No breakfast is complete without a favorite juice beverage next to your plate. Juices are sweet, tangy, and to many modern consumers, provide essential vitamins and nutrients. Juice is also a popular beverage of choice for many active and on-the-go consumers who crave an extra boost of energy. So, what exactly is in so many popular juice drinks that has consumers running to the grocery store?

100% juice: is fruit juice made from 100% “liquid fruit,” with no added colors, preservatives or sugar.

Fruit juice: can be made in two different ways:

“not-from-concentrate” juice is extracted from the fruit, pasteurized (treated with heat for quality control), and stored. This type of juice is often more expensive because the cost of shipping water is exponentially higher than “made from concentrate” products.

“made from concentrate” juice is treated by removing water from freshly pressed juice under vacuum conditions. After a period of settling, the syrup-like concentrate is converted into fruit juice by re-constituting with water and blending

Nectar: Because some fruits naturally contain so much fruit acidity or fruit pulp, they are not sold as pure juice individually. These beverages are usually developed by adding water, sugar, and preservatives to create a mixture we know as fruit nectar. Nectar can be derived from fruits like black currants, sour cherries and bananas. The required minimum fruit content for fruit nectars is between 25 and 50%, depending on the type of fruit. Fruit nectar does not contain any added colors or preservatives.

“Fruit juice” drinks: Surprisingly, many of the juices we drink are not even juices at all! In order to cut down on production cost and to reduce waste, many juice companies combine sugar syrups, sweeteners, and preservatives with juice flavors to create a similar effect as real juice.A fruit juice drink is mainly consumed as a “thirst-quencher,” which is why it needs a higher water content. Only fruit flavors are added to these drinks to create a wide product range to satisfy a variety of consumer needs.

Whether you are buying fruit juice or nectar, the way in which we consume juices has changed over time to include a wide variety of beverages for a multitude of preferences. For both juice-connoisseurs and health-conscious consumers, the possibilities are endless, and the juices are many.

Written on May 6, 2019.