Orange juice is a fruit juice obtained by squeezing, pressing or otherwise crushing the interior of an orange. The largest producer and exporter of orange juice is Brazil, with 80% of the world's production, followed by the United States.
Besides water and sugar, it is an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and potassium. It is also an important natural source of folic acid (Vitamin B9), which is recommended for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
Citrus juices contain flavonoids that are believed to have beneficial health effects. However, if drunk on an empty stomach, orange juice can exacerbate present gastro-intestinal conditions and/or cause mild and temporary stomach upset. Due to the citric acid, orange juice typically has a pH of 3.5.
Frozen orange juice concentrate Edit
Freshly squeezed juice and filtered orange juice is pasteurized and is evaporated under vacuum and heat to remove most of the water before it is frozen.
When water is added to freshly-unfrozen concentrated orange juice, it is reconstituted. Most of orange juice sold today throughout the world is reconstituted juice. There is a huge difference in the volume of frozen concentrated orange juice and unprocessed juice and this makes a difference in the price the consumer is charged. Orange juice containing pulp seems to be more nutritious than no-pulp varieties because of the flavonoids contained in the pulp.
The major commodity exchanges, including the New York Board of Trade and the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange, sell futures on frozen orange juice concentrate.
Canned orange juice Edit
A small fraction of fresh orange juice is canned. Canned orange juice does retain Vitamin C better than bottled juice. However, the canned product loses flavor when stored at room temperature for over 12 weeks.
Some producers add citric acid or ascorbic acid to juice beyond what is naturally found in the orange. Some also include other nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D, not found naturally in oranges. Reduced-acid varieties of orange juice are also marketed.