L in US drinking water supplies, and the highly regarded NYC water system delivers water with less than 50mg/L of total dissolved solids. Most of that is sodium chloride, calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate, classic tasty salts... all of which are readily available in foods.

See http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/wsstate13.pdf for the 2013 water quality report; see table 1.

If you got distilled water instead, you'd notice the taste, but there wouldn't be a health problem.

H2O is highly caustic.

H2O is acidic, producing a significant concentration of H+ ions (arguably, the strongest reducing agent) at a concentration of 7 pH, or equivalently, 10^16 ions per liter of water!

Right, so why did I get downvoted?

Perhaps some people can't take a joke. FWIW, I upvoted you.

Is this really true? Do you only drink pure de-ionized or distilled water? It is certainly important for some applications, but I don't know many people who find it palatable on its own. Pretty much any water you buy or get from your tap has minerals in it, and often they are beneficial to your health.

distilled water is pretty bad tasting, IMO. You can get it from pretty much any grocery store. I think you'll prefer good mineralized water. Moreover, I find the local tap water (Vancouver BC) to be above and beyond any bottled water I've ever had.

not very surprising. Dasani is purified then mineralized

On its face, I find this difficult to believe because why would any company pay to add massive amounts of chemicals to something to give it a taste that it has naturally? The most important point in the article is that storage in the oxygen-less tanks deprives the juice of its flavor. No proof is provided of this assertion. When I follow the source link I get a similar article [1] that then is sourced to a similar one [2], neither of which has and proof, other than the author's assertion. So I tried to track down the original. I found this article [3] which links the original expose to Dr. Oz (whatever) and to a book, Squeezed: What you don’t know about Orange Juice, and an interview with the author [4], where she asserts that the stored orange juice is flavorless, but we don't know if that's really true or not. Did she taste it? Reading the organic juice's page it seems clear that any 'flavor packs', which are made from orange peel and oils, are added to standardize the taste, rather than creating the taste, which seems to be a far more reasonable suggestion, but hardly something to feel alarm about.

[1] https://christinescottcheng.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/tropica...

[2] http://civileats.com/2009/05/06/freshly-squeezed-the-truth-a...



> any company pay to add massive amounts of chemicals to something to give it a taste that it has naturally?

Unless they plan on selling the juice just during harvest time, they need to store it. Try and store some juice you squeezed from oranges even in the refrigerator and see how long it will last and how it will taste. It will last some but not for 6 months.

Consistency. Tropicana tastes one way, others taste different. I don't know why you need any proof, products will change flavor after they are stored for a while.

> add massive amounts of chemicals to something to give it

I'll have to throw the "sauce, please" back at you here ;-) I don't see where in the article it says these flavor packs are massive. Flavor compounds if done right will not be massive. Have you ever added spices or vanilla to anything you cook or bake. How much of the total volume is it? It usually isn't much.

> No proof is provided of this assertion.

I think it is rather common sense that it would lose flavor, at best it would have a different / strange flavor.

> hardly something to feel alarm about.

Really, you don't have any idea why someone might be a slightly worried about this class of additives put into a popular food that gets to skirt by regulations based on "technical" language.

Yes but what if you store it after removing the oxygen? And just the oxygen. It might last a lot longer. Then put it back at the end and taste it.

Industrial companies have a lot of resources and techniques available to them that the typical person making juice in their home does not. For example, what if they pasteurize the juice? Then it might also last longer, etc.

Some people react negatively to these sorts of scientific techniques out of what seems to be the naturalistic fallacy, a sort of (mistaken) belief that "natural things" (whatever that means) are intrinsically better.

There's no such thing as "take out all the oxygen". You can take a bunch, but after a point it get's hard and expensive to keep reducing oxygen concentrations to super low (not zero) levels.

Yes - presumably the goal is to reduce the dissolved oxygen levels low enough to halt or significantly slow whatever decay process affects the taste.

>I think it is rather common sense

Common sense is not proof.

>Flavor compounds if done right will not be massive. Have you ever added spices or vanilla to anything you cook or bake. How much of the total volume is it? It usually isn't much.

Then it's not a problem

I hate this mentality. Why does it have to be proved to be sure it is unhealthy? It should be the other way around. It has to be proved to be healthy for you to eat it.

Back in the day, smoking wasn't proved that it was unhealthy while it was common sense that it was.

The mentality is not accidental, it is a cornerstone element in propaganda related to health and environmental concerns.

It used by oil companies, agro-businesses, and other industries, and of course tobacco companies. As part of their campaigns over the years they have instilled those ideas pretty well at at fundamental level in everyone's minds specifically that:

1) Stuff is safe unless we have hard scientific evidence that it is not

2) One should not interfere with or harass big companies too much, because if you hurt them it will hurt the economy. They know what they are doing, are smarter, have better scientists and in general are mature enough to police themselves.

3) Only conspiracy theory people, hippies, and communists worry about health and mother earth, those people are irrational and crazy. You don't want to be like them. You want to be an American.

When consumers would say "we'd like to label explicitly this and that", or "this seems unhealthy, we should probably disallow its usage in food" the reply is "Where is your sauce? Do you have hard science? No? Ok then we are a rational science based society so we should allow it".

It is a very effective tactic in general and no wonder it is used all the time.

Hearing my own thoughts when I'm reading your comment. Cheers for writing it down in clear english!

Sure, frozen/stored food will lose some flavours, change some others, but the article says it's "quite flavourless", which seems like a bit stronger claim.

Next time I juice fresh oranges--and if I remember--I will freeze some, just to see what happens :) Especially interested if it'll taste more like the stuff we get from the shop here (which is nearly all "from concentrate").

As I recall reconstituted and concentrated juices are supposed to have "Brix" ratings on the food labels.

To complicate the matter further, juices that are concentrated for preservation, handling and storage and reconstituted for consumption (labelled "juice from concentrate") should be diluted back to approximately the same solids level (designated as Brix or percent soluble solids) of the initial juice. The amount of add-back water can vary substantially even within a given fruit, so reasonable commercial standards are set (FDA, 1999)

Juice is a pretty loaded word with lots of meanings. The tables in this document might help: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2515e/y2515e03.htm

Why? For two reasons:

1) flavor. When you buy this brand of juice it taste this way

2) flavor consistency. No matter which field or time of year the can produce the same flavor.

This author has a history of being on the wrong side of science, and fear mongers on the harms of GMO. For example:


Just google GMO and this blog: https://www.google.com/search?q=GMO+site%3Afoodrenegade.com

Being Anti-GMO doesn't make someone on the wrong side of science.

The dangers of GMO from a economic perspective are worthy of worry on their own. If you haven't seen Food Inc, then I would recommend that as a starting point to learn how dangerous the monopolisation of the food industry can be to society. The farmers in Peru want to protect their existing biodiversity, something North America has lost thanks to Monsanto, where you cannot legally grow a heirloom corn crop without paying patent fees to monsanto because of the inevitable wind-born cross pollination, thereby violating monsanto patent rights.

Like the other commentator, the stated problems in your comment have nothing to do with GMO, they are a problem with a specific company and patent politics. I don't like software patents but I don't go around telling people software is dangerous and that they shouldn't use software.

If the software was a virus that infected other software you might.

Unfortunately the biggest GMO companies in the world have given GMO foods a bad name.

While GM technology does have hope for the future, like AI, it also poses risks. We need to take those risks seriously, and dismissing people anti-GM as being anti-science is FUD on your part.

There are dangers of eating GM food, but that doesn't mean the dangers come from the genes themselves. GM food such as roundup ready crops can have increased herbicide residue compared to non-GM crops.

We live in a world of corporate funded "science", so being skeptical of claims of 100% safety for GM organisms released into the wild isn't anti-science, it's just using the Precautionary Principle.

The Precautionary Principle states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.

I think that is the correct approach to GM. The potential risks if things go wrong are huge and irreversible, wheres the need for GM food (if any) doesn't justify that risk until we have better scientific consensus.

What you're saying sounds like that in the absence of evidence that GMO causes harm you're just going believe whatever you want. There's no scientific basis to suspect GMO of causing harm to anything. Your suspicions are based on a big company being involved and oh my god it's made by people. Nature good, people bad. I don't share this sentiment. Aflotoxin is made by nature, it is bad for you. Very very bad. It occurs in everyday food. GMO has been shown by research to mitigate the presence of aflotoxin. GMO is a product of people. If they put GMO labels on stuff, I will be happy, because I will eat the GMO stuff. You can have your organic local peanut butter with its aflotoxins.

Also nobody forced farmers to by the GMO crops, they're buying it for a reason. They're buying it because it's good.

Can you please go into further detail and provide evidence (preferably not an emotionally written wordpress blog post) for your claim regarding the wind-born (blown) cross pollination resulting in patent fees? This is something I have heard again and again but googling for "Monsanto wind blown seeds" [1] seems to return a fair amount of articles/research not supporting your statement.

[1] - https://www.google.com/search?q=monsanto%20wind%20blown%20se...

Corn seeds are not wind blown, the pollen is. It is a fact that GMO <> Non-GMO corn cross pollination happens, and when that does your seeds become tainted. To collect and replant those seeds is patent infringement. Wikipedia has a lot of information about Monsanto court cases.

Monsanto actually has a page "busting" the myth, but I'm going to link to it because it clearly states that monsanto has the right to enforce patent fees in this case.


Here is the quote: Monsanto has a long-standing public commitment that “it has never been, nor will it be, Monsanto’s policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.”

So they are saying that, yes they own those patent rights, but no they won't enforce them. It's pretty clear cut that one has a legal obligation to pay monsanto, but they're being nice by not enforcing their rights. ( If you watch Food Inc, you'll see how nice they are about non-enforcement in reality ).

These other, more mainstream outlets share a similar story:

HuffPo (complete with a letter from a OJ Industry Group PR Rep that does not refute anything in the article, just tries to reframe) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/100-percent-orange-...

The New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/ask-an-academic-o...

The Consumerist http://consumerist.com/2011/07/29/oj-flavor-packs/

Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com/5825909/orange-juice-is-artificially-flav...

I concede that it's very unlikely to taste the difference between a GMO/non-GMO tomato.

But are you okay with Montsanto's practices?

There's good science that basically explains that their business model is not doing the best for the planet or the people living in it. It is, indeed reducing bio-diversity as far as I know. Also, their practices are super shady, having lived in latam all my life, I saw the way they got into several countries there and it's disgusting.

Genetically modified foods are not any more harmful than regular foods. If you have a problem with Montsanto then talk about Montsanto, and not spread fear and doubt about a technology that is wholly beneficial and may lead to many lives saved.

I'm not talking about GMO being more harmful than regular foods. I am, indeed, making a point about Montsanto.

There's much, much more than meets the eye about GMOs, how Montsanto is using the seeds and the actual repercussions of it. The debate, is not around 'GMOs being more harmful', at all.

One reason that people are against GMO is that they don't trust the system that makes GMO. The kind of labelling games pointed out in the article are one reason why.

From a purely scientific standpoint, I'm for GMO, but I have to admit that I don't really know what's in the industrial food I buy. Worse, it's in the food industry's best interest to obfuscate, and it would be foolish to think that the GMO industry is any different.

I know this article is trying to "scare me with science," but it actually makes me proud that science allows for orange juice year round. Fresh is always better than not fresh, but this is something we as a society should be proud of, not ashamed.

If it wasn't for labeling requirements this process wouldn't even exist. It normally wouldn't make sense to extract liquid from oranges, store it for a year, and then re-combine it with flavor and texture to create a beverage. But unless the liquid and all those byproducts actually come directly from oranges you can't call it "100% pure orange juice".

You could produce the exact same chemical result without this process a lot safer and cheaper but then you couldn't call it pure orange juice not from concentrate.

I don't know if fresh is always better. It is better at some things. I like freshly squeezed oranges at home but there have been several cases around the world where unpasteurised fresh orange juice has been the cause of salmonella infection.

Sometimes we trade taste and nutrition for convenience, safety, consistency and year round availability. I like freshly squeezed oranges off my orange tree but they don't grow all year round. I am mostly happy not to consume oranges out of season but that isn't really a basis for a sustainable industry and beverage companies have sensibly created a market for year round, consistent tasting juice products.

> I like freshly squeezed oranges off my orange tree but they don't grow all year round. I am mostly happy not to consume oranges out of season but that isn't really a basis for a sustainable industry...

Actually I'd call that the definition of a basis for a sustainable industry...

Yeah there's common sense in accepting that some produce is only available some of the time. There's plenty of decent fruit even in winter; I don't need strawberries right now.

There wouldn't be plenty of decent fruit in winter where I'm from without a massive transportation infrastructure.

The article is not about "scaring you with science". It's about accuracy and honesty in labelling.

Don't label something "natural" or "100% fresh juice" if it's not.

To some extent that's right, but it's also riddled with unsourced assertions and pseudoscience. It's not really a good source.

The point you make is a more complex one than you seem to be implying. What does it mean for something to be "natural"? Is pasteurisation natural? What about homogenisation? Packaging?

Where I'm from (idk about elsewhere) pasteurized and homogenized milk is labelled as such. It is not something companies try to hide from consumers and it is not something consumers try to avoid.

That's how I think it should work. Honest labeling, and letting consumers decide.

The only controversial aspect of "honesty in labeling" is that it would enable and empower FUD campaigns from the "scaring you with science" crowd. Saying that these issues are separate is like a coal salesperson saying "my product is about energy, not polluting the environment." Maybe you wish that were the case, but that does not make it so.

I don't want genetic engineering and industrial preservation techniques to go the way of nuclear energy -- discarded for an alternative that comparatively damages our health, damages our wallets, and damages the environment simply because the otherwise superior option has a higher coefficient of sensationality.

So you would you advocate the so-called Noble Lie? [1]

The problem to me with such an approach (even given that the end is in fact alturistic and beneficial) is: who gets to decide which lies get to be told, and who decides what is beneficial? Beneficial to whom? the whole society? some subset of society?

Do we allow all lies in advertising? Or just ones you or some elite (perhaps scientists or technocrats) determine are for the benefit of society?

Personally, I'd rather have the truth be told, and hold advertisers to a higher standard.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_lie

And who gets to define what is a lie and what isn't? Where you see a lie, I see a truth that causes misdirection when vitalists trip over their own logical shortcomings.

Let's get one thing straight: you're the one who wants to extend the current definition of "lie" to include this particular brand of misdirection and then censor that misdirection. You're the one who wants to "hold advertisers to a higher standard" in the name of benefiting society. I'm the one advocating the comparatively hands-off approach of continuing to restrict censorship to literally false statements. Those hard questions you asked about who should get to make arbitrary decisions are the ones you have to answer for your argument to be convincing.

Well if a lie is a misdirection of truth then you've just agreed with the GP.

"juice is dangerous. It’s far too easy to consume"

This is the sub-text of the article, so I think you're being a little naive. Working backwards from the conclusion, there is no difference between various type of juice.

> but it actually makes me proud that science allows for orange juice year round.

I am not proud of regulatory environment that allows them to not have to list those ingridients on package and instead do what they do and still claim "Fresh", "Natural", "Not from Concentrate" (i.e. pasteurized) etc.

When that "fresh" OJ has a fraction of the nutritional benefits of the real thing, is it even the same thing?

EDIT: https://www.google.com/search?q=nutritional+value+of+jurice+... (Change Juice type to Orange

The claim that deoxygenated orange juice has a fraction of the nutritional benefits of hand-squeezed juice is an assertion that needs to be backed up with evidence, not blindly assumed.

I never realized Google do this themselves.

https://www.google.com/search?q=nutritional+value+of+jurice+... (change Juice type to Orange)

So we can see right off the bat the compared to Juice, oranges per unit volume have 12 times more dietary fiber, more vitamin A & C, almost 4 times more calcium.

That wasn't hard to find.

Fiber is not a nutrient; fiber is any part of a food which cannot be digested. It's no surprise that oranges have more pulp than orange juice.

As for micronutrients like vitamins, all of them can be destroyed by heat. All forms of cooking reduce the amount of vitamins in the food, and pasteurization is no exception. The trade-off is generally worth it, however, as it takes a fair amount of work to avoid enough foods that you end up with a deficiency, and the health benefits of killing the bacteria are so great.

Also, fruit juice has a lot of sugar in it; you don't want it to be too large a part of your diet anyway.

That is the difference between eating a whole orange versus just drinking the juice. But what Niten asked was whether there is any difference between drinking freshly squeezed juice versus drinking pasteurized+stored juice. Can you find any sources discussing that question?

That's a comparison between whole oranges and orange juice, not a comparison between fresh orange juice and deoxygenated orange juice.

I charge you with the opposite task- prove industrial orange juice is healthier than juice squeezed from an orange.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

Ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia :)

Colloquial translation for those of you playing along at home:

The burden of proof lies with he who affirms not he who denies, since by the nature of things, he who denies cannot produce any proof.

(This is the classic statement of the presumption of innocence, and also one of the core principles in the dawn of Enlightenment era science, where it was adapted into our modern understanding of scientific skepticism.)

>That which is said in Latin seems deep.

Just because something is abused does not mean that a proper usage of the same is also wrong.

We're also attempting to communicate solely through well known quotations, which poses its own set of unique constraints.

Aee ere ire l'acca fan fuggire

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Sorry. What game are we playing here?

Do you have evidence for that? I prefer freshly squeezed juice because it tastes better, but processing like this allows for cheap juice to be available in large quantities year-round, which also has value.

> which also has value.

No it (i.e. orange juice) doesn't have meaningful value. It's like soda minus the bubbles.


8oz of Coca-Cola contains 26g sugar: http://www.coca-colaproductfacts.com/en/coca-cola-products/c...

8oz of Tropicana orange juice contains 22g sugar: http://www.tropicana.com/products/tropicana_pure_premium/no_...

If you're concerned about your Vitamin C intake, try a multi-vitamin.

The same can be said for most juices, regardless of how recently they have been squeezed.

While I usually suggest drinking something that isn't full of sugar, I'm glad science and engineering has found ways to store juice for long periods without spoiling. These techniques can probably be used in other ares. Advances in science and technology often have wider benefits, often unexpected.

The only potential problem I see with the orange juice situation is labeling. More accurate labeling requirements keep markets honest, and the claim of being "freshly squeezed" factually wrong given any reasonable definition of "fresh".

Quite right, which is why I never drink juice, and suggest you don't either.

Or you drink juice mixed with a lot of water.

Often even the Schorle sold in stores has too much juice, average seems to be at 60%[1], I prefer more like 30%. In the recent years, 5% to 10% Schorle has become increasingly popular.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apfelschorle

An interesting type of (approximately) zero sugar drink is mixing bitters with {,cabonated} water. In particular, a dash or two of Peychaud's Bitters in soda water is almost like a floral (gentian) "kool aid"-style drink without the excessive sweetness.

Forgive my inexperience with alcohol (I have never drunk it and I am not from the States), but bitters as defined here [1] seem to be alcoholic -- therefore a bad choice for anything but after hours, leisure drinking, right?

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitters#Cocktail_bitters

You only use a few drops. It's like vanilla extract - you use so little of it that the EtOH is insignificant.

I like how juice tastes when mixed with carbonated water, apple as well as orange. I usually just drink the carbonated water itself, though.

"Value" doesn't necessarily mean "nutritional value". If it tastes good, it is valuable.

It all depends on your reason for drinking OJ in the first place. Maybe you, grecy, drink OJ primarily for the nutritional value of it. But i'll bet pounds to pennies that the average person drinks it primarily, and maybe only, because they enjoy the taste. And because the human body needs and craves fluids, of course.

It's not like HN readers invented the concept of eating healthy. Many people drink orange juice because they want something sweet but perceive orange juice as healthier than soda. This perception is false, but it's one of the biggest drivers of the juice industry.

There's not much nutritional benefit to actual fresh squeezed juice either. Current recommendations are don't bother, but restrict yourself to a small glass if you do, and only count 1 glass as one of your five a day, and more glasses don't count.

This is one of the little things that make me happy about the Netherlands: the local market chains sell lots of minimally industrialized products. Orange juice tastes fresh and will spoil in a couple of days. If you still don't trust it, there are machines where you can choose fruit and squeeze your own juice. And it's usually cheaper than the big-brand alternatives.

I did that at Edeka in Germany recently. It was the only time I bought orange juice that literally tasted fresh made. Well, because it was ^.^

I've been living in Germany for 6 months now and I'm so impressed by the availability of natural products.

There is at least one Biomarkt ("natural supermarket") in walking distance pretty much everywhere in Berlin.

There's also startups like Bonativo which deliver fresh and locally produced products and produce regularly (it is a bit expensive though).

I love that there are at least these options should you want them.

Berlin has low rent compared to most cities. I think they also introduced rent caps.

Even Aldi sells lots of organic stuff these days.

Did the same thing at our local fruit store. They have a machine similar to this one.


The juice tastes amazing, and the sweetness level is much lower.

Albert Heijn in the Netherlands is also big on these machines. We use it every time we visit.

Exactly the same kind of machine! :D

I've heard many times that ordering a freshly squeezed juice from those machines is not so safe, they need to clean them pretty often to prevent E. coli and other dangerous pathogens from spreading, and since the machines that are squeezing this juice are not kept in refrigirator while operating - spreading this pathogens becomes an easy task

You've "heard many times"? It's obviously safe enough that an entire country has one in every supermarket. Do you think that the health & safety service in The Netherlands is so bad that it wouldn't be noticed if these things were causing regular E. coli outbreaks?


This is probably one of the most condescending things I have ever read.

> a lot of people (employees) don't know how to properly use juicers and they don't know that they need a proper cleaning after each user in order to prevent pathogens spreading.

If only there was some kind of method of knowledge transfer to these lowly peon workers who are clearly to stupid to know to clean things after use!

Ah yes, training.

Again, wouldn't we hear about it if this happened often? I regularly hear about contamination on the other side of the country (e.g. Chipotle recently) and it seems rather unlikely that this could be anywhere near as common as you're claiming without making the news.

I don't think we are talking about the same thing. The machine I mentioned sits inside a supermarket and is definitely cleaned every day, it's always pristine. Most contamination comes from fruit surfaces anyway, if they are properly washed there is no danger. Also if you look up incidents of food poisoning from juice, they all happened with the industrialised/pasteurised ones, as a result of the handling/storage/transport. Most humans eat fresh fruit during their entire lives, there is nothing to worry about :)

> I’m not questioning the health or merit of added chemicals (“natural” or “synthetic”)

Oh good, I thought you were afraid of chemicals

>I’m questioning the health or merit of so-called foods that are so devoid of flavor or color that we have to add back in chemical flavorings and colors to make them palatable.

Wait what? I thought you weren't questioning the health or merit chemicals? People like orange juice (more specifically, not from concentrate), and the cheapest way to produce something that resembles that is to store them in oxygen-free vats and add back flavor packs. Who cares if chemicals were used to achieve that flavor?

When consumers buy juice labelled "natural" or "100% juice" they expect juice that hasn't had anything added or taken away from it, especially not something that doesn't actually exist in nature.

The article was written to inform consumers about what they're actually getting and how they're getting deceived.

"Natural" has pretty much 0 value as a label. What is natural and not natural would vary depending on which person you ask the question on the street... This is just marketing.

There is a line past which an overwhelming majority of people would reasonably object to a "natural" or "100% juice" label on orange juice, in the same way that pure ethylvanillin could not reasonably be labeled 100% natural vanilla.

It seems clear to me that the label has some value, it's just a matter of placing the line.

The label is unregulated. And for example my definition of natural is : appears in nature, without human intervention. By this definition, there is very few items items in a grocery shop that are natural... Any farming is unnatural for example.

Crude oil is "natural" but you probably wouldn't want it in your OJ. ;)

While I appreciate what the other wrote, it came across somewhat as an anti-synthetic piece that plays off of fear rather information. We shouldn't be labeling these as non-concentrate, but I don't see a reason to be particularly concerned about it.

I don't think he was questioning the health or safety of the additives, I think he was questioning the nutritious list of oranges or the foodstuffs that lack flavor. This would make sense given that humans have evolved to taste and enjoy flavours based upon the nutritiousness of that food.

Human beings evolved senses to perceive food which will aid in the individual's survival on the plains of the African savannah. There's no reason to believe that food perceived to be flavorful necessarily contains the correct nutrients for us, and (more importantly) contain them in the right amounts. Otherwise if we can all just trust our taste buds then nutritionists would be all out of jobs.

Actually, there is a good reason to believe that natural flavours that taste good to us do so because they're healthy and contain the correct nutrients for us, and our bodies even can know about when we've consumed enough of them.

This book outlines all of that http://www.amazon.ca/Dorito-Effect-Surprising-Truth-Flavor/d...

If you don't want to read the whole book, here's the audio from a program called The Agenda with Steve Paikin with the author of The Dorito Effect. http://podcasts.tvo.org/theagenda/audio/2301343_48k.mp3

> Who cares if chemicals were used to achieve that flavor?

He should have just said he was questioning the health of those chemicals. That's what I would say.

Except he never provides any proof that any of the chemicals named are harmful in any way. His claims are

1. Juice produced at industrial scale are loaded with sugar and are less nutritious than actual fruits (true, but also true of any juice, industrial or otherwise)

2. Juice produced at industrial scale is "unnatural" (also true, depending on your definition of "natural", but merely asserting that they are unnatural doesn't mean they're good or bad for you - naturalistic fallacy)

He can't assert that the chemicals are in fact bad for you because there's no proof of it, as mentioned elsewhere in this comment thread, and by his own admission these are the exact same chemicals you'd find in oranges anyway

I was always confused as to why "100% orange juice not from concentrate" tasted so wildly different from fresh squeezed orange juice.

It's almost as if they are two completely separate drinks.

Trader Joe's has Unpasteurized Orange Juice which does taste like freshly squeezed juice. I wonder how real that is.

It's almost as if one had been pasteurised, more likely.

I found this a little odd:

> Haven’t you ever wondered why every glass of Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice tastes the same, no matter where in the world you buy it or what time of year you’re drinking it in? Or maybe your brand of choice is Minute Maid or Simply Orange or Florida’s Natural. Either way, I can ask the same question. Why is the taste and flavor so consistent?

And then

> 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 favor. Mexicans and Brazilians have a different palate. Flavor packs fabricated for juice geared to these markets therefore highlight different chemicals

Do you often shop at an American grocery store and then immediately at a Mexican or Brazilian grocery store?

No, but I'm not the one who claimed that orange juice from a given brand tastes the same no matter where in the world you buy it.

Another lesson is that if you're going to buy industrial food (and it's something we're all going to do sometimes since it's an efficient way to make convenient food available at scale), it's better to go with something that doesn't hide what it is.

It's one reason why I'm a fan of Soylent. I hope it starts a trend where we get we get honest industrial food instead of fake natural food. I'm not not at all convinced that their product is unique, but I hope it starts a trend, where manufacturers don't hide the fact that flavor and nutrition need to be designed in, and instead try to explain why the design they chose is the best design.

I really like Soylent and what Rosa Labs is doing, but I don't believe that they are a paragon of transparency. Some countries (e.g. Australia) require food products to be labeled with the percentage of each ingredient by mass, not just a list of ingredients in descending order, and I don't see that on my Soylent pouches.

As demonstrated by OP's example, "honest industrial food" is incompatible with the economic principles under which the industry operates. Companies emphasize the information that makes their product more appealing, while concealing information that would aid their competitors or dissuade some consumers.

Generally, food makers will only disclose the information that they are compelled to by law, and even then, they employ teams of food scientists and lawyers to maximize what can be hidden behind a label that is still technically compliant.

We can still support companies that are more open than the minimum required by law. I think it will be a long time before it's mainstream, but it may be enough to keep a niche market going.

Is there any actual evidence that MSG should be "cause for concern"?

No. None whatsoever. MSG is just the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Just like table salt breaks down into its constituent sodium and chlorine in water, MSG breaks down into sodium and glutamic acid, the latter of which is in high quantities in beef, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy, and so on.

Fear of MSG is, chemically speaking, utter nonsense.

I lost any confidence I had in the author when I saw that line.

Double-blinded studies have debunked the idea of MSG sensitivity. Preparations high in MSG tend to be high in sodium as well, which people are sensitive to.

Counterexample: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9215242

Even if it's true about the sodium, that still leaves MSG as way to sneak lots of sodium into a meal in a form that doesn't taste salty.

Incidents of the "restaurant syndrome" might be caused by a large amount being accidentally or carelessly dumped into the food. (E.g. the perforated lid comes off the MSG container while it is shaken and the food is served anyway).

If that happened with a salt container, they would think twice before serving it anyway, due to the food obviously tasting over-salted.

There is a balance to be kept by the body between GABA and glutamate (oversimplification). The former is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and the latter is excitatory. So - it really depends. If your nervous system is overexcited, having glutamate (doesn't matter whether from natural or lab-made sources) might be a bad idea. If you are pretty balanced or have a GABA surplus, you'll be fine.

BTW this balance does seem to play a role in autism and ADHD, and suppressing glutamate is considered as an option in this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25666800

Current scientific evidence indicates that glutamate does not cross the blood brain barrier. While glutamate is very active in the brain, it does not appear that consumption has any effect.

Something doesn't have to cross the barrier to cause a headache or other effects. A constriction or dilation of the blood vessels in the brain will do.

What evidence is there that glutamic acid is a vasodilator?

Just found some pig and rat experiments:


"We examined the effects of topically applied amino acids (glutamate, aspartate, glycine, and taurine) and a synthetic glutamate analogue [N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)] on pial arteriolar tone and cortical surface cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dilator prostanoid concentrations in anesthetized newborn pigs. [...] We conclude that these amino acids are potent dilators of the neonatal cerebral circulation."


"Taken together, these results indicate that glutamate contributes to the dilatory tone of cerebral microvessels under physiologic conditions and that this effect is mediated by NMDA receptors. Glutamatergic vasodilation is dependent on neuronal discharge activity and the neuronal production of NO."

Experiment with glutamate infusion in cardiac surgery patients:


"These data show that an intravenous glutamate infusion after routine CABG surgery significantly improved cardiac haemodynamic performance without direct effects on cardiac substrate metabolism. This suggests that a reduction of the afterload via a peripheral vasodilatory effect is the main mechanism leading to the observed changes in haemodynamics."

    > I’m sure you’re careful to buy the kind that’s 100%
    > juice and not made from concentrate. After all,
    > that’s the healthier kind, right? 
If you're going to drink sugar water, it's unlikely to make much difference if it came straight from an orange or from concentrate. It seems a bit like worrying about whether your cigarette papers were naturally bleached or not.

    > flavor packs are made from orange by-products — even though
    > these ‘by-products’ are so chemically manipulated that they
    > hardly qualify as ‘by-products’ any more.
I would love to know what that actually means, other than being scare-quote-tastic. How does something stop qualifying as a by-product?

    > Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor
    > packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange
    > juice, resemble nothing found in nature
The pork sausages I buy come exlusively from pigs, herbs, and onions, and yet they also "resemeble nothing found in nature", unless Big Feline has invented meat grinders while we weren't watching.

If the juice is based on the use of flavor packs, then it is, to some extent, "made from concentrate"; if it is labeled as "not from concentrate", then that is a flat out lie.

I suspect "concentrate" simply has a legal definition that excludes flavour packs - in fact, doesn't the article say as much? The tricky thing about labeling is that there's obviously a line and the level of detail required will vary according to the beholder. I suspect there are far worse offenders in the food industry and, as the article implies, drinking fruit juice anyway isn't automatically a 'healthy' option; the concentrate/non-/flavour-pack distinction is probably relatively insignificant.

The law allows food manufacturers and stores to lie about the food. Much of the meat, especially poultry, for sale is labeled as "fresh" or explicitly "never frozen", when it has been frozen rock-hard. There is an arbitrary temperature that the bird must be kept above to allow the use of the term "fresh", but this is well below 0° C.

The best orange juice I ever had was on the streets of Marakesh. It's freakin' amazing, hard to describe actually. I never before or after this visit had that good of a orange juice.


One thing that affects perception of flavour more than anything else is how hungry and thirsty you are. Not that the orange juice in Marrakech isn't great (I've had it), but if you're really thirsty whatever you drink is going to taste amazing. Same goes for being really hungry and food.

What's interesting is that these perceptions persist even when you have those foods again. Having been exhausted and very hungry once and having had fish & chips afterwards, that flavour (of fish 'n chip-shop deep fried cod and greasy chips) still knocks me over every time I have it.

I've had a similar experience at a night market in Taiwan. A dude rigged up a press to squeeze the oranges into a jug then he poured it into a cup or you to buy. He had hundreds of juiced oranges in a pile beside his stand. I wish I had a picture to share.

You should also watch this CBC Marketplace episode on the secrets behind Orange Juice. Quite revealing.


My father grew up on an orange grove in Lebanon and ate lots of citrus fruit and drank a good amount of juice as a child . Living in the New Jersey for the majority of his adult life he always said that the frozen concentrate orange juice tastes the best; and it looked like orange juice . He always disliked the bottled juice , saying it didn't taste right to him, and it was too damn expensive. As I grew up I noticed that Tropcana and Minute Maid cartons gave me horrible indigestion, so I gave up on orange juice . I told my dad about this and he reminded me of two things one this is what you get when a large company makes food , people in suits with MBAs tell chemical engineers to make me a more profitable product . Two don't drink orange juice, stick to coffee , it has caffeine. Ymmv

There was an interesting CBC News show on this:


The most interesting thing was that people were so used to the taste of the processed OJ that they preferred it to the fresh squeezed OJ.

Some people even prefer tastes that are obviously artificial, like Sunny Delight ("Sunny D" in some places) or Tang crystals.

So they don't have to list the flavor packets as ingredients. But why are they allowed to advertise "100% pure premium Florida orange juice"?

I think it's because the flavor packets are also made from 100% Florida orange juice, even if it's just extracts processed from oranges, not the raw juice.

Because lobbying.

I've wondered why the fresh orange juice machines you see in Spain commonly are never seen in the United States. Is there a food safety law that prevents this or is it just a matter of preference?

Some places in the US have them, but usually they are commercial units. For most Americans that shop for staples one every week or two a gallon of pasteurized juice that keeps for two weeks under refrigeration is great compared to oranges that would not last nearly as long. OJ is a common component of breakfast but our shopping habits do not support fresh juice.

Roberts Market in Woodside CA used to have an orange juice squeezer until a few years ago. It was really nice - I could toss in oranges (or grapefruit, or tangerines) and go home with delicious fresh juice. Don't know why they removed it.

i'm not sure i care that much tbh.

this is a tiny part of the price i pay for being able to buy it in a shop from bulk suppliers rather than having to juice my own fruit... besides that, i don't think its a heavy price to pay - i'm not sure i really see the harm tbh.

its not like they are flavouring it with deadly toxic poisons.

For me, it just doesn't taste nearly as good. Try it fresh if you haven't recently. It's barely the same beverage at all.

oh sure. this is definitely the case... but we all notice this right? its not really a secret and i don't think it needs scaremongering about.

i can remember asking my parents about this 20+ years ago the first time we bothered to squeeze our own juice, as the first response after tasting it... they didn't give me a page of information about the process exactly but it seems obvious that they knew this already from past experience.

i guess maybe there is a problem today that people just won't even try fresh orange juice...

Yeah I used to take it for granted, but I remember vividly how shocked and impressed a friend was (in my childhood, granted) when he tried fresh OJ for the first time. It was a transformative revelation.

I still find restaurants that claim to have fresh OJ when it's clearly not. I can see how it would slip through the cracks of some people's experiences.

Very interesting reading. I've gotten many migraine headaches over the years that I can only correlate to having consumed major brand name orange juices. Minute Maid, Tropicana, that kind of stuff.

Since realizing this, I've stuck to plain old oranges and fresh squeezed OJ and not had a problem. The link between consumer OJ and my migraines, if one exists at all, never made sense ("it's just crushed oranges, after all") until now.

So, theoretically at least, my body could have a bad reaction to whatever is in the flavor packs that are used to make the tasteless juice taste more like real orange juice.

What I really hate about re-flavored juices is that we grow the fruits in the first place. It seems like a waste to spend all this effort growing a fruit tree, watering it, pruning it, grafting it, and applying pesticides, herbicides and fungicides only to have the final product just ground up for the sugars. I hope at the very least farmers are using orange cultivars we consumers don't like to eat and taking the subpar oranges from a harvest before they deoxygenate the juices and throw out the rest.

If you don't care for how your OJ is processed, you should really dislike that bottle of wine, too.

Sulfur Dioxide The most widely used wine additive. It kills microbes and prevents oxidation. Few vintners dare to ­bottle a wine without it, but overuse can make a vino stink like burnt matches.

Ammonium Salts A touch of diammonium phosphate revives dying yeast and keeps it from producing too much sulfur.

Water If a batch of vino ends up a bit too boozy, just add some water.

Oak adjuncts Oak barrels can make wine taste drier and lend it notes of vanilla, but they’re expensive. A cheaper alternative? Oak chips, sawdust, or “essence”—a liquefied wood product that can be added directly to an otherwise finished wine.

Tartaric Acid A naturally occurring acid found in grapes, it’s particularly critical in white wines, where tartness gives each sip a pleasing snap. Wines with insufficient acidity can get a boost from powdered tartaric acid.

Powdered Tannin Naturally present in grape skins and seeds as well as oak, tannin creates texture and astringency. Typically made from a growth on oak trees called a nutgall, powdered tannin can punch up lackluster wine.

Sugar If grapes aren’t ripe enough when picked, adding cane or beet sugar to the must can help them ferment. The catch: Adding sugar, called chaptalization, is illegal in California, Italy, and Australia. (It’s legal in New Zealand, Oregon, and parts of France, though allowed amounts vary.)

Pectic Enzymes Complex proteins that can be used to alter color, improve clarity, release aromatic compounds, and speed up aging.

Gum Arabic Made from the sap of the acacia tree, gum arabic softens tannins to reduce astringency and make the wine’s body more silky. This can make a tough and somewhat bitter red wine ready to drink immediately.

Velcorin (dimethyl dicarbonate) First introduced in the 1980s—though increasingly controversial—this microbial control agent can kill a half-dozen wine-­ruining bacteria and yeasts when added in minute quantities. It’s also widely used in fruit juices.

Mega ­Purple Made from the concentrated syrup of Rubired grapes, Mega ­Purple is a thick goo that winemakers rely on to correct color issues—a few drops can turn a ­bottle of wine from a weak salmon blush to an appealingly intense crimson—and to make a wine look consistent from batch to batch. In a 119-liter wine barrel, just 200 milliliters is enough to do the trick. Mega ­Purple is made by Constellation Brands, the company behind famous labels like Robert Mondavi and Ravens­wood. While on the record no one will cop to using it (or any other additive), industry insiders say that even high-end winemakers have employed it to deepen the color of their wines, a trait that connotes richness and quality, earns better ratings from critics, and commands higher ­bottle prices.


One thing that really surprised me about the ingredients of wine is that animal products are often used. For example, isinglass[1] and other animal products which many vegetarians would usually avoid.[2]

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isinglass

[2] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism_and_wine

Isinglass is used, but it isn't an ingredient - it's more like a flux, something for suspended yeast and proteins to get stuck to so it will settle out. That doesn't mean that vegan types shouldn't object to its use, but it doesn't remain part of the wine (it can only be found in the dregs).

And yet the only other ingredient seen on wine bottles is a warning that it contains Sulfur, from memory.

I wonder if something similar is involved in other spirits as well? Beer or Whiskey?

The home vs shop bought items rings true. I can make a bean burger without much effort. And I have a good idea what went into it. But if I buy one, I'm not sure how old the ingredients are, how long they have been stored and what other processes those foods have been through.

I have gotten it into my head that these are pretty much low-nutrition non-foods, and as such, I only eat them on the rare occasion.

I buy a heap of organic oranges each week and make my own juice - which tastes awesome. I don't buy bottled OJ anymore and I have found that non-organic oranges tend to be always mysteriously bigger, have heaps more pulp to deal with and just don't taste as good.

And I always found the OJ to have a very distinct and unusual taste when in the US.

Uncle Matt's costs a couple bucks more, but doesn't use flavor packets. They store their juice in frozen drums in the off-season: http://unclematts.com/resources/flavor-packet-faqs/

Well, that explains some things.

Being brazilian, I find US "orange juice" to be TERRIBLE. So yeah, we do have different tastes in juice.

Nothing beats freshly squeezed juice, as in just squeezed. Try to drink it one hour later and it will have changed the taste already.

Regardless of how you feel about additives, healthiness of juice or whatever, you should at least want your food labels to be honest and accurate. To me that's really what I take away from food posts about ingredients, GMOs, etc.

You need to understand how this works. First, it's "if GMOs are safe, why do you want to hide it by refusing to label?". Then, when you start putting it on labels, the narrative changes to "if GMOs are safe, then why are you warning us about them by putting them on labels?".

Withholding the information sure doesn't seem very "scientific" to me. It seems like the opposite of what science is about.

You have to ask yourself, why are you privileging this particular information over everything else that could be on the label? They can't reasonably print everything that's in the food, especially if any part of it contains pieces of plants or animals - the living stuff has so much chemistry in it that you'd have to attach a book to each product to just list them. So producers already have to be picky.

Also, I'm not against labeling that the product is GMO-based. I want to point out at the dynamics around GMO labeling; their most vocal proponents create "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of situation.

Why do we put vitamin C on the label? Why sugar content? Why not carbon atoms? Why anything? The FDA (supposedly) requires labels for things that are considered important by health professionals and consumers. If enough people want to know about GMOs, then it's important. Not labeling GMOs or any other ingredients or by-products that might be seen as "gross" to the consumer, is only about protecting the food manufacturers.

I think it's a BS argument anyway because the average consumer, given two bags of apples that look identical, is going to buy the one that is cheaper. And if for some reason the public decided to never touch GMOs, then so be it. Food manufacturers can make their products in a way that consumers want to buy them. That's a free market. Not being shady and hiding information.

> I think it's a BS argument anyway because the average consumer, given two bags of apples that look identical, is going to buy the one that is cheaper.

Yeah, I agree.

> And if for some reason the public decided to never touch GMOs, then so be it. Food manufacturers can make their products in a way that consumers want to buy them. That's a free market. Not being shady and hiding information.

So they do, and that's why we have organic food industry, which is even more shady than the original one. The reason we have this argument is that looking at why public decided to never touch GMOs makes one facepalm. It's mostly pseudo-science wrapped in FUD, perpetuated ad nauseam in popular press - creating fear and then playing off it. It's good for making money selling articles or ad views. It's not good for making this planet a better place for everyone.

Most fruit juices are unhealthy because of their high sugar, low fiber content. Buy them from the store and they are even more unhealthy. A better option is probably to make shakes (throw the whole fruit in).

Frustrating that we either give up on natural foods or on the economies of scale and industrialization.

With two incomes and 3 kids, my family has no time for homemade organic fermented (!?) Lemonade.

This is why I only drink Orange Drink..


So orange juice made from concentrate is better/good?

I remember reading years ago about studies that said exactly that, not just about oranges but about vegetables in general. Freezing is a great way to preserve all sorts of compounds including vitamin C.

This is turning into reddit with all these clickbaits.

In the UK I just stick to Innocent drinks who don't use any of that stuff. I love how they just use pictures on the labels :)

I used to love Innocent and everything they stood for but I have to admit I've been shying away from them since they became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola... :(

True, it's not the best owner but they seem to be able to stick to their values which is nice

Article seems interesting but damn all the javascript tracking shit make it a pain to read on a oldish iphone (5s)

Next up for deceptive labeling: GMO Salmon


If I ever buy shop bought tomato pasta sauces, there is a flavour in most that repulses me. It's something I can't recreate with home cooking. So this post does make me think that it could be something like a flavour pack. I always thought it was a preservative.

Is this a U.S. thing? Is it the same in the U.K.?

So is the frozen concentrate better or worse?

I usually mix my juices with about 40% water before I drink them.

> Do you buy orange juice at the store? If you do, I’m sure you’re careful to buy the kind that’s 100% juice and not made from concentrate. After all, that’s the healthier kind, right? The more natural kind? The kind without any additives? The kind that’s sold in the refrigerator section so it must be almost as good as fresh-squeezed orange juice?

I'll tell my experience when visiting the US a few years ago. I'm from the Netherlands, and here almost all orange juice is "from concentrate"[0].

It doesn't quite taste like freshly pressed juice, but I was never quite able to put my finger on it what was missing.

In the US I saw cartons of "actual really real juice not from concentrate really" for the first time, in a Whole Foods supermarket in Manhattan, NYC. So I got one of those and it was delicious. Still not quite like fresh juice, but really close.

(I don't think you can actually get the "real fresh orange juice" experience if you don't have fingers that smell like orange peel, and this vague worry that you should really wipe the kitchen counter before it'll dry all sticky)

So two days later I got another, different brand carton of "actually really real juice for realness totally not concentrate really". And it tasted pretty much like the "from concentrate" stuff at home (which still isn't bad, IMHO--unlike that "nectar" crap).

Next time at the same Whole Foods supermarket, I took a good look, and discovered there's basically (at least) two kinds of orange juice in the US: made from oranges in Florida, and made from oranges in Brazil (I think it was Brazil, 98% sure).

Now it made sense to me. In the Netherlands, nearly all our orange juice is from Brazil (afaik). And it was the "real juice not from concentrate" stuff from Florida oranges that was the juice that tasted (to me) mostly like fresh juice. And the Brazilian "real juice not from concentrate" that tasted like the "from concentrate" stuff at home.

Unfortunately I couldn't completely test the theory that maybe Florida oranges just juice better, concentrate or not, because at this particular Whole Foods I couldn't find any "Florida orange juice from concentrate". I'd have totally bought it to test the experiment, but I just couldn't spot any.

Does this make sense to any US-people? That have more time to buy and try different types of OJ? :-) Otherwise, just disregard this N=1 anecdote (but do let me know :P)

[0] There's an even cheaper kind called "orange nectar" which is half juice-from-concentrate plus water and some sugar/sweetener, but I can't imagine why anyone would buy that, ever. You can add water to juice at home without the sugar and it'll taste better, be cheaper, and healthier.

The article mentions the different chemicals favored by palates in different regions, so maybe you're just accustomed to the NL chemicals rather than the US ones.

That's very possible. Which would mean the Brazilian flavour packs are similar to the Dutch ones.

Though my main point was wondering whether "100% juice from concentrate" versus "real 100% juice not from concentrate" matters a lot for the flavour.

The Brazilian-oranges juice I bought in the US was not-from-concentrate, but still tasted very similar to the NL 100%-juice-from-concentrate stuff. While the Floridian-orange juice not-from-concentrate did almost like fresh juice.

It's not like I didn't like them btw. I don't expect it to taste like fresh juice anyway :)

TL;DR: producers store juice in oxygen-less tanks, for up to one year, then add natural/synthetic chemicals, to restore taste, prior to distribution. The author suggests people make their own juice, instead.

I'm really starting to wonder what the point of juice even is.

If you want fruit, eat fruit. If you want a drink, drink some water. Why combine the two?

Fruit juice seems like basically a way to drink soda but with the delusion that it's good for you.

You assume that:

1) People know what's good for them

2) People want what's good for them

The existence of an economically viable product such as juice indicates that whatever the industry is doing, people want in its presented form.

Whether it's good for them or not is a completely different question.

Juice isn't really seen as a healthy choice in England. It's pretty much just a soda equivalent over here (in terms of healthiness). People drink it just because it tastes good.

Because juice tastes way better than soda, in my opinion. Only time I like soda is with things like pizza or a burger

Yes that is the point of juice. Why is that surprising? People love cheating, and drinking juice instead of eating fruit is a way to cheat -- get more of the sweet and less of the bland fiber.

You have never felt the desire for a tart citrus beverage?

Not since I came to understand what fruit juice actually is. If I want health I'll eat the actual fruit, and if I want a tasty-but-unhealthy drink I just drink soda.

Sure, the stuff tastes OK, but not as good as the fruit it comes from.

That's the thing, I love fresh orange juice. It tastes great. I do not really like Orange juice and I absolutely loath soda (it tastes awful). So I drink Orange Juice (and Apple Juice) because it tastes great.

Better than the actual orange?

Better brands of orange juice are more refreshing than the terrible, fibrous oranges that are available here for most of the year. I'd rather drink lemonade than eat a lemon, too, for that matter.

What's wrong with smoothies? Blended fruit gives you all the fiber in the pulp and it's super convenient to consume.

I don't really like them, but it seems like a decent way to go if you do.

Yes, exactly. I didn't drink much juice before I read this, but I stopped entirely after first reading it back in 2011.

It tastes good.

Slight correction: the author suggests not drinking juice at all (instead eat fruit directly). But if you do want juice, then make it yourself.

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