File this one under “things we always sort of knew, but wish we didn’t.” All that “100% orange juice, not from concentrate” stuff you’ve been drinking? Technically, it’s “not from concentrate,” but it’s not really 100% orange juice either.
The process is rather depressing.
Once the juice is squeezed and stored in gigantic vats, they start removing oxygen. Why? Because removing oxygen from the juice allows the liquid to keep for up to a year without spoiling. But! Removing that oxygen also removes the natural flavors of oranges. Yeah, it’s all backwards. So in order to have OJ actually taste like oranges, drink companies hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that make perfumes for Dior, to create these “flavor packs” to make juice taste like, well, juice again.
Any taste difference in say Minute Maid versus Tropicana is therefore due to the specific flavor pack the company uses. Since these flavor packs are made from orange byproducts, they don’t have to be considered an ingredient, and therefore are not required to appear on food labels. This is despite the fact they are chemically altered.
Perhaps its time to take the juicer out of that dusty corner in the garage.