Today there is no shortage of choice when it comes to the bottled juices available at your local grocery or natural foods store. Many are labeled “fresh” and “all-natural,” but the very fact that they’re on the shelf means they’ve been exposed to pasteurization or high-pressure processing that can make them not only less fresh but also less nutritious. Here’s a rundown on four ways juice is prepared so you know what you’re getting when you buy your next drink:
• Pasteurization: Ninety-eight percent of refrigerated and un-refrigerated juice sold at stores has been pasteurized, a process that exposes juice to high heat for a specific amount of time as outlined by the FDA. Heat-treating is designed to kill bacteria, but it also has been shown to negatively alter enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Pasteurization extends the shelf life of juice for up to 100 days, meaning that bottle you’re eyeing could be more than three months old.
• High-Pressure Processing: This trendy and much-touted method doesn’t use heat, but instead exposes product to extremely high pressure within a water bath. Billed as a more healthful alternative to pasteurization, it still extends shelf life to up to 25 days. The FDA allows companies that use HPP to advertise their juices as "raw," even though they’ve undergone a small physical modification and can be nearly a month old by the time they find their way into your fridge. In addition, the HPP process kills beneficial microorganisms, sterilizing vital elements of the juice. Moreover, the process does not work on many of the most healthful ingredients, including chlorophyll-rich greens.
• Cold-Pressed: This process, which spares vegetables and fruits from damaging heat and pressure, is what we use to create our glass-bottled juices, sold exclusively at select Sip locations. The technique gently extracts all the nutrients, fruit sugars, and enzymes from the produce we use. The FDA does not allow cold-pressed juices to be sold anywhere but the source, so the bottles you see in our coolers contain juice made by hand, using bushel upon bushel of fresh, organic produce. The handwritten date you see on the bottle reflects the day we pressed it. Many consumers feel the FDA is short-sighted in its regulation of cold-pressed juices, creating undue fear of bacterial contamination. According to the FDA, most people's immune systems are equipped to fight off the effects of food-borne illness, although there is some risk to children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
• Made-to-Order: The freshest juice is made on demand. Our juice bars are designed as open spaces so you can watch your barista select each and every organic ingredient that goes into your chosen drink and blend or juice it accordingly. By the time you take your first sip, it’s literally fresh off the presses with all of its goodness intact. Not only are the nutrients preserved in their most natural state — so are the flavors. Cheers!