Real Fruit Juice vs. Store-Bought Fruit Juice

As I continue on my Nutrition journey, I sometimes catch myself reminiscing about times before I started studying Nutrition and what I thought about food and Nutrition then. One such example is in regards to juice. I always thought store-bought fruit juice was real juice; where people in factories put fruit into a big machine and out came the juice straight into the bottle I bought at the store. I had a big glass of orange juice every single morning for breakfast, and felt lost without it. As much as I loved my daily OJ, there was always something about it that was a little off to me. It had this weird, bitter aftertaste, nothing like you would expect a fruit juice to be, given that fruit is sweet.

The juice I drank was from concentrate, and even though it is still fairly pure, it is still not “real” juice. Yes, it may be 100% fruit juice, but it has still gone through some form of processing to extract the water, as well as to make it suitable for long-term storage before consumption.

Ever since I started juicing, this concept has really hit me and I thought it would be interesting to directly compare real fruit juice and store-bought fruit juice. Normally I juice these fruits in amongst other fruits and veggies, so it was just as interesting for me to see what they look like juiced alone!

Can you tell which glass contains store-bought juice and which glass contains fresh fruit juice I juiced myself?

Orange Juice

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You guessed it – the left glass is the fresh OJ!

Of the three types of juice I compared, the two forms of orange juice were the most similar visually. It is really interesting to me that the fresh juice looks so pulpy, because it isn’t pulpy in texture at all!

Now taste-wise, there is a huge difference. My once beloved store-bought OJ doesn’t even really taste like OJ at all to me anymore, compared to the sweet, fresh, pure taste of the orange I juiced myself. In fact, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma having that weird tasting store-bought OJ. I didn’t know what to do with it! Five years ago I would have guzzled it down with no hesitations! Crazy how our taste preferences change when exposed to REAL food, isn’t it?!!

Apple Juice 

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Wow! What a difference!

Similar to the fresh OJ, the fresh apple juice looks pulpy, but doesn’t have a pulpy texture at all. I can see how it might not be as visually appealing as the store-bought juice, which I find amusing because the fresh apple juice looks like the apple cider you would buy in the store, which people seem to have no trouble buying. So why is it not okay to buy regular apple juice that looks like that then? Weird.

Similar to the OJ again, there was a huge difference in taste between the fresh and store-bought juice. I have never been a fan of apple juice to begin with, but sipping between the two I found the store-bought apple juice to be overwhelming and unnaturally sweet. I actually found this with all the store-bought juices. It was strange.

Grape Juice

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There was also a huge taste difference between the fresh and store-bought grape juice. I sipped the store-bought grape juice and thought “yup that’s what grape juice tastes like.” Then I sipped the fresh grape juice and it didn’t taste like the store-bought at all! So I guess it’s really the store-bought grape juice that doesn’t taste like grape juice!

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The above picture shows what the fresh grape juice looks like once it sits for a few minutes and separates (the same separation occurs with fresh apple juice, I just didn’t let it sit long enough to separate). Surprise – fresh grape juice isn’t purple!! Although to be fair I used red grapes because I couldn’t find any black grapes. However, I still think fresh juice made from black grapes would be more red than purple. I also find it interesting that when the fresh juice separates it is transparent, while the store-bought juice isn’t. That isn’t natural!

Are you a store-bought juice drinker? Seeing these pictures, how do you feel about fruit juice now?

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