Those of us who have spent significant time in the tropics know how good it makes you feel to have fresh glasses of juice–mango, papaya, pineapple, and endless blends–anytime of day.
When it’s hot, a glass of fruit juice can be the ultimate refresher and thirst quencher.
Perhaps more importantly, fruit juices, like their whole counterparts, are high in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
The USDA recommends that Americans consume upwards of six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. A glass of juice is a convenient and sometimes more cost-effective way to squeeze in extra servings.
In the US and other non-tropical countries however, abundant fresh juice is not readily available.
Enter juice companies such as Odwalla.
Fresh or Frozen?
To bring a juice product to market, manufacturers must ensure a consistent supply of fruits and vegetables. Some companies stockpile unprocessed or pureed produce in freezers.
Freezing may not significantly affect a fruit or vegetable’s nutrient profile, but it can impart a different taste and texture to the end product.
Manufacturers and purveyors of fresh juice must literally ‘follow the fruit’ to maintain a consistent supply. Half Moon Bay, CA-based Odwalla devotes itself to sourcing high-quality, seasonal juicing fruit from a variety of farms and vendors.
That’s why regular Odwalla juice drinkers may notice slight changes in their favorite drink’s taste throughout the year. These differences are nothing to worry about; rather they are reflections of the freshness of the fruit.
Safety & Taste
A juice’s freshness and processing can significantly affect its flavor and nutrient profile.
In light of recent food safety incidents, it’s reassuring that major juice manufacturers adhere to stringent food safety regulations. To minimize contamination, fruits and vegetables are usually pre-washed before entering juicing facilities. After juicing, manufacturers utilize a variety of pasteurization methods to ensure juice safety while preserving taste and nutrition.
Flash Pasteurization, a process by which juice is brought to a high temperature for a short period of time, kills microorganisms and makes juice safer for consumption.
With their impressive nutrient profiles and refreshing taste, fruit and vegetable juices can be a welcome addition to a healthy diet. Just remember that all juices are not created equal – and be sure to choose one that combines great taste and nutrition.
Corporate Social Responsibility in Food & Beverage Manufacturing
With each passing day of the global economy it becomes more and more important to be aware of the environmental and social responsibility of the companies that manufacture products you consume.
Public companies must answer to shareholders and have largely adopted transparent reporting initiatives that detail their corporate responsibility. Food and drink manufacturers that depend on raw materials – like fruits and vegetables – are committed to environmental stewardship programs that ensure consistent supplies of produce.
Juice manufacturer Odwalla contributes to farmland conservation and keeps 99% of its fruit and vegetable waste out of the landfill. Operating as a closed-loop system, the company uses an anaerobic digestion system on wastewater resulting from the juicing process to reduce the amount of wastewater effluents.
In another good example of solutions-based thinking, beer producer Sierra Nevada provides feed for dairy and beef cows through the spent grain, hops and yeast collected after brewing.
While food and beverage manufacturers’ overall environmental stewardship is laudable, sometimes it’s the component of “thinking local,” which actually provides the most sustainable models for doing business and preserving the environment.
For example, by offering free land to local farmers, Odwalla is able to source much of its fruits and vegetables locally – benefiting both juice quality and the vitality of local communities. Ice cream maker Häagen Dazs recently began a honey bee conservation program.
Since many of its fresh fruit ingredients depend on honeybee pollination, it makes sound business sense to aid in the honey bees’ plight.
Environmentally and socially conscious consumers now have many sustainable options when choosing foods and beverages. Check out company websites for details on environmental and social practices. Many sites, such as Odwalla.com, are both entertaining and informative.
As more companies realize both the fiscal and intangible benefits of greener operations, we will likely see an increase in the number of eco-friendly foods and beverages – a plus for the consumer and for the planet.
Editor’s Note: The good folks at Odwalla were our partners in this post. Their sponsorship is helping us bring you free content each day by supporting our writers and photographers. On the flip side, we only partner with companies we sincerely believe in. Odwalla is one of our favorites. We respect the way they do business and urge you to try their amazing products.