Flavor packs. Sounds like a good thing, right? In the world of orange juice, it’s just a way for you to get less than what you’re paying for – and possibly in a not-so-natural way, too. And you might not even be aware that you are drinking them.
Flavor packs in orange juice are standardized tastes that are created and added back into the juice so that it always tastes the same, every time, regardless of the orange crop or harvest. They are artificially created. A flavor and/or fragrance company sits around and develops the perfect taste that you expect from your orange juice. Then, using orange by-products such as orange essence or oils, they whip up the standardized taste that consumers expect year round in a company’s orange juice.
Get this – They are NOT required to be listed on an orange juice label by the FDA. That’s right. You might not even be aware that you are drinking flavor packs.
But flavor packs are made from parts of a real orange, you’re screaming right about now as you can’t believe that companies could possibly screw you over anymore, especially with something as wholesome as orange juice. It’s natural so it’s got to be okay, right?
Well, in order to standardize the taste, the natural by-products have to be broken down into smaller chemicals and then put back together to recreate the orange juice taste that you expect from a certain brand. Is that “natural” as you define it? That’s up to you. Let’s keep in mind, you don’t really, truly know what’s in the flavor packs because they are not required to be on the ingredient label. Put simply, it’s orange juice reflavored.
Here’s the thing. If you buy a bottle of orange juice, you should be buying a bottle of the juice of oranges and that’s it. THAT’S IT! Unless you’re knowingly buying a blend.
Not all companies use flavor packets in their orange juice. Some are honest about what goes into their juice, offering their customers only the very best. Here’s a helpful list of the possibility of flavor packs found in well-known companies. The book Squeezed sheds light on the entire orange juice industry, including the practice of reflavoring orange juice used by the biggest companies.
That’s why you find a company with values like yours, you support them. In my neck of the woods, Noble Juice is headquartered just an hour from me in the heart of Florida’s citrus groves. I’ve actually walked down the aisles of their citrus trees spanning for acres on end. They don’t use flavor packs in their orange juice, or any artificial colorings. Just pure juice, with low energy pasteurization, and lots of organic varieties.
Lucky for you, it’s available beyond the state of Florida, so check your supermarket for the bottles bringing you the true fresh taste of oranges.
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