This week, Good Morning America aired a segment on the drop in orange juice consumption. The FDOC responded providing a more holistic view on 100% orange juice consumption and related challenges, and about the USDA’s updated program for daycares.
While the Florida Citrus industry continues to face challenges brought on by the impact of greening on production and the confusion around sugar when it comes to fruit juice, 100% orange juice continues to be America’s favorite juice and is by far the top selling 100% fruit juice in the U.S.
One 8-ounce serving of 100% orange juice contains no added sugar, just the natural sugar found in the orange. Further, that 8-ounce serving contains more than 100 percent of your Daily Value of vitamin C and is a good source of potassium, folate and thiamin. Potassium is in fact a nutrient of concern for most Americans. A glass of 100% orange juice can be a nutrient-dense part of a healthy eating pattern and based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, counts as a cup of fruit. Additionally, the nutrition profile of store-bought 100% orange juice is equivalent to that of fresh squeezed orange juice.
For consumers, the key is looking for 100% orange juice on the label and the FDA’s recently announced changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel will make it easier for consumers to understand the nutrient benefits in every glass of 100% orange juice. By 2018, the updated Nutrition Facts Panels for all packaged foods and beverages will call out added sugar versus naturally occurring sugar, plus highlight foods and beverages that are great sources of vitamin C and potassium – which 100% orange juice is.
The segment also mentioned the USDA’s Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) and their revisions for children under one and the revised meal patterns support breastfeeding and consumption of vegetables and fruit without sugar. While juice is no longer recommended for children under the age of one, for children over the age of one, 100% juice- including orange juice, is part of the meal recommendations if it is used to meet the daily fruit requirement at only one meal or snack.