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Glossary of Juicy Terms

Food Fitness to Nourish Your Body

Many people today are confused by the host of nutritional terms used to describe different foods. The Florida Department of Citrus wants you to know exactly what these terms mean when referring to fresh citrus fruit juices. Keep this handy glossary for future reference.

Lime and orange juices in glasses

100 Percent Pure or 100 Percent Juice -- This is your guarantee you are getting only juice, not a diluted juice beverage with water and sweeteners added. Look for it on the label. If it's not there, it's not all juice. When you see the Florida Sunshine Tree, you know what's inside was produced from oranges of grapefruit grown only within the state of Florida. It also guarantees that the juice is 100 percent pure and meets the highest standards in the world.

Fresh Squeezed Juice -- This term means the juice was squeezed from fresh oranges or grapefruit and packaged in paper cartons, glass or plastic containers. It is not pasteurized, is clearly labeled and is located in the produce or dairy section of your grocery store.

Variety of fruit juices

Chilled, Ready-to-Serve -- This is juice made from frozen concentrate or pasteurized juice. It is packaged in paper cartons, plastic or glass containers and is usually found in the dairy section.

Not from Concentrate -- This juice is flash-heated to pasteurize it immediately after the fruit is squeezed. It has never been concentrated.

From Concentrated -- This refers to juice manufactured as a frozen concentrate; then reconstituted and pasteurized before packaging.

Frozen Concentrate -- This freshly-squeezed juice has been concentrated and frozen. It is reconstituted by adding back the amount of water originally removed.

Fresh Frozen -- Freshly-squeezed juice that is packaged and frozen without pasteurizing or further processing is called "fresh frozen." It is usually sold in plastic bottles in the frozen food section of the grocery store and is ready to drink after thawing.

Juice in Aseptic Containers -- This is a shelf-stable product usually found with canned and bottled juices on the dry-goods shelf of your store. It is pasteurized juice or juice from concentrate, packaged in sterilized containers.

Canned Juice -- Orange or grapefruit juice that has been pasteurized and sealed in cans provides extended shelf life of more than one year. Remember, canned juice should be refrigerated after opening and used within one week.

How to Read Between the Lines on the Juice Label

Juice beverage label "Juicy" phrases on juice beverage labels, such as "all-natural juice cocktail" or "tropical citrus punch," make it difficult to know what you're buying. Beginning in 1993, manufacturers will be required to list the percent of juice content on the information panel of juices and diluted juice beverages to comply with the Federal Nutrition Labeling and Education Act.

It often takes quite a bit of sleuthing to find a juice that offers the best nutritional value. The terms "100 percent pure" or "100 percent juice" on the label guarantee that you're drinking only pure juice, not sweetened water or a diluted beverage.

Although many consumers expect "juice cocktails" or "juice drinks" to be 100 percent pure juice, these products are diluted with water and often have sugar added. When a juice drink label reads "100 percent natural" consumers assume the product is pure juice, which often is not the case. Currently, there are no federal restrictions on the terms "natural" or "real."

Furthermore, not all juice-containing beverages are created equal. Nutrient density, an index of nutrients per calorie, is another factor to consider when you purchase juice. The nutritive value of a juice is determined by the fruit from which it's made. Orange juice and grapefruit juice are always smart choices, because they're more nutrient dense than most other juices and juice beverages. They're also refreshing, good-tasting, naturally high in vitamin C and potassium, and contain many other nutrients.

Until the FDA mandates disclosure of juice content, consumers must read between the lines of the juice labels to make healthy choices. Here are some tips to make the choice easier:

Look for the words "100 percent pure" or "100 percent juice" on the label. This phrase assures you that you are getting only pure fruit juice--complete with all its nutrients.

Watch out for "juicy" product names. Words such as cocktail, punch, drink, sparkler, blend, and beverage signify "diluted juice," containing less than 100 percent pure juice with added sweeteners.

Choose nutrient-rich juice. Not all "100 percent pure juice" products are created equal.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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