Next time you're in the supermarket, check out the juice aisle, pick up anything that says “grape drink” or “orange drink,” and check out the ingredients. You won't see anything that even remotely resembles a grape or an orange. Odds are it'll contain “natural flavors,” all sorts of things you need a periodic table to decipher, and sugar or high fructose corn syrup - you know, the good stuff!
And all this extra sugar in so-called fruit “drinks” is giving real 100% fruit juices a bad reputation. People have a hard time figuring out what has added sugar and what doesn't. That's why the European fruit juice industry has endorsed a new proposal to ban the addition of sugar to fruit juices.
The European Commission (EC) is looking to ban the addition of sugar to fruit juices; part of the commission's policy to reduce sugar in all foods. Currently, not many fruit juices add sugar, but the officials from the commission warn just permitting added sugar can cause confusion among consumers.
Basically, if you're aware that sugar is allowed in fruit juice, how will you know which brand does or doesn't contain sugar at a glance, so the proposed ban will give consumer's confidence that 100% fruit juice contains no added sugar.
Fruit juice is a major market in Europe, sales of 100% fruit juice accounts for two-thirds of juice consumption, so instilling consumer confidence in fruit juice products will help bolster an already strong market. And let's face it, removing unnecessary sugar, especially amidst a global obesity epidemic, is a good idea.
Image credit: Food Thinkers