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Orange Juice

No matter what remains the form of its consumption-- Orange Juice certainly remains the most popular fruit juice in the world market. Finding its place on so many breakfast tables around the globe, this wonderful juice boosts millions of people to begin their day with full confidence. Further, having an honorable place in the refrigerators of many families, it proves to be a staple diet for each and every family member. So what's the secret behind this "consumption attraction"? An excellent taste that gets the morning off to a good start as well as loads of nutritional advantages.

The best form of orange juice remains when it's fresh squeezed. However, others enjoy the ready-to-drink version of the same with some others preferring the frozen concentrate variety. Orange juice can be defined as the unfermented juice obtained from mature oranges of the species Citrus sinensis. Interestingly, being the official drink of Florida (since 1967), about 90 percent of the Florida orange crop is used to make orange juice.

 

Origin
Cultivated for the last 4,000 years, oranges were first produced in southern China and Southeast Asia. One variety, the citron, was carried to the Middle East some-time between 400 and 600 B.C. Eventually, oranges came to Europe during the Arab occupancy of Spain (about 700 to 1400 AD). Explorers brought these fruits to the New World in the 15th and 16th centuries. By the 1800s, these citrus fruits achieved worldwide distribution.

It was during the 1890s that they were in huge demand, owing to their nutrients that could prevent scurvy, a vitamin deficiency disease. The commercial orange juice industry gained prominence during the 1920s, and subsequently pasteurization techniques and new canning processes improved in the 1930s. Invented during the World War II, the frozen concentrated form of orange juice remained the most popular for the next four decades. However, during the mid-1980s, ready-to-drink (RTD) variety outsold the frozen variety.


Blends
Apart from being used in several popular Mexican food recipes, this fresh squeezed supreme juice is also an effective cold fighter. Some of its popular fresh veggies and fruits blends include:

  • Ginger, Carrots and Orange Juice
  • Orange and Mango
  • Orange and Banana
  • Orange and Peach
  • Orange Cloud (Orange Juice, Soya Milk, Non Fat Frozen Yogurt)
  • Citrus Dream (Orange Juice, Lemon Sorbet, Strawberries, Banana)
  • Slim Smoothie (Orange Juice, Raspberry Sorbet, Strawberries, Banana, Slim Blend Zoneifier)
  • Smoothie Supreme (Orange Juice, Raspberry Sorbet, Strawberries, Banana)
  • Cheeky Weekend, amongst others.
 
What more...the orange juice is one of the most important ingredients (and the most important fruit juice) to have when making cocktails. Some of these popular cocktails can be witnessed as:

   
  • 007
  • 151 Reasons
  • 18 Till You Die
  • 7-up Punch
  • A Berry Breakfast Drink
  • A Captain's Paradise
  • A Sunny Delight
  • A Tropical Dream
  • Absolut Sunrise
  • Acapulco Zombie
  • After Work Special
  • Afterglow
  • Aid Paradise
  • All Plucked Up
  • American Beauty
  • American Glory
  • Amnesia and much much more.
 

Health Benefits of Orange Juice

The extremely refreshing orange juice contains major inputs of Vitamin C that boasts a plethora of health benefits. This vitamin is supposed to be one of the Nature’s most powerful antioxidants, attacking free radicals that can lead to cancer or heart disease. Further, it also helps the body fight cold and flu infections. Being essential for tissue repair as well as wound and bone healing; when Vitamin C is consumed by an expectant mother, it assists the mother’s body in absorbing iron and can help the unborn baby develop strong bones and teeth. The magical orange juice is brimming with lot more nutritional ingredients including:

  • Folate: Counted as essential for growth and development, it plays a key role in DNA formation and cell division. It also helps guard against one form of anemia, and can help reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, known as "neural tube defects."
  • Potassium: This mineral is crucially important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in cells. It also assists in sending nerve impulses, helps muscles contract, and releases energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism. Further, potassium plays an important role in our cardiovascular health.
  • Calcium: Most abundantly found in the human body, Calcium aids in bone and tooth development, blood pressure regulation and muscle function.
  • Thiamin & Niacin: Thiamin helps convert food into energy which the body can use and is needed by all cells and tissues. Niacin also is used for DNA repair.
  • Vitamin B6: This vitamin helps the body process protein and carbohydrates in food, and eventually helps to produce hemoglobin. Working in conjunction with folate, Vitamin B6 also metabolizes homocysteine.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium helps your body generate energy and is required for the action of over 300 enzyme systems in your body. It also helps in regulating blood pressure and contribute towards perfect bone health.
  • Phytonutrients: As per the scientific studies and research, these plant-derived components are intimately involved in fighting cellular damage, a common pathway for cancer, aging and a variety of diseases.

The Entire Process
The top 3 orange juice producers in the world are Brazil, Florida and Mexico. Various stages that are included in commercially making this juice happen to be:

  • Harvesting/collection
  • Cleaning/Grading
  • Juice Extraction & Concentration
  • Reconstitution (When the juice processor is ready to prepare a commercial package for retail sale, concentrate is pulled from several storage batches and blended with water to achieve the desired sugar to acid ratio, color, and flavor)
  • Pasteurization (Typically, reaching a temperature of 185-201.2° F (85-94° C) for about 30 seconds is adequate to reduce the microbe count and prepare the juice for filling)
  • Packaging/filling

Market Scenario

With the development of the commercial orange juice industry in the late 1920s, the popularity of orange juice has dramatically increased. In the 1930s, development of porcelain-lined cans and advances in pasteurization techniques led to improved juice quality and the industry expanded significantly. With the popularity of frozen concentrated juices after 1945-46, most Americans stopped squeezing their own juice and concentrated juice became the predominant form.

The demand for frozen juices had a profound impact on the citrus industry and spurred the growth of the Florida citrus groves. However, this frozen concentrates demand was outsold in 1985 by the NFC juices. Today, commercial aseptic packaging allows RTD juices to be marketed without refrigerated storage. The worldwide market for orange juice during the present times remains more than $2.3 billion (the United States being the leader with follow of Canada, Western Europe, and Japan).

 
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