Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Mom and the Dorito Effect-Part 3-The OJ Connection

My Mom and the Dorito Effect, Part 3

The OJ Connection

   Growing up we usually made orange juice from those cans of concentrate sold in the frozen aisles of supermarkets. Just add water, stir and you have it. Plenty of nutrition and good taste.

Of course there were those Sunday mornings without school and some other special meals that my Mom or Dad and later us kids would make the best tasting juice of all...fresh squeezed!

Until we found out about a great innovation:

"Not From Concentrate"


 "Not From Concentrate" absolutely seemed to be the best of both worlds. Great taste, great nutrition and no work. My family, like many other familes, have certainly invested a lot in "Not From Concentrate" (NFC) over the years but it certainly seemed worth it to get that great nutrition and taste with no muss, no fuss. Then  a couple of years ago my patient Michele came to me one day to discuss "flavor packs." She educated me about a book written by Alissa Hamilton in 2009 called Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice that discusses a so-called dirty little secret of the orange juice industry.

Fresh squeezed orange juice unfortuantely has a very short shelf life. Add to this issue that the orange harvest season in Florida is only October through April. That leaves half a year without fresh squeezed Florida orange juice on the shelves. The juice suppliers came up with a solution. Pouring the juice into a large aseptic storage tank and removing the oxygen allows the juice to be stored up to a year without going bad. The problem is that removing the oxygen also removes the flavor. "Flavor packs" are created from the skins of the orange. Essential oils and essences are removed from the skins and put back into the juice prior to bottling. This includes the use of deriving chemicals like ethyl butyrate from the orange skin and using the expertise of fragrance manufacturers to create a juice that tastes the same whether purchased in spring, summer, fall or winter. Think about it. When you juice those oranges at home you usually get a great tasting juice. Go back to the supermarket next week and buy the same oranges and the juice tastes different. Try a different variey and the juice tastes different. Squeeze oranges at home from Florida, California and Brazil and the juice you make tastes different. Read the orange juice box label and you'll often see that the oranges for "NFC OJ" often come from Brazil. Yet that glass of Pure Premium Tropicana or No Pulp Minute Maid and most of the other "Not From Concentrate" juices taste the same month after month year after year regardless of rainy weather,early frost or any other conditions. The use of the flavor packs also allows the manufacturers of the juice to market a consistent, preferred taste. Yes, just like the tomato soup and the fast food burgers.

Interestingly, the orange peel does include healthy nutrients, like anti-oxidents, fiber, vitamin C and pectin, but whether the addition of the peel is helping us is assuming we are not consuming additional pesticides in the peel. Since the major juice manufacturers do not like to address the flavor pack issue and the FDA does not require the listing of the chemicals derived from the skin (because technically all of the ingredients come from oranges) we do not currently know if the flavor packs affect the nutritional value of what we buy at a premium over the cost of the frozen juice from concentrate. I do think the public should be aware of the process and keeping the public in the dark is at least a deceitful type of practice allowed at this time under rules of the FDA. Again, we can look back at my Mom's observation from forty something years ago and realize that "something is being done" to our food supply.

To be continued...Next, that Dorito thing.


1 comment:

  1. Yes, Part 4 is coming this week and it will be worth waiting for! Thank you to all who have sent me such nice messages privately supporting this blog especially regarding the food supply.