Daytime television’s “The Dr. Oz Show” recently aired a segment titled : “The Unhealthy Truth About Orange Juice.” The show’s website describes the segment as follows: “Store-bought orange juice is not the health drink you may think it is! Learn how to shop and sip smarter with easy-to-follow tips from Dr. Oz.”
After viewing the episode, David Steele, director of public relations for the Florida Department of Citrus, composed an open letter [see below] addressing some of the claims made during the broadcast.
“The Dr. Oz Show”
I had the chance to watch Dr. Oz’s show on April 1, which claimed to uncover “the truth” about orange juice. I wanted to follow-up and clarify some information included in this segment, as I am concerned some of the claims create a misleading perspective about the nutritional value of 100 percent orange juice and how the product is really made.
First, it is important for you and your viewers to have an accurate understanding of the production process of 100 percent orange juice. I assure you there is nothing secretive about the fact that, by law, 100 percent orange juice is made only from oranges, using a very straightforward process. Oranges are washed and the juice extracted by squeezing the oranges. Seeds and particles are strained out. Then, orange juice is pasteurized — a century-old process, widely accepted by global health organizations, in which the juice is heated to an elevated temperature for a short amount of time to ensure food safety.
To clarify serving sizes, an 8-ounce serving of 100 percent orange juice is not only an excellent source of Vitamin C, but is packed with nutrients, such as potassium, folate, and thiamin, which are carried over from the fruit to the juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting the consumption of 100 percent fruit juice to 4 to 6 ounces per day for children ages 1-6 years and 8 to 12 ounces per day for children ages 7-18 years.
One hundred percent orange juice is indeed America’s favorite juice. The truth about 100 percent orange juice is that families should feel good about drinking it because it is also recognized by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA MyPlate as a nutrient-rich beverage that can contribute to fruit intake and be part of a healthful diet. These nutrients are clearly marked on the Nutrition Facts label, which by law requires that the nutrition amount accurately represents the nutrient content expected at the end of the product’s shelf life.
For more information about how 100 percent Florida orange juice is made, I encourage you to visit OrangeJuiceFacts.com. You may also visit Floridajuice.com for access to resources, such as the OJ Nutrition and Health Toolkit, for the latest research and facts about the nutrition benefits of 100 percent orange juice.
I would be happy to serve as a resource in the future and can answer any additional questions, if needed. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Florida Department of Citrus
Director of Public Relations