The information provided on this page is aimed at healthcare professionals and affiliated audiences. Please seek advice from your medical professional before making dietary changes.
100% fruit juice is a source of essential nutrients and can contribute to a healthy diet. Take 100% orange juice as an example, which is a source of vitamin C (more on that below).
Today, myths cloud both the consumer and healthcare communities’ understanding of the benefits from fruit juice.
100% fruit juice is a convenient way to increase fruit intake and support good health. Like whole fruit, each type of fruit juice contains a different blend of naturally occurring nutrients that are essential to good health. Studies suggest people who drink 100% fruit juice have a more adequate nutrient intake than those who don’t.1
Here’s some specific facts about how 100% fruit juice can contribute to a healthy diet, using orange juice as an example:
Orange juice does not contain empty calories.
‘Empty calories’ refers to food energy with little or no nutritional value. This is not the case for orange juice: 100ml of 100% orange juice contains around 220mg of micronutrients. It offers, among other nutrients, folate and potassium, and is a rich source of vitamin C.2 Vitamin C contributes to a normal energy-yielding metabolism, the normal function of the immune system and the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Folate contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy and helps the immune system function normally. Folate also helps reduce tiredness and fatigue. Additionally, potassium contributes to normal muscle function and helps maintain normal blood pressure.3
One small glass (150ml) of 100% orange juice contains more than 50% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, and contributes just 3% of the daily calories in a recommended 2000kcal woman’s diet.4,5
Are there any added sugars?
There is NEVER any added sugar in 100% fruit juice. It is prohibited by European law, whether the fruit juice comes from concentrate or not.6 Orange juice naturally contains around 9% sugars, which come straight from the whole fruit from which it is squeezed. These sugars are glucose (27%), fructose (29%) and sucrose (44%), which are mono- and di-saccharides, types of carbohydrates. According to EFSA, the recommended intake of total carbohydrates - including not only carbohydrates from starchy foods such as potatoes and pasta but also from simple carbohydrates such as sugars - should range from 45 to 60% of the total energy intake for both adults and children.7
As seen in the “Nutritional Value of Orange Juice” table at the top of the page, one small glass (about 150ml) of 100% orange juice contains 13.5 grams of these naturally occurring sugars, which account for almost all of the 62 calories in the same glass.
One glass of 100% orange juice contributes just 3% of the daily calories in a recommended 2000kcal woman’s diet.4 It is important not to exceed the recommended daily requirement of energy from any food source. 100% fruit juice, like all other foods and drink, is best in moderation.
Sugars and vitamins
Fruit juice naturally contains around 10% sugars. The remaining 90% consists of water, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.8 The health benefits of phytonutrients, also known as plant compounds, are not yet fully understood and are the subject of much experimental and innovative science.
1. Gibson, S. Fruit juice consumption in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS 2008-2010): associations with diet quality and indices of obesity and health. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2012, 71, pp. E23.
- Also read: CREDOC Comportements et consommation alimentaire en France 2010. Enquête CCAF 2010.
2. FJM Nutrient Chart. Available at: https://fruitjuicematters.eu/en/downloadable-resources
3. Official Journal of the European Union. EU Commission Regulation 432/2012 of 16/05/2012. Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:136:0001:0040:en:PDF [Last accessed 8 February 2017]
4. Daily requirement of vitamin C is 80mg/day according to the EFSA report of 2003, Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on the revision of reference values for nutrition labelling (expressed on 5 March 2003).
5. FJM Nutrient Chart. Available at: https://fruitjuicematters.eu/en/downloadable-resources
6. Official Journal of the European Union. Directive 2012/12/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:115:0001:0011:EN:PDF.
7. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). European dietary reference values for nutrient intake, 2010. Available at: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/nda100326. [Last accessed 23 March 2017].
8. UK Department of Health. Nutrient analysis of fruit and vegetables. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/167942/Nutrient_analysis_of_fruit_and_vegetables_-_Summary_Report.pdf [Last accessed 8 February 2017].