A glass of pulp-free orange juice
|Nutritional value per 100 g|
|Energy||187 kJ (45 kcal)|
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Orange juice is juice from oranges. It is made by squeezing the fresh orange, drying and later re-hydrating the juice, or concentration of the juice and later adding water to the concentrate. It is known for its health benefits, particularly its high concentration of vitamin C. It comes in several different varieties, including blood orange. In American English, the slang term O.J. may also be used to refer to orange juice.
Due to the importance of oranges to the economy of the state of Florida, "the juice obtained from mature oranges of the species Citrus sinensis and hybrids thereof" was adopted as the official beverage of Florida in 1967.
A cup serving of raw, fresh orange juice, amounting to 248 grams or 8 ounces, has 124 mg of vitamin C (>100% RDI). It has 20.8 g of sugars and has 112 Calories. It also supplies potassium, thiamin, and folate.
Citrus juices contain flavonoids (especially in the pulp) that may have health benefits. Orange juice is also a source of the antioxidant hesperidin. Because of its citric acid content, orange juice is acidic, with a typical pH of around 3.5.
Commercial orange juice and concentrate
Frozen concentrated orange juice
Commercial squeezed orange juice is pasteurized and filtered before being evaporated under vacuum and heat. After removal of most of the water, this concentrated juice, about 65% sugar by weight, is then stored at about 10 °F (−12 °C). Essences, Vitamin C, and oils extracted during the vacuum concentration process may be added back to restore flavor (see below).
When water is added to freshly thawed concentrated orange juice, it is said to be reconstituted.
The product was developed in 1948 at the University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center. Since, it has emerged as a commodity product, and futures contracts have traded in New York since 1966. Options on FCOJ were introduced in 1985. From the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, the product had the greatest orange juice market share, but not-from-concentrate juices surpassed FCOJ in the 1980s.
Not from concentrate
Orange juice that is pasteurized and then sold to consumers without having been concentrated is labeled as "not from concentrate". Just as "from concentrate" processing, most "not from concentrate" processing reduces the natural flavor from the juice. The largest producers of "not from concentrate" use a production process where the juice is placed in aseptic storage, with the oxygen stripped from it, for up to a year.
Removing the oxygen also strips out flavor-providing compounds, and so manufactures add a flavor pack in the final step, which Cooks Illustrated magazine describes as containing "highly engineered additives." Flavor pack formulas vary by region, because consumers in different parts of the world have different preferences related to sweetness, freshness and acidity. According to the citrus industry, the Food and Drug Administration does not require the contents of flavor packs to be detailed on a product's packaging.
One common component of flavor packs is ethyl butyrate, a natural aroma that people associate with freshness, and which is removed from juice during pasteurization and storage. Cooks Illustrated sent juice samples to independent laboratories, and found that while fresh-squeezed juice naturally contained about 1.19 milligrams of ethyl butyrate per liter, juice that had been commercially-processed had levels as high as 8.53 milligrams per liter.
Canned orange juice
A small fraction of fresh orange juice is canned. Canned orange juice retains Vitamin C much better than bottled juice. The canned product loses flavor, however, when stored at room temperature for more than 12 weeks. In the early years of canned orange juice, the acidity of the juice caused the juice to have a metallic taste. In 1931, Dr. Philip Phillips developed a flash pasteurization process that eliminated this problem and significantly increased the market for canned orange juice.
Freshly squeezed, unpasteurized juice
Fresh-squeezed, unpasteurized juice is the closest to consuming the orange itself. This version of the juice consists of oranges that are squeezed and then bottled without having any additives or flavor packs inserted. The juice is not subjected to pasteurization. Fresh squeezed orange juice has a typical shelf life of 12 days.
Major orange juice brands
In the U.S., the major orange juice brand is Tropicana Products (owned by PepsiCo Inc.), which possesses nearly 65% of the market share. Tropicana also has a large presence in Latin America, Europe, and Central Asia. Competing products include Minute Maid (of The Coca-Cola Company) and Florida's Natural (a Florida-based agricultural cooperative that differentiates itself from the competition by using only Florida grown oranges; Tropicana and Simply Orange use a mixture of domestic and foreign stock). In Australia, Daily Juice (owned by National Foods) is a major brand of partially fresh, partially preserved, orange juice.
Some producers add citric acid or ascorbic acid to juice beyond what is naturally found in the orange. Some also include other nutrients. Often, additional vitamin C is added to replace that destroyed in pasteurization. Additional calcium may be added. Vitamin D, not found naturally in oranges, may be added as well. Sometimes Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils are added to orange juice. Low-acid varieties of orange juice also are available.
Juice producers generally use evaporators to remove much of the water from the juice in order to decrease its weight and decrease transportation costs.
Because the process removes the distinct aroma compounds that give it a fresh-squeezed taste, producers later add back these compounds in a proprietary mixture, called a "flavor pack", in order to improve the taste and to ensure a consistent year-round taste. The compounds in the flavor packs are derived from orange peels. Producers do not mention the addition of flavor packs on the label of the orange juice.
Types of orange
Common orange juice is made from the sweet orange. Different cultivars (e.g., Valencia, Hamlin) have different properties, and a producer may mix cultivar juices to get a desired taste. Orange juice usually varies between shades of orange and yellow, although some ruby red or blood orange varieties are a reddish-orange or even pinkish. This is due to different pigmentation in ruby red oranges.
The blood orange is a mutant of the sweet orange. Blood orange juice is popular in Italy, but may be hard to find elsewhere. The Mandarin orange and varieties clementine and tangerine, are good for juice, and are often used for sparkling juice drinks.
Recently, many brands of organic orange juices have become available on the market.
- "2012 Florida Statutes, Chapter 15.032". The Florida Senate. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Florida Memory, State beverage of Florida". Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
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- "Acids". British Soft Drinks Association. Archived from the original on 26 August 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
- To prevent off-flavor, distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water should be used when reconstituting frozen juice, devoid of minerals, chlorine, etc.
- "Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice". ICE Futures US. 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
- Walker, Andrea (14 May 2009). "Ask an Academic: Orange Juice". The New Yorker. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
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- Kay, Liz F (17 October 2010). "Don't Get Squeezed When Shopping for Juice". The Baltimore Sun.
- Alissa Hamilton: Squeezed: What You Don't Know about Orange Juice, Yale Agrarian Studies, 2010, ISBN 0-300-16455-6
- Orange juice production Production process and distinction between juice products
- Brief film clip of orange juice processing from 1968. From the State Library & Archives of Florida
- Natural orange juice processing Industrial processing of natural orange juice