Way back when, juice used to be simple—you squeezed a piece of fruit and drank what squirted out. Now, with everything from natural organic nectars to fruity-sounding “nutraceutical” drinks crowding the shelves, taste and nutrition have become much more complicated.
Take fruit punch with 10 percent real fruit juice: the first three ingredients in one brand are water, high-fructose corn syrup and sugar—90 percent of the total product.
The first three ingredients in a 100-percent juice brand, on the other hand, are apple, grape and passion-fruit juices. Natural flavors (to replace the taste lost during pasteurization), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and citric acid (to maintain a shelf-stable pH) may round out the list. The 100-percent juice packs a punch of heart-healthy potassium, absent in the 10-percent version.
Of course the best choice for health is to enjoy the whole fruit, which gives you beneficial fiber and myriad other nutrients otherwise tossed out with the pulp.
—Rachael Moeller Gorman