In patent application #20140234476, filed in April 2014 and published last month, PepsiCo says that drinking juice is good for you, but isn’t quite the same as eating whole fruit, which typically contains more fiber, among other things.
“The juice extraction process excludes portions of the whole fruit or vegetable that would otherwise be consumed if the fruit or vegetable were to be eaten in its whole form,” says the application.
“A consumer who peels and eats an orange will consume an amount of edible material (e.g., including cellulosic material, membranes, albedo, pulp, etc.), which would not necessarily be present if the consumer instead drank juice extracted from the orange.
“Accordingly, many fruit and vegetable juices lack some of the nutrients contained in the totality of the edible portions of the whole fruit or vegetable. Such nutrients include for example fiber, phytonutrients, and vitamins.”
Employing such co-products minimizes waste from the juice extraction process
Attempts have been made to supplement fruit and vegetable juices with fiber powders, but these can “impart an undesired flavor”, or “dissolve so thoroughly a consumer has difficulty believing that the juice does in fact contain the added fiber”, notes PepsiCo, which owns the Tropicana juice brand.
Meanwhile, efforts to add large pieces of insoluble fibers to juice can impart “undesired color, flavor, and fibrous textures”, it adds, while “in some cases, the conversion to a powder also degrades the nutrition of such by-product due to the applied heat needed for dehydration.”
In addition, commercially available citrus fibers can lack viscosity and “may not offer a physiological benefit in terms of metabolic health”, alleges PepsiCo.
“A need exists for a product containing a higher viscosity with the subsequent enhanced metabolic health benefits.
“It would be beneficial to process the edible portions of fruits and vegetables obtained from juice extraction to provide a useful food ingredient, or 'co-product' to enhance the nutrition and other attributes of fruit and vegetable juice. Moreover, employing such co-products minimizes waste from the juice extraction process.”