Frozen Concentrate OJ Packs More C

Apr 22, 2002

Active vitamin C levels are higher in frozen-concentrate orange juice than ready-to-drink juice, researchers report. And once reconstituted, the vitamin in frozen juices may keep its potency longer.

The content of the type of vitamin C that can be readily absorbed by the body dropped in all of the juices over time, with levels falling an average of two percent per day, according to the report in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. However, the investigators note that the ready-to-drink versions lost much more usable vitamin C during that period than did the frozen concentrates. The pasteurization procedure, which many ready-to-drink orange juices undergo to destroy bacteria, gives it a poorer running start due to the immediate heat destruction of vitamin C. The degradation is further aggravated by the type of plastic and wax containers in which ready-to-drink juices are packaged.

Research study lead author Dr. Carol S. Johnston of Arizona State University East in Mesa and her co-author D. L. Bowling examined samples taken from different brands of orange juice sold in both frozen concentrate form and in ready-to-drink resealable cartons. Among the ready-to-drink samples, the researchers included both not-from-concentrate, pasteurized versions and from-concentrate, non-pasteurized versions.

Moderator Comment: Will consumers purchase more frozen
orange juice due to the vitamin C research reported in the Journal of the American
Dietetic Association? How can retailers best manage all beverage categories
(shelf-stable, refrigerate, frozen)?

Refrigerated orange juice (especially not from concentrate)
has been growing share of total juice sales for years. This is largely due to
the convenience factor (open and pour) and product enhancements (fortified juices).
American consumers, it says here, will stick with refrigerated items. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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