Orange juice is advertised as a healthy beverage. However, it is not as natural as it may appear to be. Some orange juice products have additional chemicals to improve the taste and flavor.
With its distinct sweetness, you may even question whether orange juice has added sugar. I looked into it and here’s what I found out!
Does Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
One hundred percent orange juice does not contain added sugar because it is sourced directly from natural, fresh oranges. Both from concentrate and not from concentrate orange juice may contain added sugar because they undergo preservation processes that strip off the flavors and sweetness. In fact, the more processed an orange juice is, the higher the amount of added sugar.
Curious about whether or not orange juice has added sugar? Keep on reading to learn more!
Does 100% Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
100% orange juice does not contain any added sugar and is just pure liquid fruit. It does not have any added colorings, flavor packs, or preservatives in the formula.
Sugar in 100% orange juice is naturally occurring in the fruit along with other organic nutrients and antioxidants.
Does Not From Concentrate Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
Not from concentrate orange juice is plain orange juice that has undergone the pasteurization process. However, it is not guaranteed that it does not contain added sugar.
Some companies infuse their pasteurized orange juice with flavor packs and sugar additives. This is because the preservation process can break down the natural sweetness of the drink.
Does From Concentrate Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
Orange juice from concentrate often contains added sugar due to the dehydration process it undergoes. But if the label states that it is 100% concentrated orange juice, then it does not have any additives.
However, added sugar can be concealed under a different name. For example, your frozen concentrate orange juice may have “malt” or “corn syrup” in the ingredient list.
Why Does Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
Orange juice has added sugar mainly because the natural flavors are stripped away during processing.
Most commercial products you find in stores underwent several manufacturing steps. These eliminate the pulp and other natural parts to extend shelf life, making them taste bland.
In addition, some orange juice is also stored in vats for a year or so. This pushes companies to add flavor packs and sugar to bring back the sweetness lost.
Does Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
Freshly squeezed orange juice does not contain any added sugar but it has naturally occurring sugars found in the actual fruit.
Specifically, orange juice straight from the fruit has glucose and fructose which are organic sugars.
These sugars are different from added sugar because they have nutritional value and are not empty calories.
How Can You Tell If An Orange Juice Has Added Sugar?
You can tell if an orange juice has added sugar from the nutritional label located at the side or back of the container. But it may not be listed as “added sugar.”
For example, if your orange juice has corn syrup, dextrose, fruit nectar, or honey in the mix, then expect that it has chemical sugars aside from natural ones.
How Much Added Sugar Is In A Glass Of Orange Juice?
Generally, there are about 9 teaspoons of added sugar in every 12-ounce glass of orange juice, which is equal to 37.7 grams.
This amount can fluctuate depending on the brand and type of OJ consumed. If you’re drinking frozen concentrated orange juice, then it may even reach up to 78 grams of sugar.
This type of OJ is dehydrated on top of being pasteurized, which means more flavor is lost during the lengthy process. To compensate, manufacturers include more added sugar in the formula.
Does Mcdonald’s Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
McDonald’s fast-food chain is partnered with Minute Maid, a globally famous 100% orange juice brand. It has no sugar and no preservatives added to the formula.
Minute Maid is made from concentrate and is marketed as a pasteurized orange juice. It is a premium OJ containing only 36 grams of natural sugar every 12 ounces.
How Much Added Sugar Is In Simply Orange Juice?
Simply Orange juice is 100% orange juice containing no added sugar and preservatives. This not from concentrate OJ is also gently pasteurized to retain as much of the orange’s natural flavors as possible.
Instead of added sugar, Simply Orange juice contains 23 grams of natural sugar that comes straight from the oranges used.
Does Tropicana Orange Juice Have Added Sugar?
Tropicana markets its premium orange juice as 100% orange juice containing no added sugar. This OJ is pure liquid from freshly-picked oranges and never from concentrate.
In fact, one glass of Tropicana measuring 150 ml is made from one and a half oranges which contain about 13.4 grams of naturally occurring sugar.
Does Florida’s Natural Have Added Sugar?
Florida’s Natural is a farmer-owned cooperative that only makes premium, not from concentrate orange juice.
Their products are 100% pure orange juice containing no added sugar, coloring, or preservatives.
Each eight-ounce glass of Florida orange juice uses up to 1.7 oranges on average. This is equivalent to 21 grams of natural sugar and is as healthy as a cup of fruit.
Orange juice may contain added sugar depending on its variant and manufacturing process.
Freshly squeezed and 100% orange juice does not contain any added sweeteners because it is sourced from natural oranges.
On the other hand, commercial orange juice that has undergone the pasteurization process among other shelf preservation techniques may contain added sugar.
This is because the natural orange taste has deteriorated as a result of the treatment. Sugar is then added to compensate for the flavors lost during processing.