How orange juice is made (2023)


Orange juice is defined in the United States Code of Federal Regulations as "unfermented juice obtained from ripe oranges of the speciesCitrine sinensisor the citrus hybrid commonly referred to as Ambersweet.” True fresh-squeezed juice is difficult to market because it requires special processing to preserve it. Liquid that has been concentrated and then diluted before sale, or as a single strength non-concentrated drink called NFC or non-concentrated. The last two types are also known as ready-to-drink (RTD) juices.

Citrus fruits like oranges have been cultivated in southern China and Southeast Asia for 4,000 years. One variety, lemon, was brought to the Middle East sometime between 400 and 600 AD.BC.Between AD 100 and 700, Arab traders transported oranges to East Africa and the Middle East.NOTICE., and during the Arab occupation of Spain, citrus fruits first made their way to southern Europe. From there, explorers brought them to the New World, where they spread to Florida and Brazil in the 16th century. In the 1800s, citrus fruits reached global distribution. In the 1890s, demand for it increased dramatically after doctors discovered that drinking orange juice or other citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin deficiencies.

Orange juice's popularity again increased dramatically with the development of the commercial orange juice industry in the late 1920's. In its early days, the juice industry relied primarily on salvaged fruit unfit for processing. colored or with defects. In the 1930s, the development of porcelain-lined cans and advances in pasteurization techniques improved the quality of the juice and the industry expanded significantly. Then, in 1944, scientists found a way to concentrate and freeze fruit juice under vacuum without destroying the flavor or vitamin content. Frozen juice concentrates were first sold in the United States between 1945 and 1946 and became widely available and popular. After World War II, most Americans stopped pressing their own juice, and concentrated juice became the dominant form. With the advent of home refrigerators, frozen concentrate became even more popular. The demand for frozen juice has had a profound impact on the citrus industry, fueling the growth of Florida's citrus groves. Frozen concentrates remained the most popular form until 1985 when NFC and reconstituted juices outsold the frozen type. In 1995, not-from-concentrate juices accounted for 37% of the North American market. This compared to reconstituted juice which had about 39% of the market. Today, commercial aseptic packaging allows RTD juices to be marketed without refrigerated storage. The current global orange juice market is over US$2.3 billion, with the largest territory being the United States, followed by Canada, Western Europe and Japan.

raw materials


The main ingredient in orange juice is, of course, oranges. Oranges belong to the rue family (Rutaceae) and citrus fruits belong to the genusCitrine.Along with all citrus fruits, oranges are a special type of berry that botanists call hesperidium. Popular orange varieties include navel, tangerine, and valence. A blend of different types of oranges is usually used to achieve a specific flavor and ensure there is no bitterness. The selection of oranges for the juice is based on a number of factors such as the variety and ripeness of the fruit. Fruit contains a number of natural materials that contribute to the overall flavor and texture of the juice, including water, sugars (principally sucrose, fructose, and glucose), organic acids (principally citric, malic, and tartaric), and flavorings (including various esters). , alcohols, ketones, lactones and hydrocarbons).

other additives

Preservatives like sulfur dioxide or sodium benzoate are allowed in orange juice federally, although levels are tightly controlled. Likewise, ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, EDTA, BHA or BHT are used as antioxidants. Sweeteners in the form of corn syrup, dextrose, honey, or even artificial sweeteners can be added. More commonly, however, citric acid is added to provide acidity.

Manufacturers can also fortify juices with additional vitamins or additional nutrients, such as vitamin C and, less commonly, vitamins A and E, and beta-carotene. (Beta-carotene is naturally present in oranges, but only in small amounts.) There are some concerns about the stability of these added vitamins, as they don't survive the heating process very well. Calcium is also often added to orange juice in the form of tricalcium phosphate.

The manufacture


  • 1 Oranges are harvested in large plantations. Some citrus growers are members of cooperative packaging and marketing associations, while others are independent growers. When the ripe fruit is ready to be picked, a team of pickers is sent out to pluck the fruit from the trees. The harvested fruits are sent to packing centers where they are packaged for sale as whole fruits or sent to factories for juice processing. Oranges are usually transported by truck to a juice factory, where they are unloaded by gravity onto a conveyor belt that transports the fruit to a storage bin.


  • 2 Fruit must be checked and sorted before use. An inspector takes an 18 kg (39.7 lb) sample for analysis to ensure the fruit meets maturity requirements for processing. The certified fruit is then transported on a conveyor where it is washed with detergent passed through rotating brushes. This process removes debris and dirt and reduces microbial counts. The fruits are washed and dried. Sorters remove spoiled fruit as it passes through the rollers, and the remaining quality pieces are automatically sorted by size before extraction. The right size is crucial for the extraction process.


  • 3 Proper juicing is important to optimize the efficiency of the juicing process as well as the quality of the finished beverage. That's because oranges have thick peels that contain bitter resins that must be carefully separated to avoid contaminating the sweeter juice. There are two automated extraction methods commonly used by the industry. The first places the fruit between two metal cups with sharp metal tubes at their base. The top cup lowers and the fingers of each cup fit together to squeeze out the juice as the tubes poke holes in the top and bottom of the fruit. The fruit solids are compressed in the lower tube between the two peel plugs while the juice exits through perforations in the tube wall. At the same time, a jet of water washes the oil from the bowl. This oil is recovered for later use.

    In the second type of extraction, the oranges are halved before juicing. The fruit is cut past a stationary knife, then the halves are picked up with rubber pads and moved against serrated plastic reamers. Rotary reamers squeeze out the juice as the orange halves travel down the conveyor.

    How orange juice is made (1)

    When the ripe fruit is ready to be picked, a team of pickers remove the fruit from the trees. After harvesting, the fruit is sent to factories for juice processing. Before extraction, the fruits are cleaned and sorted.

    Some of the oil in the skin can be removed prior to extraction by piercing the skin with needles, releasing the washed-off oil. Modern extraction devices of this type can cut, sink and eject a shell in about 3 seconds.
  • 4 The extracted juice is filtered through a stainless steel sieve before being ready for the next step. At this point the juice can be chilled or concentrated if destined for a reconstituted beverage. If it is NFC type, it can be pasteurized.


  • 5 Concentrated juice extract is approximately five times more concentrated than pressed juice. Diluted with water, it is used to make frozen juice and many RTD drinks. The concentration is useful because it extends the juice's shelf life and makes it more economical to store and ship. The juice is commonly concentrated using equipment known as a thermally accelerated flash evaporator, or SABOR for short. TASTE uses steam to heat the juice under vacuum and force the water to evaporate. The concentrated juice is sent to a vacuum blast chiller, which lowers the product temperature to approximately 55.4°F (13°C). A newer method of concentration requires minimal heat treatment and is used commercially in Japan. The pulp is separated from the juice by ultrafiltration and pasteurized. The clarified juice containing the volatile flavors is concentrated at 50°F (10°C) by reverse osmosis and the concentrate and pulp are recombined to produce the correct juice concentration. The taste of this concentrate has been found to be superior to what is commercially available in the United States and approximates that of fresh juice. The concentrated juice is then stored in refrigerated bulk stainless steel tanks until ready to be packaged or reconstituted.


  • 6 When the juicer is ready to prepare commercial packaging for retail sale, the concentrate is extracted from multiple storage batches and blended with water to achieve the desired sugar/acid ratio, color and flavor. This step must be carefully controlled as much of the juice's flavor can be lost during the concentration process. Proper blending of juice concentrate and other flavor fractions is required to ensure that the final juice product achieves a high quality flavor.


  • 7 Thanks to its low pH (around 4), orange juice has some natural protection against this

    How orange juice is made (2)

    In an automated process, the juice is extracted from the orange and at the same time the peel is removed in one step.

    Growth of bacteria, yeast and mold. However, pasteurization is still required to further retard spoilage. Pasteurization also inactivates certain enzymes that cause the pulp to separate from the juice, resulting in an aesthetically undesirable beverage. This enzymatic clarification is one of the reasons why freshly squeezed juice has a shelf life of only a few hours. Flash pasteurization minimizes flavor changes caused by heat treatment and is recommended for premium products. Various pasteurization processes are used commercially. A common method is to run the juice through a tube next to a plate heat exchanger so that the juice is heated without direct contact with the heating surface. Another method uses hot pasteurized juice to preheat incoming unpasteurized juice. The preheated juice is reheated to pasteurization temperature with steam or hot water. Generally, reaching a temperature of 85 to 94 °C (185 to 201.2 °F) for about 30 seconds is sufficient to reduce bacterial count and prepare the juice for filling.


  • 8 To ensure sterility, pasteurized juice must be filled while hot. Bottles and cans made of metal or glass can be preheated if possible. Containers that cannot withstand high temperatures (e.g. aseptic multi-layer plastic boxes for juices that do not require refrigeration) must be filled in a sterile environment. Hydrogen peroxide or another approved sterilant can be used in place of heat prior to filling. In both cases, the empty packs are fed via a conveyor belt to liquid filling machines that are fed juice from large tanks. The filling head measures the exact amount of product in the container and, depending on the packaging design, can be instantly inverted to sterilize the lid. After filling, the containers are cooled as quickly as possible. Orange juice packaged in this way can be stored at room temperature for 6 to 8 months.


The by-products of orange juice production come from the peel and pulp, which are discarded. Products made from these materials include dehydrated animal feed, pectin for use in making jams, citric acid, essential oils, molasses and candied peel. Certain fractions of orange oil (known as D-Limonene) have excellent solvent properties and are sold for use in industrial cleaners.

quality control

Quality is controlled throughout the production process. Inspectors sort the fruit before extracting the juice. After extraction and concentration, the product is inspected to ensure it meets multiple USDA quality control standards. The most important measure in orange juice production is the sugar content, which is measured in degrees Brix (weight percentage of sugar in a solution). The types of oranges used and the climate in which they are grown affect the sugar content. Manufacturers mix juices with different sugar levels to achieve the desired sugar balance. The final juice product is evaluated on several key parameters including acidity, citrus oil content, pulp content, pulp cell integrity, color, viscosity, microbiological contamination, mouthfeel and flavor. A sensory panel is used to assess subjective qualities such as taste and texture. Finally, the units are checked for proper filling and sealing during the filling process.

The future

Future processing improvements are likely to come from the use of computer controlled fruit sizing and grading. Orange juice formulations will change as the trend continues to add more nutritious ingredients like antioxidants. Also, future formulas will likely be blends of orange juice with other more exotic fruit flavors like kiwi or even vegetable juices like carrot.

Where to get more information


Nelson, PE and DK Tressler, eds.Processing technology for fruit and vegetable juices.Westport, Connecticut: AVI Publishing Co., 1980.


"Juice up."food design(July 1997).

"Unfocused effort."food processing(November 1996).

Randy Schueller


How is orange juice actually made? ›

Orange juice is a liquid extract of the orange tree fruit, produced by squeezing or reaming oranges. It comes in several different varieties, including blood orange, navel oranges, valencia orange, clementine, and tangerine.

Is orange juice a real orange? ›

Orange juice is 100 % fruit

Fruit juice from oranges only consists of oranges. This means that it may contain no sugar or other additives. However, there is an additional distinction made between so-called direct juice and an orange juice from concentrate.

Why is 100 orange juice still artificial? ›

The facts are startling. First, the oranges are squeezed and the juice is stored in vats. They remove the oxygen so the juice will keep for a year. The odd thing about that is, once it's pasteurized and the oxygen is removed, there is no longer any natural flavor left.

Is 100% pure orange juice actually pure? ›

100% fruit juice means nothing added, nothing taken away

This includes sugar, preservatives, colourings, stabilisers, flavourings and even water. Therefore, when a label states '100% orange juice', only pure orange juice made from whole oranges will be inside.

Is 100% orange juice real? ›

100% juice is fruit juice made from 100% “liquid fruit", i.e. there are no added colourings, preservatives or sugar. However, fruit juice can be made in two different ways. There is "not-from-concentrate” juice, which is bottled after harvesting and stored for later bottling.

What ingredients are in 100% orange juice? ›


What is the main ingredient in orange juice? ›

Fruit. The primary ingredient in orange juice is, of course, oranges.

How do you make oranges 100% orange juice? ›

The most common method of earning oranges is by simply playing online multiplayer games. At the end of a match, the player will receive oranges according to the place they finished in Normal mode (shown below), or according to several factors in Co-op mode.

Is McDonald's orange juice real juice? ›

Try the refreshing Minute Maid® Orange Juice at McDonald's with 100% Orange Juice. It contains pure Orange Juice and the goodness of Vitamin C. Pair it with your favorite McDonald's Breakfast Menu item to give a fresh start to your day. There are 150 calories in a small Minute Maid® Orange Juice at McDonald's.

Which orange juice is 100% juice? ›

Our Tropicana® 100% Orange Juice has the delicious taste you love and a convenient way to get more vitamin C in your diet.

Is Minute Maid orange juice Real? ›

Authentic, timeless and downright deliciously refreshing juice made from perfectly ripe, natural oranges. That's what Minute Maid 100% Original is all about. 100% orange juice. Pasteurized.

Is Dole orange juice real? ›

100% Pure Orange Juice From Concentrate (Filtered Water And Concentrated Orange Juice) And Fruitcal (Calcium Hydroxide, Malic Acid And Citric Acid). Ingredient Not Found In Regular Orange Juice.

Is real orange juice healthy? ›

Rich in Several Important Nutrients

Orange juice is high in many nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Orange juice is a concentrated source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that doubles as a powerful antioxidant and plays a central role in immune function (2).

Why can it be problematic to drink orange juice every morning? ›

No, drinking orange juice every morning is not beneficial, especially in the long run. Orange juice is filled with sugar, which is a quick way of getting energy, but at the same time it will cause your body to crash due to blood sugar dips.

Is it healthy to drink orange juice every day? ›

Orange juice is nutritious, but it's important to limit your consumption because of its high sugar content. Orange juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C — one cup contains twice the daily recommended value. Vitamin C supports your immune system and may be effective in fighting against the common cold.

What is the healthiest 100% juice? ›

Pomegranate juice tops the list. It's high in sugar and calories, but gives you a lot of good-for-you nutrients called antioxidants. In fact, pomegranate juice's antioxidant power is greater than red wine or green tea.

Is pure orange juice full of sugar? ›

Both are high in sugar

One of the main reasons some people consider fruit juice as unhealthy as sugary soda is the sugar content of these beverages. Both soda and 100% fruit juice pack around 110 calories and 20–26 grams of sugar per cup (240 ml) ( 3 , 4 ).

Why is pure orange juice not pure? ›

The meaning of pure

The label means that the contents are just orange juice, with no other substances added. However, the juice is not pure in the chemical sense, because it contains different substances mixed together. In chemistry: a pure substance consists only of one element or one compound.

Why isn't orange juice orange? ›

The color of orange juice depends on the variety of orange used and when in the season it was harvested. The earliest juice is virtually clear, while late-harvest juice has that familiar deep-orange color of carton juice.

What is the healthiest orange juice to drink? ›

A healthier choice is 100% orange juice — whether it's made from frozen orange juice concentrate or never frozen. These two options are similar in nutritional value and taste (12, 13 ). Stores also sell orange juice with added calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients.

Can diabetics drink 100 orange juice? ›

A meta-analysis found there is no evidence that 100% fruit juice has adverse effects on fasting glucose or insulin and is no different than water on these variables; consumption of 100% juice did not increase the risk of diabetes.

Is 100% orange juice good for you? ›

“100% orange juice is a good source of a variety of nutrients that are important to good health, including vitamin C, folate, potassium, and thiamine,” says Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council.

Why is orange juice so high in sugar? ›

A common misconception about orange juice is that it's jam-packed with added sugars. In truth, 100% orange juice contains NO added sugars, and the sweetness you taste is from naturally occurring sugars that develop as the oranges grow on the trees.

What is really in Tropicana orange juice? ›


How many oranges does it take to make 8 oz of juice? ›

Figuring out how many oranges go into an 8-ounce cup isn't quite so nebulous, but it's still not an exact science – the general rule of thumb is that three, medium-sized oranges equals eight ounces of juice.

How many oranges does it take to make 16 oz of juice? ›

8 medium oranges weigh about 2.5 pounds/1.13 kg and will yield about 16 ounces/500 ml juice.

How many oranges does it take to make a 12 oz glass of juice? ›

How Many Oranges Are in a Cup of Juice? Three medium-sized oranges will make 1 cup of juice.

Why is Minute Maid orange juice so good? ›

It helps build healthy bones and also provides a good source of Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium and Thiamin. 100% orange juice. Pasteurized. Excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.

Why does Minute Maid taste so good? ›

How does Minute Maid Orange Juice have such great taste? Minute Maid Orange Juice never contains synthetic flavors, additives, or preservatives. Depending on the product, small amounts of juice and peel oil collected during juice making and distilled for taste and purity, are blended back into the juice.

Is Dole juice real juice? ›

DOLE Pineapple Juice is 100% juice, so it's full of natural vitamins with no added sugar or genetically modified ingredients.

Is OJ healthier than apple juice? ›

But if you're choosing,go for O.J. It's known as a vitamin C powerhouse and boasts almosttwice the potassium of apple juice. It also contains about aquarter of the recommended daily allowance for folic acid, whichlowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

What is the most popular juice in America? ›

Overall, respondents seem to prefer orange juice over most other varieties; 57% of respondents named orange juice as one of their favorite flavors. 37% enjoy apple juice. 28% like cranberry.

What is in Minute Maid orange juice? ›

Ingredients Contains Pure Filtered Water, Premium Concentrate Orange Juice, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).

How do you know if orange juice is real? ›

If the juice just appears slightly darker, then it's still okay. To confirm whether or not the color change is unusual, sniff the juice and if it has a rancid smell then it's time to let it go. The final way is to taste the juice. If the juice has a rancid or off flavor, then it's gone bad.

What was the Minute Maid scandal? ›

In 1970, the company was involved in a scandal in the United States about bad housing, often referred to as "slave quarters", and working conditions of Minute Maid farm laborers in Florida. The United Farm Workers stepped in to support the workers.

Is Florida's Natural orange juice real? ›

Squeezed from fresh oranges, grown with care. Naturally. It's 100% premium. 100% delicious.

Why is orange juice not scientifically pure? ›

The label means that the contents are just orange juice, with no other substances added. However, the juice is not pure in the chemical sense, because it contains different substances mixed together. In chemistry: a pure substance consists only of one element or one compound.

Is orange juice genetically modified? ›

While nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way through years of selective breeding, oranges are not an example of a GM crop because they have not had their genetic makeup altered through bioengineering.

Is Tropicana orange juice real juice? ›

Tropicana Pure Premium® Original is 100% pure orange juice, squeezed from fresh-picked oranges and never from concentrate. No wonder it's the #1 orange juice brand.

Why should you avoid freshly squeezed orange juice? ›

When fruits and vegetables are fresh-squeezed or used raw, bacteria from the produce can end up in your juice or cider. Unless the produce or the juice has been pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy any harmful bacteria, the juice could be contaminated.

Is it OK to drink pure orange juice everyday? ›

Though nutritionally similar to whole oranges, orange juice provides very little fiber but twice the calories and sugar. It may be an easy way to reach your recommended fruit intake but can cause blood sugar spikes and even weight gain. It's best to limit yourself to no more than 8 ounces (240 ml) per day.

Is orange juice full of pesticides? ›

One of 48 organic samples tested by the USDA had detectable levels of both fungicides. In USDA tests of orange juice, the average concentration of fungicides was two- to three-fold lower than the average concentration in whole fruit.

Are oranges natural or man made? ›

Oranges Don't Naturally Exist In Nature

Oranges are a hybrid of two citrus fruit: a pomelo and a mandarin, with 25% of its genome coming from the pomelo and 75% from the mandarin.

What's the healthiest orange juice to drink? ›

The best orange juice option when it comes to store-bought juice is fortified, 100% orange juice. It has no added sugar and has been supplemented with calcium and Vitamin D—two nutrients Americans tend to fall short on. Fresh-squeezed is also a great option, but often more expensive when compared to packaged varieties.

Is Dole orange juice real juice? ›

Dole juices are ready to drink right out of your refrigerator - 100% juice and no added sugar.


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