How good are the fruit juice concentrates?
Oct 04, 2021
Most of the juices in our market are reconstituted from juice concentrate. The generalized belief that concentrated juice is something artificial, not natural, is a mistake!
Juice concentrate is obtained by removing part of the water it contains from the raw material (juice squeezed directly). As a result of concentration, the content of soluble dry substances in the juice increases more than 2 times. Evaporation of the liquid is carried out under reduced pressure in vacuum. Water in such conditions boils at 65-70 degrees Celsius. This mode of heat treatment allows to preserve vitamins and inhibit the development of microflora. The resulting concentrated juice is a thick syrup, which is stored at low temperature: up to – 18 degrees. This product is easier to store and transport.
To obtain 100% natural juice concentrate, it is sufficient to add to it the same amount of water that was removed during its production. The requirements to be met by the water used for the juice are high. It must not contain impurities that affect the taste and the physicochemical and microbiological properties of the juice. Serious companies strictly control the quality of the water used for juice recovery.
Restoring the natural proportion of water in the juice is only one of the stages of a complex technological process. Each manufacturer strives to achieve an original taste and aroma only inherent to its juice. For this purpose, different juices are mixed: sweet apple is added to sour apple juice, the inclusion of fibers from orange slices with sour taste gives a special piquancy to sweet orange juice. During the evaporation of water in the juice concentration, some aromatic substances may escape, which are captured and, when reconstituted, are returned to the juice to give it a natural flavor and aroma.
Strictly speaking, reconstituted juice is virtually indistinguishable from directly squeezed juice. In terms of vitamin and mineral content, they are identical in other physicochemical and nutritional properties. In fact provided that the technology is strictly respected, both when concentrating and recovering the juice.
The only thing that separates them is the taste. Moreover, reconstituted juice can be even tastier and more aromatic than juice squeezed directly, since juice production technology allows the use of a certain amount of aromatic substances contained, for example, in the skin of the fruit, which makes the juice more flavorful .
Storage and Packaging Advantages
Long-term storage of industrially obtained juices is achieved by special packaging and heat treatment. In addition, the mode of heat treatment is adjusted so that vitamins are preserved almost 100%. Their loss, in particular of vitamin C, occurs mainly in the process of improper storage.
According to experts, the optimal storage time of juices at the modern technological level of production should not exceed 6-9 months. Most manufacturers take this fact into account, but juices with a shelf life of up to 2 years are on sale. In this case, the manufacturer guarantees that the fermentation process will not develop in the juice. However, with a high degree of probability, it can be argued that after a year, the content of vitamins in it will decrease, the taste, color and aroma of the juice will also change not for the better.
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