Orange juices with/without flavor packs and pulp-dissolving enzymes

By: Dan Wich, last updated September 11, 2014

As detailed in several recent news reports (many based on the book Squeezed) most orange juice products undergo a surprising amount of processing. Often, "flavor packs" (also known as "flavor packets") are mixed back into the juice after storage to restore flavor, and pulp-dissolving enzymes (such as pectinase) may also be added to maintain a more consistent mix.

Companies typically don't make it easy to find out their manufacturing process, so I've been contacting them individually to find out which ones use flavor packs and enzymes. Here's what I know so far, with the brands alphabetized:

Product Flavor packs Use of pulp-dissolving enzymes BPA in containers
Cascadian Farms Organic Frozen Concentrate
Probably uses flavor packs
(their carefully-worded answer makes me believe they do use flavor packs)
Unknown
(response to my e-mail: "We regret we are unable to provide you with the information you requested.")
Unknown
(response to my e-mail: "We have no information on BPA at this time. Phthalates are not part of the formulation for the packaging.")
Evolution Fresh (sold at Starbucks)
Flavor pack-free
(response to my e-mail: "Evolution Fresh does not use enzymes or flavor packs.")
Enzyme free
BPA-free
(response to my e-mail: "...our Evolution Fresh juice bottles are BPA free and do not contain Epoxy resins or chemicals.")
Florida's Natural
Uses flavor packs
(not explicitly confirmed by them, but their wording in response to my questions makes me believe that they do)
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "we do not use enzymes and do not break down the pulp")
BPA-free
Indian River
Flavor pack-free
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "...our orange pulp and grapefruit pulp come from an inline recovery system while the juice is extracted and then aseptically contained to be added back to the juice at the time of production")
BPA-free
Kirkland Signature (Costco store-brand)
Flavor pack-free
(response to question about any of the OJ's using flavor packs was a straight, "No.")
Enzyme-free
(response to question about any of the OJ's using enzymes for pulp-breakdown was also a straight, "No.")
BPA-free
("Costco uses HDPE, so no BPA")
Minute Maid Premium Original
(Minute Maid's from-concentrate product)
Probably uses flavor packs
(I'm having trouble getting a straight answer from Coke, the owners of Minute Maid, but this article suggests they do use flavor packs)
Probably uses enzymes
(I'm basing this on how difficult it is to get a straight answer from Coke)
BPA-free bottles
(the canned orange juice concentrate containers do contain BPA, but they claim that "the heat involved in the curing process incorporates BPA into the structure of the polymer lining making it unavailable for migration into the can.")
Minute Maid Pure Squeezed
(Minute Maid's not-from-concentrate product)
Probably uses flavor packs
(I'm having trouble getting a straight answer from Coke, the owners of Minute Maid, but this article suggests they do use flavor packs)
Probably uses enzymes
(I'm basing this on how difficult it is to get a straight answer from Coke)
BPA-free
Minute Maid Pure Squeezed Light
Not worth it.
Basically just watered-down OJ (42% juice, plus water, sweetener, and additives).
Odwalla Orange Juice
Probably uses flavor packs
(their carefully-worded answer makes me believe they do use flavor packs)
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "Odwalla does not use enzymes to break down pulp.")
BPA-free
(response to my e-mail: "The cap, bottle, and label are all number 2 plastic and do not contain the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA).")
Organic Valley
Partly flavor pack-free
(response to my e-mail: "Organic valley orange juice is not deoxygenated and no flavor packs are used," however, they do add/remove orange oil in typical flavor pack fashion)
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "pulp is completely removed from the orange juice and not mixed back in.")
BPA-free
ShopRite
Probably uses flavor packs
Enzyme-free
Unknown
Simply Orange
Probably uses flavor packs
(their carefully-worded answers to me make me believe they do use flavor packs, which is also suggested by this article)
Enzyme-free
(see Nicholas' comment)
BPA-free
Sprouts/Sunflower Market Store-Brand OJ
Unknown
(they haven't gotten back to me even with reminders)
Unknown
Unknown
Trader Joe's (Conventional)
see the comment by Heretic about whether Trader Joe's answers can be trusted.
Flavor pack-free
(response to my e-mail: "We do not allow the use of flavor packs in our orange juice...")
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "...we do not use any enzymes to break down pulp (although it is strained in many varieties)...")
BPA-free
(response to my e-mail: "...none of our plastics or cardboard containers contain BPA")
Trader Joe's (Organic)
see the comment by Heretic about whether Trader Joe's answers can be trusted.
Flavor pack-free
(response to my e-mail: "We do not allow the use of flavor packs in our orange juice...")
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "...we do not use any enzymes to break down pulp (although it is strained in many varieties)")
BPA-free
(response to my e-mail: "...none of our plastics or cardboard containers contain BPA")
Tropicana Pure Premium
Uses flavor packs
(confirmed to my satisfaction by e-mail, though not in so many words, and alluded to in their carefully worded description of their manufacturing process)
Probably uses enzymes
(response to my e-mail: "...the process of removing and adding pulp from non pulp to pulp varieties is considered proprietary...". They do mention that at least some of the pulp-processing involves mechanical straining.)
BPA-free
(source: see the FAQs area of this page)
Tropicana Trop50
Not worth it.
Basically just watered-down OJ: "It contains less sugar and fewer calories. We do this by using 42% juice that is squeezed from fresh oranges. Then we fortifiy it so it contains the same amount of Vit C as Tropicana Pure Premium OJ, lightly sweeten it with the natural sweetener Stevia, and add some natural flavorings so that it tastes as close to 100% OJ as possible."
Uncle Matt's Organic
Flavor pack-free
Enzyme-free
BPA-free
Whole Foods 365 Brand (Conventional/Non-Organic)
Flavor pack-free
Enzyme-free
Probably BPA-free
(see Whole Foods' Bisphenol-A policy)
Whole Foods 365 Brand (Organic)
Flavor pack-free
(their response to my e-mail explains that they do not use flavor packs, and achieve similar flavor stabilization by blending juices "from different varieties and parts of the processing season")
Enzyme-free
(response to my e-mail: "[we do not] use enzymes to break down the pulp.")
Probably BPA-free
(see Whole Foods' Bisphenol-A policy)

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