There’s the fruit juice, and there’s the fruit juice concentrate – so it begs the question: what’s the difference, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each, respectively? To make it clear from the start, let’s define what concentrate means.
We’re all familiar with the good old-fashioned fruit juice; get a fruit, press it so the juice runs out, and you have your basic fruit juice. Often it goes through filtration processes to be sure that large chunks of fruit are not included, but you get the picture. Fruit juice is the most natural way to acquire the natural sap of the fruit.
So what’s a concentrate?
Consider the process of concentrating a natural juice. The natural juice is heated up (thereby killing all bacteria that are within) and evaporating the water (thereby reducing the volume of the juice). In essence, that’s what a concentrate is – it’s natural fruit juice, treated with heat, to pasteurise it and to reduce its volume.
What’s the difference, really?
The difference is that the concentrate is a lot safer to use (as it has been treated against bacteria) and it is a lot more potent when you taste versus quantity. All the essence of the juice has been reduced into a liquid that requires more space.
What you lose with concentrate
The treatment process (mainly by heat) is not perfect. Whilst it makes the juice safer (health-wise), there is a tendency for some vitamins to be lost during the process. However, often drinks made of concentrate are fortified with the vitamins that are lost.
The advantages of fruit concentrate
There are many advantages of fruit concentrate – here are just some of them:
There are no additives, neither for flavour nor for preservation, which means you get the wonderful benefits of natural juice without any unhealthy additions
Recipes that call for fruit juices can easily be adjusted to the required strength; it’s only a matter of diluting with the right amount of clean water to bring it back to its original state
It’s easy to store, transport and use in combination with other food, as concentrate fruit juice manufacturers will confirm
There’s a good reason why many businesses choose to include fruit concentrate into their business model – it’s a great way to ensure the essence (and all the goodness) of the fruit is included into their recipes whilst making sure that the product they are making is as economical and as beneficial for the consumer as possible. Concentrate offers: lower costs (which are passed on), adjustable recipes (which allows businesses to cater to customers individually) and, with a little help of science, the nutritional values are still maintained. It’s a win-win for all, and definitely the way of the future.
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