Addressing the five key misconceptions around 100% orange juice

FACT 1: 100% ORANGE JUICE CONTAINS HESPERIDIN

100% orange juice delivers more hesperidin than vitamin C according to data from the independent organisation SGF International[1] which show that 100 mL typically provides 52 mg of hesperidin, or 78 mg per 150 mL serving. By comparison, the average vitamin C content is 36.4 mg per 100 mL. Various studies have demonstrated the high bioavailability of hesperidin from 100% orange juice compared with whole oranges.[2] In addition, packaged 100% orange juice contains three times more hesperidin than freshly squeezed orange juice due to the more efficient juicing process.[3] 

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Surprisingly, 100% orange juice is one of the few naturally rich sources of the flavonoid, hesperidin, which is a polyphenol that exists in the white peel and membrane of citrus fruits. Studies show that hesperidin and its metabolites exhibit anti-inflammatory[4] characteristics, and can impact positively on human microvascular function (elasticity and tone of blood vessels).[5]

FACT 2: 100% ORANGE JUICE CONTAINS THREE NUTRIENTS THAT ARE PROVEN TO SUPPORT NORMAL HEALTH: VITAMIN C, POTASSIUM AND FOLATE 

New data[6] collected by SGF International reconfirm the strong nutrient matrix of 100% orange juice. A typical small glass (150 mL) of 100% orange juice provides 67.5 mg of vitamin C, which is more than 80% of the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV), the recommended daily amount for maintaining general health. A serving also provides 16% of the NRV for folate and 13% of the NRV for potassium.

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Figure 1: What’s in a glass of 100% OJ? Data from SGF International (2018) and other sources. 1-2 medium-sized oranges per glass of 100% OJ based on published calculations from Tetra Pak.[7]

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As shown above, 100% orange juice contains enough vitamin C, folate and potassium (≥ 7.5% NRV per 100 g) to allow nutrition claims to be made. Each of these nutrients has a set of authorised health claims in Europe[8] such as:

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FACT 3: PASTEURISATION AND STORAGE OF 100% ORANGE JUICE PRESERVE NUTRIENT STRENGTH 

There is often confusion about the production process of 100% orange juice and its nutrient content during manufacturing and storage. Research from AMC Juices & AMC Innova[9] confirms that levels of vitamin C in 100% orange juice are well above the legal threshold of 12 mg per 100 mL to be described as a product that is “rich in” this vitamin[10], even after refrigeration for 56 days. Hesperidin is even more resistant to degradation by oxygen or temperature than vitamin C. It shows a 2% loss after 6 months at 4 °C and a 9% loss after 6 months at 18 °C. This confirms that freshly squeezed or packaged 100% orange juice continues to contain a complex nutrient matrix that is beneficial to health.

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FACT 4: “100% FRUIT JUICE” ON PACK MEANS NOTHING IS ADDED

 An IPSOS survey[11] across 2,099 healthcare professionals showed that there were strong misconceptions about the purity of 100% orange juice. Worryingly, 31% of healthcare professionals were not convinced that “100% orange juice” on a label meant that the product was 100% juice, while 28% wrongly believed that colourings were added and 47% wrongly thought that preservatives were used.

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In fact, European regulations strictly control the production of 100% fruit juice so that nothing artificial can be added, and nothing can be removed.

FACT 5: 100% ORANGE JUICE MADE FROM CONCENTRATE HAS USEFUL AMOUNTS OF NUTRIENTS AND BIOACTIVES

Contrary to some beliefs, 100% orange juice made from concentrate does not contain added sugars, preservatives or nutrient fortification. Vitamin C levels in 100% orange juice made from concentrate are considered “high” as per EU regulations and are in the same range as the vitamin C levels in juices which were not made from concentrate, all commonly ranging from 36-53 mg/100 mL juice depending on orange variety and season, juicing processes and storage conditions. In addition, hesperidin and potassium levels are similar whether 100% orange juice is made from concentrate or is freshly squeezed.[4]



Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this document is reliable and has been verified. The information is intended to be used as a basis for non-commercial communications to a professional audience of healthcare professionals and media only. Information contained in this document should not be used as nutrition or health claims in communication directly targeting consumers. Users of this document should be aware that the use of this information in a different context as indicated or modifications of the information such as changes in the wordings, omissions or additions, as well as adding pictorials can have legal consequences. The AIJN shall therefore have no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this document or the information contained herein. The AIJN does not guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed by third parties on this document, and expressly disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance on such information or opinions.

References

[1] Data provided

by SGF International (2018).

[2] Aschoff JK et al. (2016)

Urinary excretion of Citrus flavanones and their major catabolites after consumption of fresh oranges and pasteurized orange juice: A randomized cross-over study. Mol Nutr Food Res 60: 2602-2610.

[3] Silveira JQ et al. (2014)

Pharmacokinetics of flavanone glycosides after ingestion of single doses of fresh-squeezed orange juice versus commercially processed orange juice in healthy humans. J Agric Food Chem 62: 12576-84.

[4] Rocha DMUP et al. (2017)

Orange juice modulates proinflammatory cytokines after high-fat saturated meal consumption. Food Funct 8(12): 4396-4403

[5] Morand C et al. (2011)

Hesperidin contributes to the vascular protective effects of orange juice: a randomized crossover study in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr 93(1):73-80.

[6] Data provided

by SGF International (2018)

[7] Ringblom U (ed.) (2017)

The Orange Book. Tetra Pak: Lund.

[10] Annex XIII of EU Regulation

1169/201 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32011R1169

[11] Ruxton C (2018)

What do Europe’s health professionals think about fruit juice? CN Focus 10: 36-38.