Quality and Code of Practice
Providing consumers with the highest quality juices is a priority for the European fruit juice sector. We want juice to taste good, and do good! So the sector targets continuous improvement, implementing production practices that ensure consumers they are receiving the best quality juice – made safely and with its nutritional benefits intact.
For European fruit juice producers, consumers’ well-being is a top priority – across all stages of production, in line with international CODEX standards, EU legislation – to ensure that only safe and high-quality juices reach the European public.1 The sector also partners with the European Quality Control System (EQCS). This is an independent association, which has established local market and packer controls to further ensure the quality and food safety of juice products.
Committed to protecting both consumers and the juice that they drink, AIJN established its own Code of Practice for best practices in the juice supply chain, recognised by the European Commission and used by national fruit juice associations, national food inspections as well as by fruit processors and traders worldwide. Among other juice standards, the Code of Practice Expert Group provides Reference Guidelines for fruit and vegetables juices, which set authenticity and quality criteria for juices.2
Whether the juice comes from concentrate or not, it undergoes rapid pasteurisation before packaging. This is key to ensuring that consumers get a safe, high quality product - and the proof is in the glass!
Contrary to some perceptions, pasteurisation before packaging causes no significant loss of vitamin C in juices – a critical quality factor, especially for orange juice. This is validated by a recent large-scale experiment on orange juice processing, which measured vitamin C levels before and after pasteurisation.3 In fact, tests have shown that it is primarily the amount of dissolved oxygen in the product that determines vitamin C retention, and that pasteurisation has no significant effect on the other key quality characteristics of taste and colour for orange juice.
(Disclosure to note: tests implemented as part of a packager initiative for a policy white paper).
1. Codex General Standard for Fruit Juices and Nectars (247-2005). Available at: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/. [Last accessed: 4 February, 2017].
2. AIJN Code of Practice. Available at: http://www.aijn.org/publications/code-of-practice/the-aijn-code-of-practice/. [Last accessed: 15 March, 2017].
3. Whitepaper: Vitamin C retention in orange juice production: getting past the myths and doing more with less. Available at:
https://endpoint895270.azureedge.net/static/documents/processing/vitaminc-retention-white-paper.pdf [Last accessed: 15 March, 2017].