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Brand test: Orange Juice

Orange juice has many health benefits.  It is rich in antioxidants, boosts your immune system and can help fight against health issues such as heart disease and cancer. Our team decided to test three brands in honor of National Orange Juice Day (May 4).

What’s the squeeze on Florida vs. California…

A Florida orange is easy to squeeze. The skin is very thin, and although it tastes good, it may not look very attractive, possibly having a blemished yellow or green coloring even when ripe.  Florida has a more humid climate which produces oranges with a green tinge. Because of their juiciness and lack of orange color, Florida oranges are best for making juice.  (Example:  Simply Orange®.)

Because California has a drier climate with cooler nights, the oranges produced there are thicker-skinned and have a full orange color. They are more acidic and less juicy than a Florida orange. California navel oranges are attractive, and considered best for eating out of hand, says the Wegmans Food Market website.2  Tropicana® juice was an example of a brand produced from California, but as of January this year, they have returned to using Florida-grown oranges.

The pulp-free Candidates: 

–Simply Orange®:  Gently pasteurized, six varieties of not-from-concentrate 100% orange juice.

–Market Pantry:  Target brand

–Tropicana®:  16 fresh-picked oranges squeezed into each 59oz container.  No water, sugar or preservatives, and it’s never made from concentrate.

The Results:  Even with a blind-tasting, it was pretty clear which juices made the grade as far as purity goes.  Market Pantry seemed to be the lightest in color, along with a watery-taste and a hint of being “fake”.  Simply Orange and Tropicana were similar in taste.  Both seemed as if they had been squeezed-fresh that morning.  One person described Simply Orange as having a “muddy-look” (as in cloudy and/or textured).  Color-wise, Tropicana appeared to have a thick, natural look with a pure orange taste: sweet and tangy.  After sipping each contender, we decided that Tropicana was the pick of the grove.

Orange-you glad you know a little more about orange juice?




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