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There are a number of beverages that use or could use juices as part of their formulation. Where the juice or co-product is a major ingredient, the product can be viewed as complementary. If the juice component is trivial, the product is competitive.

17.1 Jams, jellies and syrups

The manufacture of jellied products from juices has been covered in Sections 11.3.2 and 12.8. The low pH, high solids and pasteurization contribute to the shelf stable nature of these products. Fruit as solids or juice must represent at least 45 percent by weight of jams and jellies. Not so with syrups that are simply clear juices or concentrates blended with added acid plus sweetener and preserved by benzoate or sorbate. Syrups can range from juice with sweetener to those containing primarily sweeteners, citric acid and artificial colours as well as flavours with very little juice. The low calorie alternatives use artificial sweeteners with a proportional reduction in calories. However, shelf stability is compromised after opening and the items have a limited refrigerated shelf life.

17.2 Smoothies

The health appeal of fruits and convenience of juices complement each other in the so-called smoothie a mixture of slush frozen pureed fruits in milk, sweetened to taste. Originally prepared fresh in the home and local shops, smoothies are now manufactured, packaged and distributed in refrigerated, frozen and shelf stable forms. A further development is dehydrated smoothie confectionery bars.

17.3 Dairy

Fermented dairy products are quite compatible with acid juices. Fruit flavoured yoghurt, kifir, kumis, etc. are in many combinations. The probiotic nature of these lactic fermentations and the phytochemical value of fruit juices are complementary. Unfermented milk is not compatible with acid juices as unappetizing curd forms upon mixing. However, cheese whey, containing the lactose, acid-soluble whey protein, much of the milk vitamins and minerals, blends well with juices.

17.4 Sports drinks

This is a rapidly growing beverage category closely associated with the nutraceutical trend (Sections 3.3, 11.2 and 10.1). Some of the purported benefits of these products are:

The pioneer product was Gatorade, an isotonnesic fluid replacement based on oral rehydration technology, designed for extended, strenuous exercise in hot/humid climates. Similar products have followed (Figure 17.1; Ford, Somogyi, et al., 1996). The product and competing brands do not contain fruit juices, although fruit juice formulation is feasible. In fact, dilute banana puree is the major component of indigenous oral rehydration fluids, long promoted as a treatment for acute diarrhea. When it is prepared to sanitary standards and diluted with two parts of clean water, it provides depleted water and minerals.


Figure 17.1: Fruit-flavoured sports drink labels.

Sports drinks now include performance-enhancing concoctions designed for all types of activities. Herbals, amino acids and various human metabolite precursors and chemicals find their way into beverages, confectionery bars, gels, etc. (Best, 2000). Some are based on sound research into exercise physiology while others appeal to human psychology. The placebo effect is undoubtedly a major "active" ingredient, even in drinks with some potential scientifically sound efficacy.

17.5 Herbals and teas

In the broadest sense plant extracts from herbs and teas are juice products. The fresh plant may be crushed or pureed to express a fluid with some potency. More likely, the dried material is subjected to an aqueous extraction to solublize plant substances that are then either stabilized by further processing or blended into beverages. These extracts are highly flavoured and may possess nutraceutical properties. Most importantly these are high value products that impart unique characteristics to beverages. For example juice and non-juice blends can include ginko or gingko biloba, St. Johns Wort, echinacea guarana and a host of herbs. Spices are also used in a similar manner (Figure 17.2). Highly flavoured, familiar, well accepted juices represent a means of flavour masking and otherwise making somewhat unpalatable substances more tolerable, even desirable. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to identify the consumer profile and follow market staying power for "Lizzard" products.


Figure 17.2: Herbal containing "New Age" beverages.

17.6 Competitive products

There are a number of beverages that also use fruit components, although they compete with juice products to some degree. Carbonated soft drinks, mostly synthetic powdered beverages, fruit punches, even flavoured bottled water can use natural fruit flavours and extracts. With the trend toward "natural" there are opportunities to popularize fruit flavours in this manner. Of course, fruit constituents will always be more costly and delicate than fabricated alternatives comprising sugar, citric and ascorbic acids and synthetic flavours and colours. In the United States of America pure juice retail prices range from about $3/L for really up-scale brands with comparable packaging to less than $1/L for house brands. In contrast, fruit punch containing 1 percent juice is less than $0.30/L and soft drinks are less than $0.70/L.

Marketing strategies constantly emphasize the health and quality image of total juice products while competitive items allude to the juice image. The economic reality is that clever advertising can trump sound nutritional value and intrinsic product quality. Figure 17.3 shows a label of a "real fruit beverage" containing 5 percent juice. Note the implied Florida citrus image.


Figure 17.3: Citrus beverage label, 5 percent orange juice.

In some cases the fruit connection is even more remote. The beverage is based entirely on sugars, citric and other acids, nutrients, artificial/natural flavours and colours. Such products represent substantial beverage technology innovation and can actually be more nutritious, stable, flavourful and less expensive than comparable pure juice or products containing juice. Fortunately, labels must state juice content and all ingredients, so consumers can make informed purchase decisions. The mandatory statement of juice content is far from a prominent part of some labels (Figure 2.1.). Table 17.1 indicates some "pseudo juices" and their make-up.

Table 17.1: Juice-like beverages.

Product description


Lemon/lime mixes

Citrus flavoured powder or concentrate

Koolade mixes

Some fruit juices used

Fruit punches

100% to 0% juice

Sports drinks

Fruit flavours common

New Age drinks

Fruits and herbals used

Flavoured water

Fruit flavours common (slight)

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