News

Myth No. 1: All juice contains added sugar

Reality

Nothing but natural fruit sugar ? that’s what’s in 100% fruit juice and juice blends.

Under Canadian and American law, only beverages made from fruit, and nothing but fruit, can make the “100%” claim and mention “100%?fruit” and/or “no sugar added” on their product label.

So why does this still widespread myth persist? It derives from confusion about the various types of fruit-based drinks. The regulated term “juice” is sometimes used to refer indiscriminately to juices, cocktails, nectars, punch and fruit drinks.

However, there are differences between all these products, including the variety of processes used to manufacture them, the ingredients they contain, and the different tastes they appeal to. These differences can be summarized briefly as follows:

Nectar is made from the pulp or purée of certain fleshy fruits, such as peach, mango, or guava, and it has a smoother texture. Sugar is added, except in the case of prune nectar. Fruit punch, fruit cocktails and fruit drinks are made using water and contain varying amounts of real juice. They have added sugar and may also contain added flavours, colours and/or vitamins.

Why is sugar added to these types of fruit-based drinks? Canadians ? and Americans even more so ? prefer sweet beverages. Elsewhere in the world there are people who love juices with an even sweeter taste and thicker texture. Cultural factors also influence taste.

But tastes are changing in North America. Consumers are increasingly concerned with how food affects their health and wellness. Conscious of this salutary trend, manufacturers are significantly reducing the amount of sugar added to cocktails, nectars, punch and fruit drinks. They are giving consumers new healthy options such as flavoured water, infusions, and coconut water, among others.