Do you or your children drink a lot of fruit juice? Then get the facts on the good types and bad types to help you live a healthy life
Reconstituted fruit juice
Reconstituted fruit juice is juice produced from a fruit juice concentrate. It differs slightly in taste to fresh juices, carrying a different texture and aroma. Like freshly squeezed juices, juice is produced from a juicing machine, this juice is then ‘condensed’ by removal of water using heat.
The resultant concentrate is transported to factories around Australia where the water is added back to the concentrate. This process is called reconstitution. The primary reason for using reconstituted juice is economic transportation and to ensure availability all year round.
Is there any nutrition left?
Reconstituted fruit juices do not offer the high nutritional qualities of their freshly squeezed counterparts. Enzymes required for adequate food metabolism and the immune system are destroyed through the process of heating and reconstitution. Vitamin C levels are also depleted significantly, but artificially added back by most manufacturers at a later date.
Would you eat an apple whilst overseas?
Typically farming practices are not regulated in a lot of developing countries, including Asia. That means we don’t know exactly which chemicals are being sprayed on fruit grown there. Roughly 90% of fruit juice sold in Australia is of ‘Imported” origin.
Please be aware, even if a product is ‘Made in Australia” it can still contain fruit grown offshore SO PLEASE READ LABELS CAREFULLY.
Reconstituted fruit juice labels may also be misleading, as there is no current Australian regulation to enforce juice companies list where the concentrate itself originates.
Reconstituted Juice is not exactly an environment-friendly juice option either, huge amounts of energy in fuels are spent in the processing, transportation, and reconstitution of the juice.
Which Juice do I buy?
Look for ‘100% Juice’, ‘Australian grown’ or ‘Australian Certified Organic’ juices. ‘Nudie’ or ‘Berri’ juice cartons from the fridge section in the supermarket are a good choice. Organic juices are also free of cancer-causing pesticides often used to produce genetically modified crops, and contain no added sugar, colours or additives.
Of course you can always juice your own fruit or vege blends. Opt for a cold pressed machine if you choose to do this as it will preserve more of the nutrients in the fruit – compared to your cheaper faster juicers which heat up as they blend which can damage vital nutrients such as Vitamin C.
Preservatives commonly used
202 Potassium sorbate: Potassium sorbate is the sodium salt of sorbic acid. It is more soluble than sorbic acid. Occurs naturally in fruit, used as a preservative it inhibits fungal growth but allows for bacterial activity, hence is useful for cheese. Obtained from the berries of mountain ash or synthesised from ketene; possible skin irritant, and may cause rashes, asthma and hyperactivity.
211 Sodium benzoate : The sodium salt of benzoic acid, sodium benzoate fulfils an antibacterial and antifungal role, and to disguise taste, as of poor-quality food; orange diet soft drinks contain a high amount of it, up to 25mg per 250ml; also in milk and meat products, relishes and condiments, baked goods and lollies, tooth pastes, mouth washes, maple syrup and margarine; used in many oral medications including Actifed, Phenergan and Tylenol; known to causes nettle rash and aggravate asthma. Suspected to be a neurotoxic hazard.
330 Citric acid: Citric acid is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. It is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks. Food acids are safe for most people. Most failsafers can manage citric acid, a few react.
Next time you reach for that juice carton in the supermarket – take a minute to check the label and see exactly what you are feeding you and your children.
The article was written by Elisha Danine ADV. DIP. NUT. MEDICINE
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