“Fruit juice from concentrate” or “not from concentrate”― typical phrases found on commercial juice cartons and fruit snacks. The label doesn’t have an asterisk accompanied and it’s usually not in small text, giving consumers room to wonder.
Fruit concentrates, commonly found in packaged foods, are not fresh fruit or juice; though the way they are presented certainly make them appear more neutral than not. Concentrates are once freshly squeezed juices that have gone through processing including heating, diluting, evaporation, and reverse osmosis―all of which are done to extend product lifetime with while capping nutrient loss. Thus one can argue that the entire process of concentration was created to circulate juices in a practical way. And as not everyone has convenient access to fresh juice from farmer’s markets, these “from concentrate” products are inevitable for many households.
Still the question lingers for consumers: what difference does it make?
For superior quality, Raw is Better.
In terms of freshness, fruit concentrates certainly don’t measure up to those just-picked fruits and freshly squeezed juices. Though some claim that their nutritional difference is negligible, the truth is heating anything takes something out—in the case of concentrates, a percentage of the nutritional content is evaporated in the process.
Having stated that, are products that utilize fruit concentrates harmful? Not necessarily, when it’s juice or fruit snacks that utilize the concentrates as sweetener replacement for refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Fruit concentrates do retain essential vitamins and minerals, just not as much as their parent produce.
While concentrates may be practical solutions, high-quality foods are still those that go through less processing with simple ingredients. Furthermore, raw foods, those that do not undergo conventional processing, kick the quality up by more than a notch in preserving their nutritional content and freshness.
Simply stated, if faced with the choice—raw is better.
Communities of people have derived unexpected health benefits from a raw detox, during which they ate mainly seasonal, fresh fruits, vegetables, unprocessed nuts, fresh juices, and occasional raw treats like fruit bars. Those who’ve tried the raw diet claim health miracles: cleared acne and allergies, enhanced taste buds, improved immune system, boosted energy levels, and more. Sound intriguing? It could be worth trying for yourself. Maybe there is something to the saying that less is more.