The book Deep Nutrition makes the following claim:

... your "100 percent orange juice" is doped with corn syrup. (Some FDA officials suspect that many fruit juices claiming to be 100 percent natural juice are in fact sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup...)

(Chapter 9, don't know page number as I'm reading it on kindle)

The author cites the paper, Observations on Economic Adulteration of High-Value Food Products1. There are a couple related mentions of orange juice in the paper (emphasis mine):

Orange juice and olive oil are food products often targeted for economic adulteration... (p. 1)

Food scientists and chemists have developed a number of tests to detect the presence of illegal ingredients in honey... Similar tests have been developed to detect adulteration in orange juice. However, tests for non-labeled ingredients often are not able to accurately detect very small amounts of such ingredients... (p. 3)

But the basis for the first claim is uncertain to me. And the second only seems to cast doubt on the claim, regardless of where it came from.

Is there any evidence that orange (or other fruit) juice marketed in the U.S. as "100% pure" may contain corn syrup, or other impurities? Or is there at least evidence that "FDA officials" suspect this?

1The book's bibliography cites "Observations on the Economic Adulteration of High Value Food Products. Fairchild GF. Journal of Food Distribution Research Vol 32 No. 2. July 2003. 38-45", however it appears that 'Vol 32' was a misprint, and 'Vol 34' is correct, as the dates match up. If I'm actually reading the wrong paper, please let me know.

  • 2
    I don't know about the sugar, but read this article about where the Fresh squeezed Orange juice flavor comes from, and its not the orange!...foodrenegade.com/secret-ingredient-your-orange-juice
    – Moab
    Sep 25, 2011 at 5:17
  • @Moab: Thanks for the interesting link... that entire site looks pretty interesting.
    – Flimzy
    Sep 25, 2011 at 5:23
  • Breakfast has not been the same since I read that article.
    – Moab
    Sep 25, 2011 at 5:57

1 Answer 1

  1. If this would be a common practice someone would be able to prove it
  2. If somebody would find a proof it would most likely lead to a legal case. Such cases exist: see eg (1) cited in the paper you provided yourself. It is a criminal offense. It will likely happen sometimes, but that does not convince me that it happens by default

Some additional thoughts:

  1. Pure fruit juice already contains plenty of sugars, in similar amounts to most soft drinks, why would more sugars be added (unless also water is added)?

  2. Regarding health, it does not matter whether this sugars come from oranges or from corn. Fruit juice is full of sugars - and should therefore not be consumed in large quantities.

WHETHER FRUIT JUICE is “100 percent juice” or not is almost beside the point — both kinds are loaded with sugar and calories. If it’s “100 percent juice” the sugar is from the fructose that’s naturally present in fruit; if it’s “10 percent juice” (or 20 percent, or whatever), most of the sugar is in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Snacking on sugary beverages all day long, whether they’re soft drinks or fruit juice, is not a good thing, for kids or adults. Over-consumption of sugar contributes to obesity and diabetes. Some common-sense alternatives:

From the same site: http://www.hookedonjuice.com/

As a bonus a study proving that fruit juice causes obesity: http://www.deakin.edu.au/news/upload/HBSFruitdrinks19032007_final.pdf

(1) Fairchild, G. F. 1993. Unpublished Expert Witness Testimony presented at the request of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Plain- tiff, in an Economic Adulteration of Orange Juice Case (No. 1:93-CR-19) in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern Division.


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