Canned Juice Drink?

Juice drink? Just when did it changed to such. It is juice drink all along? I thought all canned juices have more percentage natural juice or nearly 100%. I know even if it is labeled 100% natural, it isn’t. Manufacturer sure adds some additive to make the shelf life significantly longer. It is pure when you extract it yourself or someone do it in your presence.

I am not a fan of instant juices in stand-up pouches. I am well aware that they are water plus flavorings, sugar and preservatives. It is some kind of scam. Making so much margin for a very little capital. It is unhealthy and can never quench thirst.

For some reasons, before, I had never seen canned juice drink. They are either labeled as juice, nectar or 100%. Whenever I have a severe cold or feel like filling in and there is no fruit around, I go for canned juice. My favorite is canned pineapple juice. The brand is Del Monte I think. It is sour, barely sweet but gets my colds cure in few days. I regard other popular and cheaper brands as daily maintenance.

Why I noticed only now. The small “juice drink” words under the product name. Sure I am not paying attention well.

I wanna stop buying it. Based on my stored knowledge, juice drinks contains 30% or less natural juice. It is 70% water and other ingredients. Looks like I need more than three to get 100%.

Europe, Africa, Middle East and former Soviet Union. There is additional notice in label. The product is not to be sold or resold in this countries. Not sure why. Maybe these territories have special standards that has not been met.

This, for sure, is affected by sugar tax under the TRAIN law. Sugary drinks are linked to increased obesity rate, chances of diabetic and others. Government want reduce this problem by forcing people to refrain purchases. If the measure is not effective. At least, they can earn more from it.

Other countries are doing extra measures. A levy on sweets and banning the advertisements.

Natural Pineapple Juice With Very Few Ingredients

Not all juices are created equal. There are affordable juices. Affordable that buying one is cheaper than getting a bottled water. There are expensive juices, you’re gonna think that buying a fresh fruit is better, cheaper and healthier.

Okay! In its strictest sense, most processed juice cannot beat its natural counterpart. Tomato which the phytochemical lycopene is released during heating is an exception. Heating process usually strips fruits of its nutrients.

In case you really need or cannot avoid buying a processed juice, there are two main points to consider.

1) Number of Ingredients. If there are too many ingredients. Then, it is likely that you are getting too little of real juice. The lack of natural sap is being masked by too many flavorings and preservatives. According to… any food from grocery shelf with more than five ingredients is not healthy.

2) The Type of Ingredients. If the ingredients you see are few but with terms such as “artificial and nature identical”, then turn and look for better options.

I think this Del Monte 100% Pineapple Juice is a good example. It only has four ingredients namely, natural pineapple juice, ascorbic acid, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It is not really 100% percent cause of four ingredients declared.

del monte natural pineapple juicedel monte natural pineapple juice ingredient listingAs its name suggest, it’s a natural juice from pineapple. Vitamin A and Vitamin E as nutrient fortification while ascorbic acid serves two purposes, as nutrient fortification and preservative. The latter farther increased the pineapple juice acidity making it not conducive for bacterial growth.

This canned pineapple juice is more sour and less sweet.

BFAD Guidelines – Naming of Fruit Beverages

mango-juice

To avoid confusing and misleading presentation of fruit beverages, BFAD provided the following definitions as the guidelines of naming of fruit beverages.

mango-juice

1. Fruit Juice – consists of fermentable but unfermented juice obtained:

a. from the fruit by a mechanical process which shall cause the removal of seeds and excess pulp, the finished product having the characteristic color, flavor and aroma of the juice of the fruit from which it was obtained; or

b. from concentrated fruit juice by the replacement of water in the amount necessary to obtain the organoleptic (sensory) and chemical properties of the juice obtained by the same mechanical process mentioned above. It may contain added sugar, provided that, when more than 4% (w/w) sugar has been added the word “sweetened” or “with added sugar” shall appear conspicuously on the main panel of the label.

2. Concentrated Fruit Juice – contains only juice as defined above, from which water has been removed by physical means reducing the volume of the juice by about 50%.

3. Fruit Juice Drink – is a ready to drink beverage prepared by mixing water with fruit juice concentrate and into which sugar and citric acid may be added to adjust the soluble solids content and acidity of the product. The main ingredient which is the fruit juice concentrate is composed of fruit juice, essential oils, essences or extracts, with or without added sugar.

4. Fruit Drink Concentrate – is a blend of fruit beverage base and syrup. The fruit beverage base is mixture of fruit flavors, essences and coloring material. Citric acid and preservatives may be present in the base or may be present in the base or may be added during the preparation of the concentrate. Each part of the oncentrate shall be diluted with not less than one part of water to produce a ready drink beverage.

5. Fruit Nectar – is a fermentable but unfermented product obtained by the addition of water and sugar to concentrated fruit juice or fruit puree or a mixture of these products, with or without added citric acid. It varies from a nearly clear liquid to a mixture high in suspended solid and commonly refers to pulpy fruit beverages derived from fruits other that citrus fruits.

6. Fruit Drink Mix – is a mixture of dry or almost dry ingredients (fruit flavors, sugar, citric acid, other additives) that are readily soluble in water. It may contain dehydrated fruit juice. Fruit beverages with label claims that do not conform with the definitions stated herein shall be considered misbranded under Section 15 (g) of R.A. 3720.

Juice Label Guide

There are so many juice products available in groceries . Differentiating one from the other may be a hard task. Drinking it might be  a healthy habit but it still depend on which kind you chose to take.  Understanding each commodity is crucial in decision making.

1. Fruit Juice. A 100% pure extract with all the vitamins and minerals intact. It should be fermentable or can be converted to ethanol. Canned products cannot be called “fruit juices” because processing requires addition of sugar and some preservatives to maintain quality and extend shelf life.

2. Fruit Purée.
Product obtained by sieving the edible part of whole or peeled fruit without removing the
juice. It can also be described as extract plus pulp. I love to drink purée because  its a rich source of fibers.

3. Concentrated Fruit Purée. Made from fruit purée by removal of at least 50% of its water content. It can be reconstituted by addition water.

4. Juice Concentrate . Fruit juice in which at least 50% of water is removed by any physical means. High temperature of processing may cause loss of some nutrients and flavors.

5. Juice drink. This consist of 70% water and 30% percent juice. Most  commercial products contain as little as 5% real extract. Extract maybe replaced with concentrate, puree or powder. Addition of sugar or sugar substitute and artificial flavors compensates for the lack of taste. Health claims  and realistic fruit pictures printed on label can be misleading.

6. Powder. It is the most stable form. Done by complete removal of water by any physical means. Popular method are spray drying and drum drying. Essential nutrients are loss during the process. It maybe added back through fortification.

7. Fruit nectar. Product obtained by sweetening fruit extract with honey or sugar. Sweetening agent may not exceed 20% of the total weight.  Nectar  is generally accepted to denote a beverage that contains fruit juice or puree, water, and which may contain artificial sweeteners.

You can go here if you are looking for BFAD standard regulation for fruit beverages.

Is Phenylalanine Good For You ?

phenylalanine-warning

I bought juice drink to satisfy my thirsts . Just like before. I always check what are written on the labels. I read the term “Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine”. I was curious about it but never managed to check what it is. I threw the empty juice package and continue walking way home.

A few days after. My wife asked me to drive her to the hospital to get her “operating room records” ( she has just given birth ) and the results of our baby’s new born screening. Thanks God!, new born screening results normal. Nothing to worry about.  One thing got my attention . The term “Phenylketunuria” . It sounds like Phenylketunurics than was written on juice label I drank before.   That incidence powered me to do some research.

“Phenylketonurics” is the term used to refer to people that have the metabolic disorder Phenylketonuria, or PKU for short. While “phenylketonuria” is a genetic metabolic disorder that results when the PKU gene is inherited from both parents. People with PKU cannot metabolize phenylalanine.  It builds up in  blood in the form of an acid called phenylpyruvic acid. High levels of phenylpyruvic acid damage the brain and can cause an array of side effects such as mental retardation; the loss of pigmentation in the skin,hair and eyes ;a “mousy” or musty odor; muscle aches and pains and in extreme cases; even seizures.

Is Phenylalanine really harmful? Definitely not! It is only harmful to those who have PKU. In fact its one of the essential amino acids, present in many common proteins -meats, dairy products, eggs, nuts, legumes and as well as hemoglobin. It is used in medicine and nutrition and as one of the two amino acids making up aspartame. This explains why the juice I drank earlier is phenylketonuric, it contains aspartame. Package foods with aspartame has a warning sign so serve as a guide to us.

Lessons learned . Let your baby undergo New Born Screening and always read the product label. Better late than never but early is the best!

phenylalanine-warning

Make Natural Carrot Juice

carrot

We often eat less carrots. Why? Because we always use carrots for vegetables. To enjoy it more. You can get some carrots . Remove the peels. Blend it in waring blender with some water. Add some sugar to taste. Now you have your natural carrot juice. Natural is always better.

carrot

Here are some benefits of carrots

  1. Carrots are excellent for the eyes.
  2. Carrots contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene.
  3. Juicing a carrot removes the indigestible fiber. Thus, the nutrients in it are available to the body in much larger quantities than if the carrot was eaten whole. This is because many of the nutrients are trapped in the fibre, and while fibre aids digestion, some part of the fibre is indigestible. Thus, you don’t get the benefits of the nutrients that are trapped in the indigestible fibre. Did you know that if you eat a carrot raw, you only get access to about 1% of the available beta carotene? But, when you or your child has a glass of carrot juice, you your system absorbs almost 100% or the beta carotene!
  4. Does your child drink more Pepsi or Coke than water? While you may feel that these are just sweetened substitutes, you are wrong. In fact, these beverages have substances that require more water to eliminate them from the system. So, whenever your child asks for a soft drink, give him juice instead. Juice increases the water intake.
  5. Carrot juice has anti-carcinogen properties. Thus, it helps prevent cancer. It is also believed to have cancer-curing properties.
  6. Beta carotene is an anti-oxidant, and thus it prevents cell degeneration. Anti-oxidants also slow down the ageing process. Another fruit which is an excellent anti-oxidant is the berry.
  7. Carrots are also good for the skin.
  8. Carrot juice is like a tonic. It will improve the overall health of you and your child, and increase immunity. In fact, two glasses of carrot juice a day can increase your immunity by as much as 70%!
  9. Carrot juice is rich in so many minerals, that it’s no less than a miracle juice! You could also add some spinach or beetroot to your carrot juice. Squeeze some lime into the glass, add seasoning if you must, and a tasty glass packed with nutrients is ready!