Without being overzealous regarding food or nutrition, anyone with a general concern about what they consume should be mindful of the many additives found in today’s food and beverage market. Specifically in fruit juices. This is a considerable topic to explore mainly because juices, in their various forms (concentrate or no concentrate, 100% or less than that), are often thought to be the smarter, healthier choice for consumption. But due to this misleading image many consumers purchase juices blindly without really investigating whether the item they’ve purchased is actually good for them or not. So bearing this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to look at some of the more common additives found in juices on the market and why consumers should try to avoid them. Additives
Well as the name suggests an additive is something added to a food or beverage either during production or from the item’s packaging. The FDA has grouped additives into three categories: Indirect, Direct, and Color additives. Some additives may come from the plastic or paper that the food is stored in or added nutritional items such as Vitamin C as well as preservatives, added flavoring and added coloring. All these items are important to note because believe it or not much of what is delivered on store shelves must be caked or padded with a wide range of these additives to produce the polished and attractive product that we see. This means boosting and amplifying food as needed to make it look, smell, and taste the way it is advertised, or how consumers perceive it to be. The harmful indications from this are obvious.
High fructose corn syrup:
This additive has received a lot of publicity in recent years as many people have taken steps to avoid it all together, leading many food companies to advertise “no high fructose corn syrup” on labels to drum up sales. And though these efforts have received a considerable amount of backlash from organizations in support of the additive, the reasons to avoid it are obvious.
High fructose corn syrup is associated with weight gain, high levels of cholesterol, harm to the immune system, and also may worsen diabetic conditions.
Sodium benzoate is a common additive used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. It is a preservative found in many food items and is regularly used in orange juice and other fruit juices. Sodium benzoate has been associated with hyperactivity in children and also produces benzene when mixed with vitamin c.
Benzene is a carcinogen that may lead to cancer as well as bone marrow failure. This dangerous mix can easily take place in a container of juice which either has vitamin c naturally occurring in it or is added to it along with the presence of sodium benzoate as a preservative.
Benzoic acid is very similar to sodium benzoate in that it is commonly used as a preservative, is linked to hyperactivity in children and when mixed with ascorbic acids can also form benzene. Side effects from benzoic acid include allergic reactions, skin problems and neurological disorders. Benzoic acid may also worsen certain conditions such asthma by increasing asthma attacks.
Artificial Colors and Flavorings:
As stated previously food and drink manufacturers will often go through extensive measures to ensure that products look, taste, and smell as advertised. Therefore artificial colors and flavorings play a major role in fooling your eyes and tongue to make you believe the fruit juices you are digesting are just that wonderful (but every orange isn’t ripe and many grapes have passed their prime).
So what harms come with this facade? Artificial colors such as yellow #5 and #6 have been associated with learning disorders in children while blue #1 and #2 are considered cancerous to animals. Artificial flavorings on the other hand may be even more deadly, simply because many of us are not privileged to know exactly what they are. All the allowable chemicals used as artificial flavorings in juices are approved by the FDA and manufacturers are not required to identify exactly what they are. So if there is a side effect it can be quite difficult to find the cause.
Lastly, aspartame an artificial sweetener often utilized by diabetics and is found in many diet and low-calorie juices. Though it’s not a very common juice additive in general it is if you aim to purchase drinks marked as diet or low-calorie. Aspartame has been associated with nausea, migraines, seizures, eye disorders, insomnia and anxiety attacks just to name a few.
With these serious implications to health and well-being, it's important for consumers to be diligent about avoiding juice additives all together if possible. Thankfully, there are many products on the market to aid in this effort. With no juice additives uzuma juice is a remarkable health beverage that only contains fruits and vegetables as promised. And though other companies have failed their commitment to stay clear of juice additives uzuma manufacturers have shown that they will stay true to health-conscious consumers, for the long haul.