Advertisements and marketing slogans present orange juice concentrate as a natural and healthy drink.
However, some scientists and health experts are concerned about the harm caused by this sweet drink to human health.
Most of the commercial orange juice is not prepared only from the natural and fresh juice of this fruit and is produced through a multi step and controlled process.
After going through this process, orange juice can be stored in large tanks for up to a year before final packaging.
First, the oranges are washed and pressed by a machine. The pulp and oils are separated from the fruit.
Orange juice is heated until it is pasteurized and its enzymes are inactive and existing microbes are destroyed because otherwise they can cause destruction and corruption of orange juice.
Next, some of the oxygen in the orange juice is taken away, which helps reduce oxidative damage to vitamin C during the storage process.
Juice that should be stored as frozen concentrate is evaporated to remove most of its water.
Unfortunately, during these processes, the compounds that cause the aroma of oranges are also lost.
Some of them are added to the final product later.
Finally, before packaging, orange juice taken at different times may be blended to minimize variations in quality.
The pulp that has undergone further processing after extraction from the fruit is also added to some types of orange juice.
Orange juice versus whole orange fruit
Orange juice and whole orange fruit are almost nutritionally similar, but there are some important differences.
A serving of orange juice has significantly less fiber and about twice as many calories and carbohydrates mostly fruit sugar as a whole fruit.
Below is a comparison of the nutritional value of one cup (240 ml) of orange juice with one medium sized orange (131 grams) that counts as one serving:
As it is known, the nutritional content of whole fruit and orange juice is similar.
Both are excellent sources of vitamin C, which supports immune system health, and are also a good source of folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects during pregnancy.