Like most people, you probably have had your fair share of store-bought juice from time to time. In fact, you may have a couple of bottles or boxes in your fridge right now, and regularly pour yourself a glass every morning for breakfast. After all, they contain vitamins and minerals and are made from pure fruit, right? Unfortunately, the truthful answer is “No”.
During the process of making commercial juice taste great, something known as economic adulteration occurs. This refers to the manipulation of food by adding or substituting different kinds of ingredients to make it tastier and cheaper to make.
Like most people, you may believe that your drink is made of 100 percent fruit, but this is usually far from the truth. Here are some surprising things in your juice that you would not have guessed:
Thus, you may probably be wondering why most commercial juices taste different from freshly made ones. In fact, a brand of commercial juice will taste the same all throughout, even when they use fruits from different harvests and different batches. The reason for this is because of sweeteners which are added in to give that extra sweet taste that many people love. Here are some artificial sweeteners that you take in when drinking commercial juice.
Sucralose – Sucralose is a kind of artificial sweetener which is also the main component of the ever popular Splenda. While used by many, it has been under bad light lately. Sucralose has taken some serious flak these past few years because of several studies finding it to increase the risk of leukemia. Many bottled and boxed juices contain sucralose as sweeteners because they do the job without raising calorie content.
Aspartame – Another artificial sweetener that is commonly used in juices. You will usually find these in sweet yet low-fat or low-calorie juices. This sweetener is also not recommended because it has been linked with cancer as found in laboratory tests.
Flavor Packs – Flavor packs, especially known as ethyl butyrate, is a staple in juice ingredient labels, and is credited for giving your orange juice that appetizing and consistent taste.
Why? The process of manufacturing commercial juice strips off oxygen from the mixture. Stripping off oxygen also strips off all its natural, flavorful chemicals from the juice so all you get is liquid with flat taste. This is where flavor packs come in, to give the drink a natural flavor and fragrance. Unfortunately, these flavor packs are far from natural and are actually designed by companies that design fragrances for perfume companies.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup – High-fructose corn syrup or HFCS is another ingredient that is found in many bottled juices. This sweetener is broken down from corn starch, which gives you 100% glucose. It is one of the most cost-effective sweeteners used in the industry, and is added to a wide range of products including drinks, breads, bars and condiments. It has been under high scrutiny for the past few years, unfortunately, as it has been shown to significantly increase weight, expand waist line, contribute to diabetes and heart disease more than actual sugar.
Better Color, Better Taste
However, that appearance is often not acceptable when it comes to commercial standards. Nobody wants to buy pale or murky looking juice, so manufacturers turn to food coloring. Food coloring makes drinks look better, thereby enhancing your “drinking experience.”
Some Crushed Beetle Parts – If you are a fan of red fruit juice, then you would be surprised to find out that you are actually drinking crushed beetle parts. Food coloring like carmine, cochineal extract, crimson line and natural red #4 are made from the crushed abdomen of the African insect Dactylopius coccus.
Red #40 – Some berry and cherry juices contain 0% cherry and berry content, but they still look pink or red because of the artificial dye known as Red #40. This dye has been linked to causing hyperactivity in many children. Red #40 is also artificial, derived from petroleum rather than fresh produce.
Yellow 6 and 5 – Yellow 6 and Yellow 7 are also synthetic colorings that have been linked to concentration problems and learning disorders in children. Animal studies also show potential risks to intestinal and kidney tumors.
Fake Fiber – Many juices have labels saying that they have real pulp or real fiber, but most of them actually contain a starch-like carb additive called maltodextrin, or something similar. This is a processed additive that resists digestion and acts like insoluble fiber but is not as healthy as the real thing.
Canola Oil – Canola oil is typically used for cooking but is found in a few fruit juices. This ingredient is a fatty acid, and while it is recommended, consuming too much can cause you to gain weight and increase your risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure.
These are just a few unexpected ingredients that you can find in your morning glass – extra ingredients that does your body more harm than good. Let’s not forget the fact that you might just be drinking water with flavoring.
If you’re thinking of having one or two glasses everyday to get your daily fill of produce, then you might be doing things wrong when you rely on commercial fruit juice. Fresh fruit and vegetable juice is the only way for you to get all the good nutrients that you need, without harmful ingredients or chemicals. That, or you might as well eat actual produce.