Is Pasteurized Juice Even Natural?
by Vic Shayne, PhD
Let’s take a look at two distinctly different breakfast drinks. First is a glass of juice that was just squeezed out of two oranges. The second is something out of a carton called pasteurized orange juice. Are they the same nutritionally speaking?
Pasteurization heats juice, but what else does it do? Critics claim that it kills valuable nutrients, but our federal government says nutrients are not lost through this process.
Alissa Hamilton, author of Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, states: “In the process of pasteurizing, juice is heated and stripped of oxygen, a process called deaeration, so it doesn’t oxidize. Then it’s put in huge storage tanks where it can be kept for upwards of a year. It gets stripped of flavor-providing chemicals, which are volatile. When it’s ready for packaging, companies such as Tropicana hire flavor companies such as Firmenich to engineer flavor packs to make it taste fresh. People think not-from-concentrate is a fresher product, but it also sits in storage for quite a long time…”
Even though the USDA claims that pasteurization does not ultimately harm juice, it’s true that air can destroy vitamin C and affect other nutrients by virtue of oxidation. It’s better to squeeze your own juice then drink it right away.
- Journal of Food Science, Volume 65 Issue 2, Pages 357 – 364, 08