What Is 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, which then has as much water removed from it as possible, reducing it to a to a concentrate. Many juice companies around Australia and around the world use the concentrated form of juice for transportation and storage, hydrating the concentrate (typically with 80% off water that was originally removed) only once it has arrived where it is to be packaged and distributed.
Frozen packets or tubes of reconstituted juice may also be purchased at your local supermarket. They can be stored in you home freezer for a number of years, leaving you with the DIY job of adding the water when there is a need.
Is Reconstituted Fruit Juice Nutritious?
Unsurprisingly, 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.
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. Domestic harvests can great vary season to season in Australia, and shortfalls of juice concentrate used to in the reconstituted juices may be imported from offshore. This is especially concerning when there is possibility the concentrate comes from countries such as China, where there are no strict health codes of practice in place. It is also worth checking the labels to ensure the reconstituted juice hasn't been produced from less expensive juices such as apple or grape, which offer a significantly less nutritional value. Please keep your eye out for reconstituted juices that contain the artificial preservative sodium benzonate as well.
If you are looking for an environment-friendly juice option, reconstituted juice may not be the product for you either, especially when you consider the huge amounts of energy (in the form of fuels which could otherwise be conserved) that is spent in the processing, transportation, and reconstitution of the juice. This only leaves you with a heavier environmental conscious, and the world with yet another reason to contribute to global warming. All in the name of juice that essentially tastes the same to its freshly squeezed counterpart.
How to Choose Nutritious Juice
When choosing a juice, it is always best to stick the organic variety. They will only contain natural preservatives such as citric acid, and offer a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Organic juices are also free of cancer-causing pesticides often used to produce genetically modified crops, and contain no added sugar, colours or additives.
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