Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Simply Orange - Not so Natural

Buyer beware!  Simply Orange juice is not as "natural" as they claim or as you perceive them to be.  Let me start with this tidbit of information Simply Orange juices are produced by the Coca-Cola company.   I'll give you a minute to let that sink in.  A soda company producing juice marketed so you would perceive it as natural.

Recently in an investigation from Bloomberg Business Week has shown that Simply juice is a "hyper-engineered and dauntingly industrial product."  Coca-Cola actually uses a process called "Black Book" to engineer their product.  Black Book is actually an algorithm that factors on consumer preferences on the 600 flavors that can make up an orange. This data is used to create a formula for the perfect tasting orange juice.  This formula even factors in things like weather patters, yield, and cost pressures. Normally peak growing season is only 3 months but this super formula allows Coca-Cola to grow year round.

Coke's partner in Brazil, Cutrale processes the oranges grown to Black Book specifications.  The fresh juice is housed in their silos and transported via underground pipeline to the packaging plant.  At the plant the juice is flash pasteurized.  In the next step it's transferred to storage tanks that provide slow agitation and a blanket or nitrogen to prevent oxidization and stop the juice from spoiling. 

Batches are separated by seasons, orange types, and taste factors like sweetness and acidity.  There are Black Book instructions given to Blend Technicians who add natural flavors and fragrance back into the juice that has been lost in processing.  Since these flavors and fragrances are derived from orange essences and oil.

This type of processing is typical in the juice business.  So if you'd like to get a more natural experience I would recommend fresh squeezed.