KNOW YOUR JUICE

Juices:

The term “fruit juice” or “… Juice” is generally considered to be the primary term used to describe a fruit or vegetable based beverage.

Juices are defined as that product made from the liquid portion obtained from the edible part of the fruit or vegetable.

Juices can legally have only small amounts of sugar added (up to 4%) along with a small number of other additives used to protect or stabilise the commercial product, such as the Vitamin C that is added to apple juice to stop it turning brown and protect the natural antioxidants present. Any additives used need to be declared on the ingredients statement on the label.

If juices are diluted with water (or other liquids), then they are not allowed to be called juices, and must be sold as fruit drinks or some other product name.

Fresh Juice:

In New Zealand, the term “Fresh Juice” should only be applied to those juices that are made in front of you. If the juice is pasteurised or preservatised, or contains juice concentrates or “stored” juices (NFC), then it is NOT fresh juice.

NFC Juices:

NFC means “Not From Concentrate”. NFC juice can only be used to describe juice that has not undergone concentration (see reconstituted juice below) or dilution during processing. The NFC process helps to retain some characteristics of “fresh” juices.

Some juices contain blends of NFC juice and reconstituted juice however by law these cannot be labeled as NFC juices.

Reconstituted Juices:

When fruit and vegetables are processed commercially into juice, the juice processors have a number of problems to overcome:

     a) the juices are highly perishable

     b) the juice contains around 85 to 90% water

     c) the juice is highly variable while customers want consistent, high quality products.

In order to address these issues, fruit and vegetable juices are concentrated by the removal of water at low temperatures, under vacuum. This leads to the production of fruit and vegetable concentrates, which can be stored, shipped and blended economically anywhere in the world.

However, in order to turn these concentrates back into juice and juice based beverages, water needs to be added back to the concentrates to turn them back into the juices they were made from. The resulting juices are called “Reconstituted” as they have been reconstituted back to their original form.

The concentration process also “sucks out” some of the volatile aromas and flavours of the juice, and these are normally collected and added back to the reconstituted juices.

Juice Drinks:

These used to be a reasonably common definition, however under the current legislation, there is no difference between Juice Drinks and Fruit Drinks. Juice Drinks generally have to contain a minimum of 5% fruit content and then have water, sugar, food acids, flavours and colours added so that they mimic fruit juice.

Low calorie versions of juice drinks can be made either by using less sugar or by replacing the sugars with high intensity sweeteners.

Fruit Drinks:

Fruit Drinks generally have to contain a minimum of 5% fruit content and then have water, sugar, food acids, flavours and colours added so that they mimic fruit juice.

Low calorie versions of fruit drinks can be made either by using less sugar or by replacing the sugars with high intensity sweeteners.

Flavoured Drinks or Drinks:

These products contain either no fruit content or generally less than 5% fruit content and are created using water, sugar and/or high intensity sweeteners, food acids, flavours and colours.

Cordials:

This very old product category was originally a way of producing concentrated fruit based, sweetened syrups that were consumed in a diluted form for their health giving properties.

The modern versions of these are made with fruit juice contents that range from 0% to more than 100% (this is possible as they are concentrated and designed to be drunk in the diluted form).

They are all sweetened syrup concentrates that are designed to be diluted anywhere from 1 part cordial plus 3 parts water up to 1 part cordial plus 9 parts water. Some even more concentrated versions are available when high intensity sweeteners are used in their manufacture.

These products are generally shelf stable either through the use preservatives, packaging methods or very high concentration.

Fruit Syrups:

These products are effectively a sub group of cordials except that they need to contain a minimum of 5% fruit juice when diluted as per the instructions.

Waters:

“Waters” is a legally undefined category and the term is being used to describe products that generally have lower sweetness and less sugar than more traditional products in the marketplace. Products that are currently in this category include:

     - Sports Waters
     - Functional Waters
     - Vitamin Waters
     - Enhanced Waters
     - Near Waters

These products are not just water and are often coloured in order to reinforce that the products are water plus other ingredients.

Nectars:

While these products are legally defined in both International (Codex) and country legislation, they are NOT defined in NZ or Australia.

These products are generally of a thick, somewhat syrupy consistency and while they have a fruit content above 5% they usually contain less than 100% juice, and are often made from fruit purees rather than the fruit juice.

Crushies:

These products are not legally defined in NZ or Australia.

Generally contain a high fruit content, not necessarily high enough to be considered a juice. The fruit content generally includes identifiable fruit pieces, however, a product called this does not HAVE to meet any of these criteria.

Quenchers:

These products are not legally defined in NZ or Australia.

These products are generally of a thin consistency, not overly sweet and are easy to drink. They have a fruit juice content above 5% but less than 50%. They contain reconstituted fruit juice and or fruit puree, often with identifiable fruit particles. Water, sugar, food acids and flavours are often added to enhance and supplement the fruit content.

Smoothies:

These products are not legally defined in NZ or Australia.

Generally these fall into one of two categories:

1) Fruit Smoothies: These products are thick, fruit based beverages, often sweetened with banana or apple puree. Fruit content is often fruit puree, rather than fruit juice.

2) Traditional Smoothies: These products are generally dairy/fruit juice blends. The dairy component is usually ice cream or milk and the fruit component can be either juice, or fruit puree.

Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD’s):

This term is usually applied to commercially available soft drinks and is not normally applied to other carbonated products such as Carbonated Near Waters or Carbonated Juices.

Fruit Sodas:

This is a relatively new category of carbonated beverage where the product contains only fruit juice as the sweetener, however, as the product may contain some added carbonated water, cannot be called a carbonated Juice product.

Electrolyte Drinks:

These drinks contain mineral salts and must contain between 50g/L and 100 g/L of sugar. The sodium level must be at least 10 mmol/L.. This category includes Isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic drinks, dependent on the osmolality.

Energy Drinks:

These are non-alcoholic water based flavoured beverages, which contain caffeine and may contain carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and other substances for the purpose of enhancing mental performance. They must contain between 145mg/L and 320mg/L of caffeine.

Formulated Beverages:

A formulated beverage is a still beverage and must contain no more than 240 mL/L of fruit and no more than 75 g/L sugar. It must not contain caffeine or carbon dioxide, but is allowed various vitamins and minerals.

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