Supermarkets and grocery stores are full of different types of, at first glance, the same product. Brands outdo one another in advertising of what they have to offer to the customer. It becomes more and more difficult to choose the healthy, proper product from the supermarket shelf. It becomes very important to read the label carefully to find out what is inside the item we are going to buy. Does it contain any harmful substances or flavor enhances? What is the sugar level in it? Those are only a few questions bothering buyers who are concerned about their health and the health of the family members. In this article, juice concentrates will be under the magnifying glass.
1. What does from concentrate mean?
Juice can mostly consist of water. It can even be around 90% of it. When water is removed from it, the dense and sticky substance is left. The concentrate is basically juice from which most of the water is eliminated. This process is needed to extend the freshness and shelf life of the product- lack of water inhibits bacteria’s growth. When we see information “from the concentrate” on the juice label, that means the juice was concentrated due to more convenient storage and transportation and then combined again with water before being sold.
Now we will say a few words about how the concentration process looks like. Fruits or vegetables intended for concentration are being washed and smashed or blended. Then most of the water is being evaporated from the pulp. This essence without water is being packed and stored.
2. Is concentrated juice bad for you?
In the evaporating process, the taste of concentrate may change and become less aromatic. Sometimes, producers add flavor and color to avoid it, like artificial fragrances and food coloring agents. Unfortunately, a very common procedure is adding high-fructose corn syrup to fruit juice concentrate and sodium to juices made of vegetables to improve the concentrate’s sweetness or saltness. In this case, choosing that sort of juice made of the concentrate may not be the healthiest option for you. That is why you should read the content’s description to know exactly what the particular juice contains.
Juice with additional sweetness can be harmful to those suffering from diabetes and acid reflux disease. More dangerous issue is with artificial colors and fragrances, which can even increase cancer risk. The less dramatic scenario may cause allergies, headaches, skin irritation or hyperactivity and irritability.
The concentrate made of 100% fruit is the best option. It does not contain the additional sugar, and the big amount of nutrients is still there. However, it may have unhealthy preservatives. This information is always written on the label.
You should read the description of the content to know exactly what the particular juice contains.
3. Concentrated juice – pros and cons
The fact that the juices made of concentrate are much cheaper than fresh juices is an attractive feature. Additionally, they can last much longer than the fresh ones. Nevertheless, we should always be aware of the content of our juice.
The most popular are the orange juice concentrate and apple juice concentrate. The advantage of concentrated juice is also that they still have a lot of nutrients. For example, one glass of orange juice made of concentrate is rich in vitamin C. It provides 280% of a daily dose of the mentioned vitamin.
Another advantage is that they are packed with healthy plant compounds, like anthocyanins, carotenoids, or flavonoids. Those are very beneficial to our health because they relieve inflammation in the body.
The first and most important disadvantage of buying juice from concentrate is that it may contain harmful substances to improve its taste and color. They also may have added sugar or salt.
Another thing is that they lack fiber. It is a very important component of many fruits and vegetables. Fiber improves digestion, keeps the gastrointestinal system healthy and clean, especially the bowels. It also helps with lowering the cholesterol level and controlling the sugar level in the blood.
4. Frozen juice concentrate
After the evaporating and packing process, the concentrate may be stored at room temperature or frozen. From that concentrate, you can prepare your juice by diluting it with water. You can also add it in concentrated form to your dishes or baking. By this, you will obtain a more aromatic flavor. Remember that frozen juice concentrate can be stored in that form for about one year. Till that time, it will maintain most of its nutrients.
Frozen juices are usually packed in metal cans. The most popular one among all of them is the frozen orange juice. From one cun, which can fit in 12 oz (355 ml), you can get around 48 oz (1,42 l) of juice after mixing it with water.
Frozen juice concentrate can be stored in that form for about one year. Till that time, it maintains most of its nutrients.
Hopefully, we managed to answer a few important questions about the juice concentrates. The most important thing when choosing one is to read its label carefully. After that, we can be sure there is nothing harmful to our health. We encourage you to pay special attention to that matter. Of course, nothing can replace the old fashioned, squeezed juice. Fresh juice contains way more vitamins and minerals, which are essential to maintain well being. When you have a little bit more time, it is better to make juice on your own.
Read about the benefits of fresh vegetable and fruit juices in the articles below:
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