"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brave New Orange Juice

This is a bit depressing:

Most are surprised to hear, for instance, that the big brands [e.g., Tropicana, a Pepsi company and Minute Maid, owned by Coca-Cola], which market their product as “pure” and “simple,” add flavor packs to their juice to make it fresh.

Flavor packs are fabricated from the chemicals that make up orange essence and oil. Flavor and fragrance houses, the same ones that make high end perfumes, break down orange essence and oils into their constituent chemicals and then reassemble the individual chemicals in configurations that resemble nothing found in nature. Ethyl butyrate is one of the chemicals found in high concentrations in the flavor packs added to orange juice sold in North American markets, because flavor engineers have discovered that it imparts a fragrance that Americans like, and associate with a freshly squeezed orange.

Freshly squeezed orange juice tastes fresh naturally, and some supermarkets do sell it. However, “from concentrate” and most “not from concentrate” orange juice undergo processes that strip the flavor from the juice. The largest producers of “not from concentrate” or pasteurized orange juice keep their juice in million-gallon aseptic storage tanks to ensure a year round supply. Aseptic storage involves stripping the juice of oxygen, a process known as “deaeration,” so the juice doesn’t oxidize in the “tank farms” in which the juice sits, sometimes for as long as a year.

, by Alissa Hamilton.

I guess we have to squeeze our own oranges, now. Most disturbing is the fact that these facts are hidden from us, that a product that contains "flavor packs" can be sold as pure orange juice. I thought we had laws regarding that... hello?

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