What is Fruit Juice Concentrate?

March is National Nutrition Month, and in honor of that, we at North Coast Organic wanted to talk about fruit juice concentrate, and why it isn’t a good nutritional choice for our readers and their families.

Fruit juice concentrate is made from fresh juice in order to lessen its shipment weight and lengthen its shelf life. Many consumers are familiar with the juice concentrate products they can buy in the frozen food section of their grocery store. What they may not be aware of, however, is that many juice products sold in the beverage aisle are also made from concentrate.

Why is juice concentrate not good for your health?

An article by livestong.com, Health Risks for Juice From Concentrate, explains the dilemma clearly:

“Juice from concentrate has most of its water removed through filtration, extraction and evaporation processes. Evaporation involves heating the juice to high temperatures and extraction involves adding some chemicals to get a more condensed product, according to the “Dictionary of Food Science and Technology.” This process can significantly lessen the nutritional value of the fruit. The juice is also pasteurized as part of the process to extend its shelf life. Even 100% fruit juice from concentrate can contain additives to enhance color and flavor.”

Fruit juices blended with other ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, are called juice cocktails, juice drinks or nectar. If a juice drink from concentrate contains high-fructose corn syrup, the excess sugar is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. According to the book “Functional Biochemistry in Health and Disease,” consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity, hyperactive behavior and increased risk of type-2 diabetes. Juices with added sugars also promote acidity, which can reduce immune response and encourage proliferation of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. According to the Human Biochemistry and Disease, drinking additionally sweetened juice may also irritate stomach ulcers and acid reflux disease.

Your fruit juice may be from China

Another concern for consumers should be where the fruit for the concentrate was grown. As we mentioned in our previous blog post How North Coast Organic Is Helping Our Local Apple Growers Thrive, China is now the world’s largest exporter of apple juice concentrate, and its biggest buyer is the United States. In fact, two-thirds of all apple juice consumed in the US is made with China’s fruit juice concentrate. China has been called out in the news numerous times in the past few years for its poor environmental and waste management practices, excessive application of chemicals and fertilizer, and lack of government and food safety regulations.

North Coast Organic juices and apple cider vinegar are never made from concentrate

Instead, the freshest fruit is delivered to our facility in Sebastopol, so that our customers can have the healthiest juice and cider possible. We use only fruit grown in the western states in the US, and because our products are certified organic, they are free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and aren’t processed using industrial solvents, irradiation or genetic engineering.

You can always trust North Coast Organic to have your family’s nutritional needs in mind. Happy National Nutrition Month.

North Coast Organic apple products are made in Sebastopol, CA from U.S. grown certified organic apples. They contain no added sugars, preservatives, colorings or flavorings.