- Are Sun Orchard juices made from concentrate?
- What is a condensed juice?
- What designates a fresh juice?
- What is gentle pasteurization?
- How is Sun Orchard’s orange juice processing method different than large scale industry methods?
- Where is your fruit sourced?
- What is your stance on GMOs?
- Are your products allergen- free?
Sun Orchard does not produce any concentrated juices. All of our juice is squeezed from fresh citrus fruit, gently pasteurized, and bottled. We make only 100% all natural juice that is ready to drink.
Concentrated juice is squeezed from the fruit, and then evaporated under vacuum and heat to remove most of the water. This concentration process removes the aroma compounds that give juice a fresh-squeezed taste.
Sun Orchard makes lemonades, limeades and bar mixes in a condensed format, which means they contain only natural fruit juices and sugar, but no filtered water as in the ready to serve version. Our condensed beverages are sent to customers without water in them to reduce the cost of shipping. The operator then adds water to make the finished product. For example a (3+1) condensed lemonade contains XX% lemon juice and XX% sugar, where a ready to serve lemonade contains XX% lemon juice, XX% sugar and XX% filtered water.
Fresh-squeezed, unpasteurized juice is the closest to consuming the fruit itself. This juice is squeezed from the fruit and then bottled without having any additives or flavor packs inserted. The juice is not subjected to pasteurization, and therefore has a relatively short shelf life. For example, fresh squeezed orange juice has a typical shelf life of 12 days.
Gentle pasteurization is a minimal processing technique using a lower temperature for a shorter time period than typical HTST pasteurization. This provides food safety assurance while retaining volatile flavor compounds, natural enzymes, and vitamins that give our juice its fresh-squeezed flavor and aroma.
Sun Orchard lightly squeezes the juice from fresh oranges which reduces bitter components in the peel. We then freeze and store the juice until it is ready to be bottled. Freezing juice is the best, most natural way to preserve juice and maintain the highest quality flavor and aroma. Sun Orchard stores its frozen juice for up to X months depending on the season and fruit variety. For each order, we blend and bottle the juice in small batches. This made-to-order process allows us to deliver fresh tasting juice to our customers and maximize shelf life up to 50 days from the date of bottling.
Large scale not-from-concentrate producers utilize an aseptic process, where the fresh juice is flash pasteurized and the oxygen is removed (deaeration) to prevent spoilage. The juice is then pumped into storage tanks and covered with a nitrogen gas to keep out oxygen. This allows the juice to be stored aseptically without refrigeration for up to 2 years. Deaeration not only removes oxygen, it also removes all flavor, and inactivates the enzymes in the juice. So when it’s ready to be bottled – flavor, aroma and nutrients are added back into the juice using “flavor packs” that are high in ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil.
Our citrus and other ingredients are sourced from:
Sumo Tangerines – California
Sweet Oranges – Arizona
Early Mid Oranges – Florida
Valencia Oranges – Florida, California, Arizona, Mexico
Meyer Lemons – California
Key Limes – Mexico
Eureka, Lisbon and Genoa Lemons – Arizona, California, Mexico
Persian Limes – Mexico
Grapefruit – Florida, California, Texas, Arizona
Sun Orchard does not use genetically modified fruits in any of its juice products.
Our products contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and are Kosher-certified and gluten-free, and trans-fat-free.