Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finding OJ (The juice, not The Juice)

While I've been quietly taking the summer off, here's someone who actually followed through when she investigated a basic food comodity. 

Author Alissa Hamilton blogged about orange juice back in a 2009 post: Freshly Squeezed: The Truth About Orange Juice in Boxes

It turns out that even "not from concentrate" orange juices are deoxygenated and stored in large vats, robbing them of flavor.  Throughout the year, the inventory is refreshed with flavor packs that come right from the same fragrance firms that naturally and artificially enhance the flavors of much of our processed food.

The Consumerist recently reposted Alissa's findings in a piece titled:  The Flavor Of Your OJ Is A Chemically-Induced Mirage.

This prompted the Florida Department of Citrus to issue this remarkably meek denial:

By utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Florida is able to provide a consistent supply of high quality, nutritious orange juice year round....  During processing, natural components such as orange aroma, orange oil from the peel, and pulp may be separated from the orange juice. After the juice is pasteurized, these natural orange components may be added back to the orange juice for optimal flavor.
As the discerning reader may notice, the Florida Department of Citrus denied absolutely nothing.  They merely pointed out that the "flavor packs" used by the industry, are originally derived from parts of oranges.

The Consumerist sums up its findings:

If this is the type of thing that bothers you, buying OJ from the store in May through June is the only way to ensure that most of the juice is from fresh Valencia oranges. The rest of the year it's reflavored sugar water from a tank farm.
You can learn more from the United States Department of Agriculture in this study.  To read more marketing gibberish designed to sell orange juice without technically flat-out lying, you can go to the misleadingly-named www. OrangeJuiceFacts.com, put up by the Florida Department of Citrus.

What do you think about OJ?


No comments:

Post a Comment