Commercial orange juices exposed… Nothing beats the real thing, eat your oranges whole or squeeze them yourself! –

Let’s start with the obvious: oranges only grow in certain seasons, and because orange juice goes bad after a short period of time, orange juice providers had to come up with a way of storing the juice if they weren’t going to go with the old school method of freezing juice in concentrate. What they came up with is a process called “deaeration,” in which the oranges are picked, the oranges are squeezed, the juice is heated to eliminate bacteria, and then the juice is kept in vast, zillion-gallon tanks from which oxygen is eliminated. This allows the juice to not spoil for up to a year. The downside to this process is that the juice loses its taste, so when the juice is ready to be packaged for consumption, flavor packets are added to give it its consistent, “pure,” orangey taste. Fragrance companies responsible for the same formulas used for perfumes come up with the right taste concoctions that you and I know as orange juice.

These rather stunning revelations come from Alissa Hamilton, who published the book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice in 2009. Her scandalous tell-all might seem like it had the potential for creating a Juicegate, but the book came and went without putting much of a dent into the Big Juice Guys. And, anyway, the process delineated above is pretty much corroborated by Tropicana’s very own website, which cheerfully breaks it all down from “grove to glass.” They’re hiding in plain sight!

This process certainly explains why every carton of Tropicana OJ tastes exactly the same. It also explains why Tropicana juice tastes different in different countries—because Tropicana modifies the flavor packets to the popular taste preferences of different regions. It’s also why Minute Maid’s Pure Squeezed orange juice tastes different—they use different flavor packets. Did you catch that? It’s called “pure squeezed,” which sounds a whole lot like fresh squeezed, but it’s not.

Click What’s Really In Your Orange Juice? | Food Republic to read the full article.