Juice is commonly consumed. Are the contents you get in the carton the same as the fruit? The origin of juice starts with Louis Pasteur who invented pasteurization. Obviously he was proud of his technique to kill bacteria. Pasteurization was invented for safer consumption of milk, beer, and wine. Pasteurization paved the way for canned foods and fruit juice in the 1920s and 30s. Juice from concentrate was popularized during World War II for it’s ease of access and travel. From that point forward, orange juice has been a standard in households especially because of its level of vitamin c. Take that snippet to your next cocktail party… It will be sure to impress.
Getting to the point, juice doesn’t contain the original amount of phenols when bottled or cartoned. A key subclass of phenols (antioxidants) are anthrocyanins (give fruit its dark, healthy color). You may have heard that you should eat foods of dark color. Well, the anthrocyanins are one of many reasons to eat dark fruits and vegetables like pomegranates and rainbow chard.
There are two pertinent points that you should consider when drinking fruit juice. One, you must check to see if the juice is from concentrate or if it has added sugar (FDA approved new labeling of added sugar here.) Concentrated forms of juice remove the water content from the juice, leaving the product more like a Pixie stick than fruit juice. When consumed, your liver and pancreas go into over drive to produce insulin. That’s not healthy. It’s very similar to drinking a soda.
The next point… the phenolic contents reduce dramatically after pasteurization and the bottling process. A study showed a 40% decrease in phenols after it had been shelved for 30 days. The study involved blueberries, elderberries, and black current juice all of which have a high amount of phenols. Also, when shelved, the color of the juice was lighter; thus a decrease in anthrocyanins.
As you might have guessed, the actual fruit is best, but including a shot or two of pomegranate juice a day isn’t a bad idea. Remember to read your labels to avoid added sugars.
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