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Although juice producers offer may offer many varieties of orange-based juice, packaged orange juice is generally divided into two categories: "from concentrate" and "not from concentrate." In the United States, these designations are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
When oranges are processed by a juice producer, two options are available: either the juice can be packaged or stored in its original juice form, or it can be dehydrated and condensed into a juice concentrate. If the juice is concentrated, it can be frozen and sold as frozen concentrate, or it can be reconstituted with water and sold as "from concentrate" juice.
Not From Concentrate
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For an orange juice to be considered and labelled "not from concentrate," it must be processed without any water removal and reconstitution. Non-concentrated juice will likely be pasteurised, and it is also possible that the juice producer will extract orange oil from the peel and add it to the actual juice in order to increase the juice's orange flavour.
Once juice is squeezed and pasteurised, it is possible that the juice producer will package and chill the juice immediately. In other cases, the "not from concentrate" juice may be frozen into blocks, chilled, stored in aseptic tanks, or stored in plastic bags placed in large wooden boxes prior to commercial packaging.
If a "not from concentrate" juice and a "from concentrate" juice are processed without added sugar and without heat being applied, it is likely that the nutritional content of each juice will be similar. It is always best to check the container of each juice for full nutritional information.
Not From Concentrate vs. Fresh Squeezed
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If orange juice is actually fresh-squeezed, it will be designated as such on its label. "Not from concentrate" juices may be able to claim that they taste fresh-squeezed or that they are made from fresh-squeezed oranges; however, the law does not permit them to be called "fresh-squeezed juice" unless they are squeezed and packaged without any further processing (including pasteurisation).
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Leonid Mamchenkov