Concentrated orange juice?

I have another potentially stupid question about food and drink.

On most of the cartons of orange juice I’ve seen so far, the box both says “100% pure juice” and “made from concentrated orange juice” or “made from orange juice concentrate” or something similar. Don’t these two things rule each other out? Once you water down orange juice concentrate, it’s no longer 100% pure, right? Or do the companies assume that, since orange juice contains water anyway, watering down a concentrate would maintain the balance? But then why make a concentrate in the first place? Or do they add some ‘generic’, less expensive juice to it (I notice it always says “100% juice” and not “100% orange juice”)? What’s the deal with the OJ?

Concentrate takes up less volume. It also weighs less. This makes it much cheaper to transport.

He’s still looking for the killer. While playing golf. :wink:

As far a cartons of OJ goes, there’s a long running legal battle going on between producers and the US government. Truly fresh OJ doesn’t last long at all and is seasonal. To extend the life of OJ, the best thing to do is to concentrate it, freeze it, and then later reconstitute it.

Now, since you can buy concentrate yourself and make your own OJ, for less money than the stuff in cartons, the producers go to great lengths to convince you that you are buying fresh OJ. So some company comes out with a new labelling gimmick, the feds get wise, tell them to stop doing that, etc. This of course takes time and money so you can’t really be sure what’s in the carton.

One thing to go by: really fresh OJ costs a lot more and is seasonal.

Consumer Reports regularly has articles about this.

I used to work at a place that builds the machines that package juice into cartons. The one thing that surprised me about the whole process was the OJ pulp. Pulp isn’t part of the concentrate at the beginning, instead it’s added later after the concentrate is diluted. The pulp comes in big plastic bags, and while it’s dry it looks like instant mashed potatoes.

John McPhee’s Oranges goes into considerable detail on concentrate manufacturing, As I recall, it confirms Goofus’s observations.