Frequently Asked Questions about Orange Juice

What ingredients are in orange juice?

100% orange juice is made only from oranges. There are no added sugars or preservatives.

Is all orange juice from Florida?

Approximately 80 percent of America’s orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges. Florida citrus growers produce citrus that is unsurpassed in quality and taste. Florida is second only to Brazil in global orange juice production

Where is most citrus grown in Florida?

Most citrus is grown in the southern two-thirds of the Florida peninsula because there is a low probability of freeze in that area. Polk County, in the central part of the state, remains the top citrus producing county.

When are Florida oranges in season?

Florida oranges are plentiful from October through June, although more varieties are available from December through May.

How much juice will a medium-sized Florida orange yield?

Medium oranges are ideal for juicing. Three or four medium oranges will yield 8 ounces of juice.

Is it better to eat a whole orange than drink a glass of orange juice?

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that the majority of your fruit servings come from whole fruit. While fresh oranges do provide more fiber, 100 percent orange juice counts as a fruit serving and a glass of 100 percent orange juice is a healthy and convenient way to help meet the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables. An 8-ounce serving of orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and provides at least 100 percent of the Daily Value for this important antioxidant. Additionally, an 8-ounce serving of 100 percent orange juice is a good source of important nutrients such as thiamin, potassium and folate.

Should I be concerned about the sugar content of orange juice for me or my children?

Many children are not meeting MyPyramid fruit intake recommendations.4 Citrus fruit and juices, including 100 percent orange juice, are free of added sugars and contain only the natural sugars found in whole fruit. Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 100 percent juice intake guidelines include moderate intakes of 100 percent fruit juice (i.e., 4-6 ounces per day for children age 1-6 years and 8-12 ounces per day for older children). When consumed in these quantities, 100 percent orange juice can help children and adults alike get the nutrients they need and help meet fruit intake recommendations.

4Lorson BA, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:474-478.

Is orange juice high in calories?

An 8-ounce glass of 100 percent orange juice contains approximately 110 calories. Citrus juices are nutrient rich and provide a high ratio of nutrients relative to their calorie content. A study published in the Journal of Food Science found that 100 percent orange juice was more nutrient rich than many commonly consumed 100 percent fruit juices, such as apple, grape, pineapple and prune.

How is orange juice processed?

The basic principle of orange juice processing is similar to how you make orange juice at home. Oranges are washed and the juice is extracted by squeezing the oranges. Seeds and particles are strained out.  Orange juice is pasteurized to ensure food safety.

What does pasteurization mean?

Pasteurization is the process of heating the juice to an elevated temperature for a short amount of time to ensure food safety.

What is the difference between a "not-from-concentrate" and "from concentrate" orange juice?

The difference is how the fruit is processed. "Not-from-concentrate" means the fruit is squeezed, the juice is pasteurized and chilled, blended for consistent quality and taste, then packaged in cartons or safe-stored for packaging at a later date. "From-concentrate" means the fruit is squeezed and the water is evaporated, which produces a concentrated form similar to what you see in the frozen food department. The water is added back, the juice is pasteurized and packaged.

Is anything added to 100% orange juice when it is processed?

By law, 100% orange juice is made only from oranges. When oranges are processed, natural components such as orange aroma, orange oil from the peel, and pulp may be separated from the orange juice. After the juice is pasteurized, these natural orange components may be added back to the orange juice for optimal flavor.

What does USDA Grade A orange juice mean?

This is the premium standard of quality set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for color, flavor and the absence of defects in orange juice.

I’ve heard about different fad diets — one called the “cotton ball diet.” Do you have a position on these types of fads?

Mixing orange juice with cotton balls, or anything else that isn’t meant to be consumed, is dangerous to your health. The Florida Department of Citrus does not support fad diets. We support drinking nutrient-rich, 100 percent Florida orange juice daily as part of a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, as outlined by health experts and government authorities.