Most of the water has been taken out of fruit juice to make juice concentrate.
Depending on the type, it may give you vitamins and minerals, which are important nutrients.
But concentrate is processed more than raw fruit juice, so many people wonder if it’s good or bad for their health.
This article tells you everything you need to know about juice concentrates, including whether or not they are healthy.
What Is Concentrated Juice?
Up to 90% of juice can be made up of water.
When most of this liquid is taken out, what’s left is juice concentrate, which is thick and syrupy.
By taking out the water, bacteria can’t grow as well, so concentration doesn’t go bad as quickly as juice. This method also cuts costs for packaging, storage, and shipping.
Still, there are different ways to process. Most concentrates are filtered, evaporated, and pasteurized, but some may also have additives.
Juice concentrates can be bought at room temperature or frozen. Before drinking, they are meant to be diluted with filtered water.
How They Make It?
Whole fruits are washed, scrubbed, and then crushed or blended to make a pulp that is used to make juice concentrate. Then, most of the water is taken out and evaporated.
Because of this, the natural flavor of the fruit may be lost, so many companies use additives like flavor packs, which are made from byproducts of the fruit.
Also, fruit juice concentrates often have sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) added, while vegetable juice blends may have sodium added. There may also be added colors and smells that aren’t real.
Some concentrates are also treated to get rid of harmful microorganisms, which makes them last longer.
Various Kinds Of Juice Concentrate
There are many different kinds of concentrate, and some are better for you than others.
100% fruit concentrate
Concentrates made from 100% fruit are the healthiest choice because they have the most nutrients and are only sweetened with natural fruit sugars, not added sugar. They may still have additives, though.
Check the list of ingredients if you want to know about flavorings or preservatives.
Concentrated fruit punch, cocktail, or drink
Juices are mixed together to make concentrated fruit cocktails, punch, and other drinks.
These often have extra flavors or sweeteners to make up for the fact that they don’t have whole fruit.
Again, it’s important to read the labels. If the first ingredient is something like HFCS, cane sugar, or fructose syrup, which are all added sugars, you might want to avoid this product.
Juice concentrates in powdered form
Spray-drying and freeze-drying are two ways to remove water from powdered juice concentrates. This gets rid of all the water, which makes these products take up less room.
Many studies have found that concentrated powders of mixed fruits and vegetables are linked to lower levels of inflammatory markers and higher levels of antioxidants.
Even though inflammation is a natural response of the body, long-term inflammation is linked to many diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. So, the anti-inflammatory chemicals found in some juice concentrates and other foods may help prevent this condition.
Keep in mind that many powdered juice concentrates have added sugar, so be sure to read labels carefully.
Possible Benefits To Health
Concentrates of orange, pineapple, and apple juice are becoming more popular, and orange juice makes up more than 41% of the global fruit juice market. Concentrates can be appealing because they are cheap and easy to store. They may also be good for your health in some ways.
Rich in important nutrients
Fruit and vegetable juice concentrates are best for your health if they are made from 100% fruit or vegetables, with no added sugar or salt.
For example, a 4-ounce (120 ml) glass of orange juice made from concentrate has 280% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C. This nutrient is important for the immune system and for healing wounds.
Carrot juice made from 100% vegetable concentrate is a good source of provitamin A. An 8-ounce (240 ml) serving has 400% of the DV, which is a lot.
Plant compounds that are good for you
Carotenoids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids are all good plant chemicals that are found in juice concentrate. There are many health benefits linked to these, like better heart health and less inflammation.
Orange juice may help fight chronic inflammation caused by obesity because it has flavonoids in it. In one study, markers of inflammation were lower in obese people who drank orange juice after meals for at least seven days in a row.
In another study, 56 obese adults who took a mixed fruit and vegetable juice concentrate supplement for 8 weeks saw their inflammation and LDL (bad) cholesterol go down while their lean body mass went up.
May be good for the skin
Many juice concentrates are full of vitamin C and antioxidants, which may help keep the skin healthy and slow down the aging process.
For instance, beta carotene, which is found in carrots and tomatoes, has been shown to reduce inflammation of the skin (5Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
How long something stays on the shelf and how much it costs
Freshly squeezed juice can be more expensive than juice that has already been concentrated.
Also, frozen or shelf-stable kinds don’t go bad quickly. Because of this, they are helpful for people who can’t get fresh fruits or vegetables.