I’m somewhat embarrassed it took me so long to reflect for a second and realise this, but until last month I hadn’t really considered how weird and what a bad sign it was that orange juice never, ever, tastes or looks like it comes from oranges. That thick, super-sweet bright yellow concoction? It should raise suspicions immediately. I think it may have been buying it from street vendors in Marrakech, freshly squeezed in front of my eyes for 30 pence a glass, that made me wake up to the difference. So I’ve recently cut out one more daily source of processed food from my diet and gone straight to the source for the goodness instead: one actual orange, every morning. Give it a go. In the meantime, here’s the back story:
Juice companies […] hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. The packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favor.
(Hat tip: Bittman).
(Photo taken in Marrakech, from my Instagram).