I think juices can be rather confusing. A trip to the grocery store can trigger questions about whether or not “from concentrate” is good or bad, or should you pick the carton, frozen, or nothing at all?
Therefore, I was happy when I stumbled upon a passage about juice in What to Eat by Marion Nestle.
“As a general rule, the more that happens to a fruit or vegetable between the time it is harvested and the time you eat it, the more nutrients is is likely to lose. Orange juice is a good example. Do not think for a minute that frozen orange juice is simply squeezed and then frozen. The companies that produce those little cartons extract the juice, pasteurize (flash heat) it, dehydrate it to remove most of the water, and freeze what is left — the concentrate. When you you open the carton, you thaw the concentrate, add water, and stir . . .
Orange juice made from concentrate has somewhat less vitamin C than ‘fresh squeezed’ (which, unless squeezed in front of you, usually means treated with pasteurization but not much else), but a standard 8-ounce serving easily takes care of the daily requirement for this vitamin and provides ample amounts of others. The nutritional problem with juice of any kind is that it is extracted from the fruit pulp, which contains most of the fiber and the minerals (calcium, for example) and vitamins (like beta-carotene) that go with it. Overall, whole fruits are a better nutritional bet than juices, and fresh juices are better than frozen. When you see a juice labeled “pulp free,” look for another option.”
If you are curious about how fresh fruit compares to fresh juice and juices made from concentrate, check out the numbers for an orange versus orange juice:
A fresh orange has 45 calories, 51 milligrams of Vitamin C, 2 grams of Fiber, 40 milligrams of Calcium and 70 milligrams of Beta-carotene.
Fresh orange juice (1/3 cup) has 45 calories, 50 milligrams of Vitamin C, 0.3 grams of Fiber, 11 milligrams of Calcium and 33 milligrams of Beta-carotene.
Orange juice from concentrate (one-third cup) has 45 calories, 39 milligrams of Vitamin C, 0.3 grams of Fiber, 9 milligrams of Calcium and 17 milligrams of Beta-carotene.