Findings: Fresh orange takes the pith

April 4, 2003

Freshly squeezed orange juice may for some epitomise a healthy start to the day but, according to researchers from Spain, paying for it is a waste of money. Pasteurised orange juice is just as good for you, writes Natasha Gilbert.

Pilar Carno and his team from the department of plant foods science and technology at City University, Madrid, found that pasteurised juices contained the same amount of antioxidant compounds as fresh juices.

"Pasteurised juices were shown to contain the same levels of bioactive compounds as fresh juices," Dr Carno said.

In a paper to be published in the April issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the researchers studied three different types of commercial orange juice with shelf lives up to a year and compared them with freshly squeezed juice.

Orange juice is one of the main dietary sources of antioxidants, in particular vitamin C, for people in developed countries. These compounds help to ward off disease by combating free radicals that can cause tissue damage.

"Some orange juice producers claim that their processing methods make their juices healthier," Dr Carno said. "But this study demonstrates that all juices have the same nutritional value."

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