Are vitamins lost if the juice is not drunk quickly?

How long does it take for orange juice to lose vitamin C?

Is it true that the juice should be consumed quickly so that it does not lose vitamins?

myth orange juice loses vitamin C i
It is a myth that orange juice loses vitamin C in a short time because it oxidizes.

It is a false myth that orange juice loses vitamins during storage. It has been scientifically proven that the vitamin C content is practically identical in a freshly squeezed juice and in another one kept for 12 hours in the refrigerator. Rather it seems that this myth is told to children so that they have breakfast on time and do not delay in going to school.

Natural degradation process of the juice

Vitamin C is one of the components that transform from ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid, which is the form in which this vitamin is assimilated. That is, this oxidation of vitamin C also occurs naturally in our intestines, and is necessary to assimilate it. In other words, even when it is oxidized, vitamin C would have antioxidant functions in our body.

How is it better to preserve a juice so that it does not lose properties?

Because enzymes and other living substances from fruits are found in the juice, it is possible that over time the juice will change color, because of the oxidation of these components. In other words, once the fruit is squeezed, some living components of the juice react with oxygen, forming different molecules, which have different colors. This is easily seen in apple and pear juices, which turn brown due to browning enzymes.

To prevent the components of the juice from oxidizing, it is best to keep them cold if they are not going to be consumed in a short time. (low temperatures slow down the oxidation processes).

Conclusion: When is it better to drink orange juice?

homemade orange juice
Photo of homemade orange juice.

Orange juice can be drunk whenever you feel like it. For breakfast, it goes well for example with an oatmeal porridge. Before meals, it will help digestion… In any case, it is recommended that it be natural (homemade).

Are commercial juices the same as homemade ones?

In commercial preparations,  juices are processed at high temperatures to inactivate the enzymes of the fruit and thus prevent them from changing their color, and also extend their commercial life (high temperatures kill bacteria), although this is at the expense of loss of vitamins. As they do not contain bacteria or enzymes, it is not necessary to keep them refrigerated.

Therefore, packaged juices that are kept without a refrigerator indicate that they have undergone a thermal process and that therefore they have lost the vitamins of the orange and do not have the same benefits.

punto rojo More information on orange

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Elisenda Carballido
Written by Elisenda Carballido Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

8 September, 2021

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