Packaged fruit juices: advantages and limitations of pasteurization

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll

Pasteurization allows fruit juices to last a long time and to be safe from a bacterial point of view but it also has disadvantages ...

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For convenience, we sometimes use packaged fruit juices and if we are careful consumers we try to evaluate the percentage of fruit used and the quantity of sugar added to sweeten the drink. However, one thing that we don't often focus on is the fact that all fruit juices are packaged are subjected to pasteurization.





This industrial process, carried out thanks to the high temperature, allows fruit juices to be kept for a long time, definitely much longer than fresh fruit juice. But this treatment does not compromise the quality of the product? So let's see what are the advantages and limits of pasteurization.

ADVANTAGES

The biggest advantage is undoubtedly to allow the juice to stay longer. Of course, this treatment is essential to get on supermarket shelves, otherwise, between various trips and before being consumed, the fruit juice would surely become undrinkable. These juices, therefore, are undoubtedly convenient since they can reach a wider consumer base providing more time for the conservation, transport and sale of the product.
Another important advantage is that of reduce the level of potential pathogens which can be found on foods before being packaged, but at the same time the pasteurization treatment also kills the good that the juice contains. And here we start talking about the disadvantages and limitations of these packaged products ...

LIMIT

Pasteurization, unfortunately, has consequences on the nutritional qualities of the product. It indeed “Sterilizes” everything vital in the juice that is, potentially pathogenic microorganisms but also useful digestive enzymes that occur naturally in fruit. Furthermore, most of the vitamins that fresh fruit is rich in are lost. These seem to me to be very important disadvantages, since often when you have a fruit juice in your hand you think you are drinking something healthy. So do not be fooled by the images and the convenience of packaged juices, the only drinks that can really benefit you (water excluded) are fresh fruit and vegetable juices, freshly prepared which therefore remain a special nourishment for our health. Green light therefore to the so-called "live juices" and instead leave the packaged ones on the shelves as much as possible!



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