On a recent trip to the supermarket, I found myself flabbergasted by rows and rows of commercially processed orange juice. I found myself reading all the labels and coming across terms like orange concentrate, orange pulp, natural orange flavor, artificial flavors which are pretty common.
But I found myself coming across cheap juice brands that didn’t have any orange concentrate at all, the word “artificial flavor” jumps out at you or the terms ” high fructose sugar, fd & c #6 e 110, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, acesulfame potassium”.
Believe it or not, I was shocked to find aspartame as part of an ingredient in a children’s juice drink. Aspartame is at the center of a raging controversial debate that links aspartame to a multitude of health problems .
I am not usually in the habit of buying packaged orange juice for my kids since we’re into juicing as a lifestyle ( We like our oranges freshly squeezed). But sometimes, I do end up stopping by these shelves wondering what drinks to buy for a party.
So what are the things I look for when buying orange juice:
1). Orange Concentrate- this basically tells you if the juice contains pasteurized orange juice.
2). Natural Orange Flavor- I’d choose this over, artificial flavors any day.
3). Orange Pulp- contains orange flavonoids and fiber .
4). Vitamins – some juices are fortified with Vit C, Vit A and Beta Carotene.
As a rule, I only buy what I understand. So the less ingredients you see on the box, the better it is for you as long as you can understand what you’re reading is what you’ll be drinking. The more unfamiliar chemical sounding names you read on the label, the more I suggest you drop that box of juice and get a another brand that contains less chemical additives.
Ingredients I Avoid Like the Plague when Buying Juice Drinks:
1). Artificial Flavors
3). FD&C YELLOW #6 110- Sunset yellow a color found in squashes. It has capacity to produce allergic reactions. It is linked to hyperactivity in children. It is set to be phased out in the UK year 2009.
3). High Fructose Corn Syrup- a cheap sweetener that is found to have mercury contamination.
4). Potassium Benzoate- preservative, mold and yeast inhibitor. Said to be safe and non-irritating.
5). Sodium Benzoate (e112) – a preservative In the UK, this is set to be phased out in year 2009
The less additives we give our children, the better for them.
The connection between food additives and children’s behavior was noted more than 30 years ago by Ben Feingold (allergist). He hypothesized that certain children are sensitive to food with salicyclates (compounds similar to aspirin). He recommended an elimination diet and documented hundreds of test cases where behaviors improved.
He is father of a diet called the Feingold diet which is made up of preservative free and food coloring free food.
We’ve decided to post juice drinks we’ve tried that met some of our qualifications:
Zesto uses orange concentrate, and natural orange flavors. We also like the fact that they use refined sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup .They put in Vit C, Vit A , Beta Carotene. We’re happy with the fact that they don’t use food coloring. Unfortunately, they use both sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate to extend the product’s shelf life stability. Pricing : Php 5.20 (varies from supermarket chain)
We like the fact that Sunkist Orange has orange concentrate and uses natural orange flavors. We like the fact that they use refined sugar instead of high fructose. corn syrup. The vitamin C is a plus. We just wish they’d lose the FD & C Yellow#6 food additive that they put in. Price: Php 5.50 (price varies from supermarket chains)
DEL MONTE FRUITINI
Del Monte Fruitini uses natural orange flavors, contains vitamin C. It comes in a tetra pak box and at Php 19.75 (price varies from supermarket chains) with 70% real fruit and vegetable juice. What we particularly like about this juice is that it doesn’t contain a lot of additives or preservatives.
EARTH’S BEST ORGANIC TOTS
Earth’s Best Tots uses organic fruit juices, has calcium, lactate and ascorbic acid. It’s smaller than the Frutini tetra packs and costs around php 29 . It has a variety of flavors from organic apple juice, organic apple, peach, banana juice and i think a pear flavor. This product only available at Healthy Options.
I like this brand best because it ‘s USDA organic and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. Although, this brand of juice doesn’t have “orange juice” in its line of flavors.
Although nothing will ever beat the taste of freshly squeezed oranges. : )