Orange juice – nutritional properties. Is it really that healthy?


Orange juice has numerous properties and nutritional values. According to the Institute of Food and Nutrition, a glass of 100% fruit juice (200 ml) can replace one of the daily portions of fruit. Check what properties orange juice has and how to choose the good ones in the store.

How is orange juice made?

Orange juice is juice obtained from the pulp of ripe oranges. Freshly squeezed juices are available on the market, which is obtained by pressing or squeezing raw oranges. These juices may or may not be pasteurized, but in the latter case their shelf life is short. They also require refrigerated transport and storage conditions.

On store shelves, you can also find pasteurized 100% juices, which are reconstituted from concentrated fruit juice. By definition, 100% juice is a product obtained from one or more species of healthy, ripe, fresh, frozen or chilled fruit. It has the colour, taste and smell derived from the fruit from which it is obtained. To 100% fruit juice, pulp and pulp cells that were previously separated can be added.

It is forbidden to add any artificial substances, including dyes, preservatives and flavours. In December 2011, the European Parliament decided to ban the addition of sugar to fruit juices (including 100% fruit juices), which sanctioned common practice. These juices contain only the sugar that was in the fruit from which the juice was made.

What does the production process of 100% orange juice from concentrated fruit juice look like? The juice is squeezed out of the orange. Then the aromatic substances are extracted and collected from the squeezed juice so that they do not get damaged during the juice concentration. (they are carried out again during the production of reconstituted juice from concentrated juice)

Then the water from the juice is removed/evaporated. Then the concentrated juice is produced. The next stages of production are water and aroma restoration and pasteurization. This is how juice from concentrated fruit juice is made, which raises distrust in some consumers.

Wrongly. Both freshly squeezed and 100% orange juice available in stores have a fixed complex matrix of nutrients that have a beneficial effect on health. Sometimes they are even better in the presence of some nutrients. Research shows that 100% orange juice contains more than 3 times more flavanones with high bioavailability than freshly squeezed juice.

Orange juice - health properties

One glass of orange juice (200 ml) provides 70 mg of vitamin C, which means that it covers about 90% of the daily requirement for this vitamin. The reference value of vitamin C intake for adults is 80 mg/day

Vitamin C performs many important functions in the body - including supports the work of the immune system, facilitates the absorption of iron, is also needed for the production of collagen. The content of folate in one glass (200 ml) of orange juice is about 46 μg (about 23% of daily demand), which is a good source of this vitamin. The reference folate intake for adults is 200 μg / day

One glass of 200 ml orange juice contains about 19% of the daily requirement for this ingredient, the same as one large orange. The reference potassium intake for adults is 2000 mg/day. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants. They sweep free radicals from the body, which correspond to, among others for the ageing process. Orange juice contains the highest amounts of hesperidin (depending on the orange variety and production methods) in the lower ones narirutin, didymine and vicenin-2.

Orange juice does not contain much fibre. 1 cup (200 ml) provides about 1.0 g of this nutrient. A little more fibre, about 1.2 g, is found in a glass of juice with pulp particles. For comparison - orange with a weight of 200 g provides about 3.8 g of dietary fiber.

Health benefits of orange juice
Health benefits of orange juice

Properties of 0.5 cup (100 ml) of orange juice

Basic maconutrients content:

Caloric value - 44 kcal

Protein - 0.7 g

Fats - 0.2 g

Carbohydrates - 10 g (including sugars - 8 g)

Fiber - 0.2 g


Phosphorus - 17 mg

Potassium - 200 mg

Sodium - 1 mg

Calcium - 11 mg

Iron - 0.2 mg

Magnesium - 11 mg

Zinc - 0.05 mg

Copper - 0.044 mg

Selen - 0.1 µg


Vitamin B1 - 0.09 mg

Vitamin B2 - 0.03 mg

Niacin - 0.4 mg

Vitamin B6 - 0.04 mg

Folates - 30 µg

Vitamin C - 50 mg

Vitamin A - 200 IU

Vitamin K - 0.1 µg

100% orange juice and freshly squeezed juice

It is often assumed that pasteurized 100% orange juice is inferior to freshly squeezed juice in nutrient content. However, a direct comparison of these types of juice shows that 100% orange juice available in the store is an equally good source of vitamin C.

Vitamin C levels in 100% orange juice are well above the legal threshold of 12 mg per 100 ml, allowing the product to be identified as a source of vitamin C, even after storing the juice in the refrigerator for 56 days. In other studies, 100% orange juice had a vitamin C content of 20 mg in 100 ml for up to 10 months when stored at 4°C. This level of vitamin C was also maintained when the juice was stored at 18-20 ° C for up to 6 months.

100% orange juice is also one of the few natural sources of hesperidin, i.e. a polyphenolic compound found in the white, inner part of the skin of citrus fruits, which has anti-inflammatory properties and also positively affects the elasticity of blood vessels.

As you can see oranges are rich in beneficial substances!
As you can see oranges are rich in beneficial substances!

In the work of Rangel-Huert et al. the effect of polyphenols found in orange juice on the antioxidant system and markers of oxidative stress was verified. Studies show that regular consumption of orange juice can help protect DNA from damage and lipid peroxidation, as well as modify antioxidant enzymes. Research, such as that of Morand et al., shows that hesperidin can lower blood pressure and improve endothelial cell properties, thereby increasing blood vessel protection. Researchers also investigated the bioavailability of hesperidin contained in pasteurized orange juice compared to oranges.

Although oranges contain 2.4 times more hesperidin than 100% orange juice, people absorb exactly the same amount of hesperetin (the hesperidin metabolite) regardless of whether they consume fruit or juice. This demonstrates the nutritional equivalence of both products in terms of hesperidin.

The lower uptake of hesperidin from fruit is most likely due to the limited solubility of hesperidin in digestive juices, as well as the greater content of pectin (a type of fibre) in the fruit, which makes it difficult to absorb hesperidin. in plasma after consuming 100% orange juice from a carton, which has a higher content of hesperidin due to the more efficient juicing process.

Unlike vitamin C, hesperidin is much less susceptible to the negative effects of oxygen and temperature. It shows a 2% reduction after 6 months storage at 4°C and a 9% reduction after 6 months storage at 18 ° C. New data from SGF International show that 100% orange juice provides even greater amounts of hesperidin than vitamin C - about 104 mg of hesperidin in a glass of juice (200 ml), and thanks to its high bioavailability, it ensures a level similar to that found in fruit.

The same data from SGF International also confirms that a glass (200 ml) of 100% orange juice can provide up to 90 mg of vitamin C, which can even be over 100% of the reference intake (RWS), the recommended daily amount that will maintain overall good health. This portion of juice also provides about 21% of the reference value of folate intake and about 17% of the reference value of potassium intake. This means that 100% orange juice contains enough vitamin C, folates and potassium (≥7.5% RWS per 100 g), so you can use nutrition claims for these ingredients.

Tags: fruits, orange, orange juice, oranges

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