Let’s start to read the labels: concentrates
While participating in various expos and tastings, we noticed that often Lithuanians, when selecting juice from the supermarket shelf, are not quite sure of the difference between juice from concentrate and not from concentrate. So, in our first blog post, seeing such incorrectly used terminology and misled buyers, we will attempt to explain what you should pay attention to when looking at a colourfully packaged container of juice.
We have actually heard the question whether “juice can be made not from concentrate”. Maybe you don’t have any issues with the terms “concentrate” and “preservative”, but we wouldn’t like to leave any uncertainty. The term “preservative”, often presented in the media as a negative thing, is something that is added to food products to extend their shelf life. Its effects on the body have not been studied, but it is believed that there is a possibility that it may affect the human body.
Meanwhile, “concentrate” or “juice from concentrate” is a production technology where water is removed from freshly squeezed juice, leaving only a concentrate of the juice. Such a method is very convenient, as the concentrate can be frozen and kept for a very long time, plus it takes up less than juice not from concentrate. Of course, water is later added to the concentrate and, when necessary, fruit pulp, scent, or flavour enhancers can be included as well. Therefore, the process takes quite long – first the fruit is squeezed, later the water is evaporated, through heat and pressure, then the concentrate is frozen, water is brought back to the concentrate, and finally it is pasteurised.
Quite a few Lithuanian producers sell juice from concentrate when they want to make juices from oranges, nectarines, pineapples and other exotic fruits. Juice concentrate is much cheaper and easier to transport from abroad, compared to actual fruits and berries.
Freshly squeezed juice, or juice not from concentrate, is much simpler to make, nothing needs to be added or taken away. Juice is simply squeezed from the fruits and later pasteurised (rapidly heated to a certain temperature to kill bacteria). Juice not from concentrate isn’t as convenient, as there is a large quantity of liquid juice, since the water isn’t evaporated, and they take up a lot of room.