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October 15, 2015
Most of us never stop to think about our favourite fruity tipple… beyond ensuring that we have our preferred flavour in the fridge! But whether it’s a chilled glass over breakfast, a grab-and-go bottle after a workout or a sweet dinnertime treat, there’s far more to fruit juice than you might first imagine. We take a look at a few important facts we should all know about this go-to family drink.
Let’s start with the basics. Families that typically eat clean may choose to buy organic to reduce the pesticide content of their juice – but what about the food miles and transportation of the fruit from which it’s made? How much do we truly know of the provenance of our favourite drink? Usually not a huge amount.
Aim to choose a brand that grows its own fruit for juicing – ideally in a country where air pollution and water quality standards are high. Producers that cut out middle men and control their own supply chain will typically be far more invested in the product’s quality than mass-producers, whose main focus is fast, cheap turnaround. Good food takes time. Good juice is no different.
Pour a little juice from your usual brand into a glass. What’s the consistency like? Is your juice clear or cloudy? How about the texture? Thin and watery in consistency, or thicker and fuller in body? The difference lies in the preparation of your juice and how much of the fruit actually ends up the final product.
Ideally, fruit should always be eaten with its fibre – the outer peel and pith. This has many benefits including retaining more of the fruit’s vitamin load and also helping to keep us feeling full, meaning we actually drink less juice and therefore ingest less of the natural fructose sugar contained within it. Wherever possible, we should avoid centrifuged juices (these are typically clear) and opt instead for blended whole-fruit juice.
The vast majority of supermarket juice is made using fruit concentrate, rather than 100% pure juice… Yes, even those expensive cartons from the chilled cabinet! And while they may taste good, concentrates are far less palatable to our health.
Often oxidised and chemically coloured to retain a “natural” appearance, these super-sweet concentrates are diluted with water, sweetened with refined white sugar and dosed with shelf-life-enhancing preservatives on their journey to becoming a bottle of juice in our fridge door. Suddenly feeling less thirsty? Us too.
Profood’s preferred juice supplier is T.V.B., an Italian company that produces superior quality drinks made from 100% GMO-free whole fruit – and never from concentrate. With no added colouring, preservatives, water or sugars, and containing nothing more than real fruit pulp and juice, these little bottles of goodness retain far more of the fruit’s authentic flavour and are deliciously satisfying to drink. As an added environmental bonus, T.V.B.’s bottles are made from fully recyclable glass as opposed to landfill-bound tetra-packs, keeping the juice inside fresh for longer without the need for artificial additives. Food for thought indeed.
Kate Farr is a co-founding writer and editor at Editors' Ink HK, a blogger at Accidental Tai-Tai and a mum to two little boys. With a husband who's an enthusiastic amateur cook and two young sons with big appetites to feed, mealtimes play a central role in Kate's home life. Motto: "Diet? What diet?' Follow her on Instagram.
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