What To Keep In Mind When Selecting Juices And Soft Drinks?
Progressive Grocer|May 2018

Here are some tips that will help to select fruit juices and beverages that are healthy and safe to consume.

Dr Saurabh Arora

Whether it is celebrations at home, at the club, a corporate event or a celebration in your housing society, it is important to provide guests with the right choice of healthy and safe beverages. There is a vast array of branded juice and soft drink options, which include fruit juices, fruit drinks, milk based drinks, carbonated drinks, water and soda based drinks and nectars. In recent times fruit juices have taken a lead as many consumers prefer these to other beverages. They are also being included in festive gift hampers along with dry fruit, snacks and chocolates. Here are some tips that will help you to select fruit juices and beverages that are healthy and safe to consume.

What are the various fruit drinks available? 

In India, many sweetened drinks are marketed on a large scale but out of these some of them are erroneously labelled ‘fruit juice.’ The truth is that many of these drinks have only a small percentage of fruit content and some others contain only fruit flavours. They should actually be called fruit drinks, fruit beverages, fruit nectars or flavoured drinks and not be labelled as ‘fruit juices’. Here are some facts about fruit drinks you could be unaware of:

Fruit drinks have 5 -10 per cent of fruit content, which could be pulp or juice and could contain added flavour, colour, preservative, sugar and water, etc.

Carbonated fruit drinks are like fruit drinks which also contain 5-10 per cent of fruit content but with soda.

Fruit nectars have 20 per cent fruit juice content.

Fruit juices on the other hand are composed of hundred per cent fruit content but could either contain added sugar of upto 5 per cent or could have no added sugar.

Fresh juice means that it does not contain any additives, flavours or juices that have undergone a concentration process. Fresh juices may not have been pasteurised, stored frozen or contain frozen juice and have a short shelf-life.

Some juices like kiwi, lemon, lime, blackcurrant or other sour juice generally do not have 100 per cent juice and are diluted with water and could contain added sugar of up to 20 per cent so as to give a desired taste, which will appeal to consumers.

Most of the fruit drinks contain added sugar, but 100 per cent fruit juices must contain only natural sugar. So, when selecting the right drink, the best is 100 per cent fruit juice without added sugar, followed by a fruit drink with low sugar content and high quantity of fruit content. And then the fruit drinks; lime & lemon with at least 5 per cent fruit content and others which would have at least 10 per cent fruit content. Last in the order are flavoured drinks as they contain no fruit content but only fruit flavours. Avoid these as all they will do is quench your thirst and will only give you sugar & water. (Dr.P. K. Vats, Food Safety Expert and Vice- President at Auriga Research).

Are your fruit juices and drinks free of contaminants? 

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