Fresher O.J. (2002)
Most packaged orange juice relies on high temperatures to kill bacteria – but this also kills the taste.
There’s no doubt that freshly cut oranges make the best juice, but it’s much more convenient to buy it already squeezed. The problem is, however, it doesn’t taste nearly as good.
It’s because most bottled orange juice uses imported concentrate, which has been diluted, then heated at high temperatures to kill bacteria. Without this process it would go off, but the heating process destroys the taste.
“Even with a high acid product like orange juice you can have bacteria that can be harmful, so called pathogenic bacteria, because the juice can be contaminated by the micro-organisms on the peel for example so we must make sure it is safe to drink.”
Jay Sellahewa is part of a team of researchers at Food Science Australia perfecting a way of making the orange juice safe to drink, without killing the taste. This is done by subjecting the orange juice to extremely high pressure. The juice is then tested in the laboratory to make sure that all bacteria, that can spoil the juice has been destroyed before being given to the taste panel.
“The juice we are using with high pressure has to be kept under refrigeration, but we get a shelf life for three months, but we should really compare that juice with what we call freshly squeezed juice, which would have the same quality. Now that juice you only get a shelf life of a few days.”
Another advantage of this method of processing the juice is, that it doesn’t need preservatives, and none of its nutrients are lost.
“Orange Juice has vitamin c and betacarotene, which is an anti-oxidant, and we have demonstrated that with high-pressure treatment the level of Vitamin C and betacarotene does not go down.”
The result is a juice that can be kept refrigerated for three months without preservatives and still taste like its just been squeezed.