Precisely what is Reconstituted Fruit Juice?
Reconstituted fruit juice is made from fruit concentrate. It is different somewhat in taste to fresh juices, having a different sort of consistency and aroma. Similar to freshly extracted juices, reconstituted fruit juice is made using a juicer, which in turn has water content eliminated from it as feasible, converting it to a concentrate. Several juice making companies in the US and around the globe find the concentrated type of juice easier to transport and store. The concentrate is then hydrated when it arrives at the packaging plant and packed in bottles, cartons or cans.
It is also possible to purchase frozen sachets of reconstituted juice at your local store. You can keep the concentrate for several years in your freezer only adding water when you need to drink juice.
How Nutritious is Reconstituted Fruit Juice?
This does appear to be the million dollar question and is the subject of debate. Interestingly, reconstituted fruit juice provides near-similar nutritional value as that found in freshly squeezed juice. Even though useful enzymes and Vitamin C are destroyed during the process of eliminating water content, juice manufactures add them back at some point during manufacture. This explains why the nutritional content is more or less the same.
The juice label should tell you a few things the fruit juice concentrate. One of the things you want to look out for is the preservative, sodium benzoate. This preservative is responsible for causing sore throats and you will definitely want to keep your kids from consuming too much of a juice made from concentrate preserved with sodium benzoate.
You should also check the juice label to find out which fruits were used to make the concentrate. Some fruits are cheaper and manufacturers will naturally prefer them. However, the preferred fruits may have a lower nutritional content. For example, apples are cheaper than oranges but less nutritious.
The labels on reconstituted fruit juice may not tell the whole story about the concentrate. For example, when manufacturing juice concentrate, factory hygiene standards must be very high. Most of the US fruit juice concentrate, especially apple juice, is currently sourced from China. While one cannot say with certainty that this is a safety risk, poor Chinese safety standards in other industries such as the toy industry, pet food and personal care are a cause for concern.
If you are environmentally conscious, and you should be, then you will find that reconstituted fruit juice is not very good for the environment and has a high carbon foot print. Huge capital is needed to harvest the fruit, transport it to a pulp factory, crush it, eliminate the water content, package it and finally deliver it to the supermarket via road or air. That is one massive carbon foot print.
The Best Fruit Juice
Since it not possible to know with certainty where the concentrate originated, whether it contains harmful preservatives and also the fact that its production is not environmentally friendly, it is better to stick with the good old organic variety. Buy your fruits at the supermarket or local grocery store and squeeze them anytime you want fruit juice. This is the healthiest and safest option for you and your family.