In a well-known wine tasting style, the taste panel at this blog approaches 13 glasses with the same number of varieties of orange juice with pulp. The assessment is that the two freshly squeezed juices test best.
Freshly squeezed means that freshly squeezed juice is poured directly into consumer packaging and possibly gets light pasteurization to give a little longer shelf life. The taste panel believes that the two freshly squeezed juices included in the test have a fresh orange taste, a fine balance between sweetness, acidity, and bitterness, and just the right amount of pulp.
The panel gives the worst rating to the juices that have been prepared from concentrate. Here you experience that the juices are bubbly and feel cheap. Because concentrate does not take up as much space, it means more efficient, and thus less energy-intensive, transport compared to ready-to-drink juice or oranges. But when water is removed from the juice, some volatile flavors also follow.
Although these are captured and then added in connection with diluting the concentrate with water, the results of the tasting still show that juice from the concentrate is more bubbly and has a weaker taste of orange. In the middle of the table are the juices of the type “not from concentrate,” also called direct pressed.
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The taste panel, which consists of experienced tasters, goes carefully and puts points on appearance, aroma, taste, and feeling in the mouth. Views on taste are divided into three parts: acidity, bitterness, and sweetness. The test is blind, which means that the assessors do not know what is in the glasses.
In addition to the taste test, the juices have been left to a laboratory that has analyzed the vitamin C content and unwanted substances such as pesticides and certain heavy metals, such as arsenic and uranium. Heavy metals are found in the bedrock, and the risk that the fruit has been contaminated with these is mainly dependent on where the oranges have grown. The risk that the heavy metal uranium will be present in the juice depends on the water that is added when the juice concentrate is to be mixed into ready-to-drink orange juice and is not linked to the fruit itself.
It is gratifying to see that all the juices that have been tested stay well below the limit values that exist for the unwanted substances. There may be pesticide residues in the orange peel, but it is only in the freshly squeezed juices that we have found low levels of a few such substances. One can suspect that it has to do with the manufacturing process of freshly squeezed orange juice, says Anna Edberg, test manager at this blog.
She says that none of the juices contained lead, cadmium, or mercury. All but one of the juices contained traces of arsenic. And three of the juices contained uranium, but in very small amounts. There are no limit values for uranium and arsenic in juice, but the values are far below the guideline values for drinking water.
The vitamin C content varies significantly between the different juices, and the values that have been analyzed in the laboratory are often below what is stated on the packaging. The content of vitamin C in the fruit varies over the year, and since it is a water-soluble vitamin, some of it volatilizes when handling the juice.
The National Food Administration Rules say that the actual vitamin C in the juice can be 35 percent lower and 50 percent higher than what is on the packaging. Some of the juices do not have information about vitamin C; it is not a piece of the mandatory information, even though the vitamin is often stated as an argument when advertising orange juice.
This blog’s expert team has tested 13 ready-to-drink orange juices with pulp: 2 freshly pressed, seven directly pressed (not from concentrate), and four from concentrate. The test consisted of a taste test and laboratory analyzes of heavy metals, pesticides, and vitamin C.
It was gratifying that none of the juices contained any significant amounts of heavy metals or pesticides. The analysis of vitamin C shows that the package’s stated amount does not always correspond to Vitamin C’s actual amount in the juice.
The taste panel gave high marks to the freshly squeezed juices with a clear, fresh orange taste and low marks to the juices made from concentrate. The best in the test was the freshly squeezed juice from the Ica selection with 74 points in the total rating.