Hey, juicers! We know that juicing is the best and easiest way to meet your daily recommended mineral & vitamin intake. It is one of the best ways to get fresh, all-natural minerals and vitamins directly in your body. But Juicing is time-consuming. While looking for alternatives, we opt for juice concentrates because it is ready on the go.
The juice concentrates can have bitter or unwanted tastes. Hence companies may add sugar or flavors to make their juice concentrate more appealing. We juicers are worried about the carbohydrate and glucose that come with the excess sugar intake. And that brings us to this article, Does Juice Concentrate have added sugar?
What is juice concentrate, and how does it differ from fresh-squeezed juice?
Juice concentrate is the viscous liquid that remains after most of the water has been removed from freshly squeezed juice. It typically contains less than 10% of the water from the initial 90. The lack of water prevents bacterial or fungal growth, hence less chemical treatment is required for longer storage.
The sugar quantity remains the same but gets concentrated because the total volume of the liquid decreases. Usually, this would increase bacterial growth but the lack of water prevents it.
Nowadays, most commercial juices are pasteurized (heat-treated) to kill any bacteria, and juice concentrate is pasteurized as well, but the heating process is done at a lower temperature than that used for fresh juice. This results in a more stable product that can be stored at room temperature for longer periods of time without spoiling.
How much sugar is in juice concentrate?
Because juice concentrate contains fewer water molecules than fresh-squeezed juice, it increases sugar concentricity. In other words, the amount of sugar in juice concentrate is higher than fresh juice. Usually concentrated fruit juices can contain 40 to 60 grams (1½ to 2¼ ounces) of sugar per serving (8 fluid oz.), approximately the same amount as soft drinks.
But you are not meant to drink Concentrated juice directly, it is supposed to be mixed with water, and that is where you have slight control over the intake of sugar. If you add water as instructed on the label then you will usually get slightly more sugar than that of fresh juice of the same volume.
Why is sugar added, and why is it bad for you?
Juice concentrate becomes dull and has no aroma hence, sugar is added to make it taste better and it is added in many different forms in all processed foods. These include white and brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrates such as apple concentrate, fruit juice blends, and jelly.
There are many types of sugar molecules and fruits usually have 2 major types: fructose and sucrose. Of these, only fructose is harmful to your body (sucrose can be metabolized by the body to release fructose). Fructose is a form of simple sugar that’s been shown to cause more harm than other types of sugars. The amount of sugar in any given fruit depends on its concentration and the size of the fruit.
For example, the sugar content of a random large apple is 23g, out of which 13g is Fructose. This is totally fine, because according to studies you need at least 40g of fructose to begin its harmful effects. But don’t forget we eat more than just an apple a day, so it easily adds up. Juice concentrates are not bad for you because of their sugar content. Rather, it is the type of sugar that’s important.
Why would I drink juice concentrate if it has added sugar?
I do not recommend juice concentrate, but it is readily available, easy to store, and has a good amount of vitamins and minerals of the daily recommendation. Usually, most commercial fruit juices have more added sugars when compared to juice concentrates.
Store-bought juices are pasteurized and processed to kill and discourage the growth of harmful bacteria. But remember most of the fresh juice on the shelves may not be as fresh because it is usually stored in the factory for weeks and sometimes even years.
You can have juice concentrates or store-bought fresh juice, but nothing is better than freshly squeezed juice. It may not be always possible to make fresh juice at home due to time constrain but remember that this is not something you should be doing regularly. Fresh vegetables and fruit are better for you because they contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that are lost in the processing of juice concentrate.
What is the best choice of juice when shopping at the supermarket?
Fresh-squeezed juices that have been pasteurized do not contain added sugars or preservatives. Even so, be sure to check the labels of the products you choose.
Does the type of fruit affect the amount of sugar in the product?
The amount of sugar in a fruit juice depends on the type of fruit it comes from. This is because certain fruits contain more water than others. For example, an 8 oz. (240 ml.) glass of orange juice contains about 17 grams of sugar, while one made from grapes will have only about 3½ grams.
This difference can be attributed to the amount of water in each of the fruits. Orange juice has a higher sugar content because it contains around 80% water, while grape juice is only about 62% water.
How is fruit juice concentrate made?
The process starts with fresh fruit from which all the berry and stem pulp is removed. Then, the remaining material is either steamed or put through a centrifugal separation process which separates the juice from the solid material. The resulting juice is then concentrated to make it easier and safer to transport.
The fruit juices that you find in your supermarket are most likely watered-down versions of their original forms, as well as containing added sugars. If possible, buy only fresh, raw fruit, which has all the health benefits of juice. If you can’t do this, take care to select a product that contains as little added sugar and concentrate as possible.
These juices are generally sold in cans or glass bottles with a plastic spout. Some brands are even pasteurized for your safety. Buy products that have no added sugar or concentrate.
Are there any benefits to drinking concentrated fruit juices over freshly squeezed juices?
The concentration of fruit juices you buy in the supermarket comes from a process where most of the water is removed. This concentrates the sugar content, as well as decreases the volume, and makes shipping more efficient. On the other hand, fresh-squeezed juices are made by taking whole fruits and squeezing them. They contain water that’s been naturally filtered through the fruits, such as pulp and seeds. This is probably why most fresh-squeezed juices have a lower sugar content than their commercial counterparts.
However, for the most part, these are two different products that don’t really compare to one another. The real issue should be whether or not you should consume fruit juices on a regular basis. While fresh-squeezed juices are the healthiest choice, you should avoid fruit juice concentrate entirely.
The only benefit of juice concentrate is its transportability and storage. Nothing for us consumers but mostly for producers.
Juice concentrate is convenient because it can provide a large amount of fruit in a small package. However, this kind of commercial juice will usually contain added sugar and may also contain preservatives. Fresh-squeezed juices are more nutritious but much harder to find. Whenever possible, choose fresh fruit and vegetables instead of drinking juice. If you do purchase juice, make sure it hasn’t been sweetened with added sugar. You’ll save your health and your pocket.
Did I convince you to make fresh juice for yourself? If yes why not start with an easy one tomato juice?