Apple juice refers to the nutritious, pulp-free or a pulpy liquid extracted from apples, by softening and pressing the fruits so as to take out their juice. The production of the juice is quite complex, and therefore it is hardly prepared in households as most people prefer to buy the readymade, commercially sold juice from the market.
Commercial Production Apple Juices
In order to produce this healthy beverage, the apples first go through the maceration phase, in which they are softened. Thereafter, the apples are pressed to take out the juice, and the juice is processed through two different clarification methods known as centrifugal and enzymatic process, so as to get rid of pectin and starch. Thereafter, the liquid is pasteurized to be packaged in metal, aseptic, or glass containers. The liquid is also sometimes dehydrated further to form a concentrate; however it can also be sold without being treated by the dehydration process. During the production process of the juice, vitamin C is added through the fortification procedure, as most of the vitamin C content is lost during the process of juicing.
The apple juice is produced widely all over the world, with China being the leading producer. Other players in the field include Germany, US and Poland.
Apple Juice Types
The concentrates of apple juice are available in two types viz:
- Clear concentrate- in this type, the starch and pectin are removed from the apples during the process of production, hence, enabling the juice to attain clarity.
- Cloudy concentrate- in the cloudy concentrate type, the pulp of the apples is found in the juice, which is distributed in an even manner throughout the juice.
Health and Nutritional Facts about Apple Juices
The juice obtained from apples contains an essential nutrient - vitamin C, which is variable in content and is therefore added through the fortification process to compensate for the vitamin C which is lost during processing. Apple juice is also enriched with procyanidins, chlorogenic acid, flavonols and flavan-3-ols which help in protecting the body against various diseases. Also, the juice contains crucial minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium in good amounts as well as iron, copper, manganese, and zinc in smaller amounts, which together work towards boosting up the health of skin and hair.
Apple Juice Benefits
This beverage is enriched with several vital minerals and vitamins which makes it healthy. A few health related benefits which can be attributed towards apple juice are discussed hereunder:
- The juice prepared from apples is rich in boron content which would help in improving the strength and health of bones.
- A few types of apple juice contain a soluble fiber known as pectin, thus helping in the removal of toxic metals like mercury, aluminum and lead from the human body.
- The drink contains good amount of antioxidants which guards against premature skin aging.
- Also, the antioxidants present in the juice would be of immense aid in preventing the risk of being affected by Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
- One of the research studies conducted with respect to apple juice benefits states that the juice helps in increasing acetylcholine in brain, hence improving the memory of an individual.
- The healthy beverage is very good for people suffering from high cholesterol problem, as the nutrients present in the drink would aid in reducing the cholesterol level and bring it at the optimum level.
- Children drinking apple juice on regular basis would remain protected from being affected by asthma.
- Intestinal health would be improved if the juice obtained from apples is consumed as a part of healthy diet program.
- The minerals present in the juice helps in improving the health of skin, hair and fingernails.
- Consumers of this nutritious drink would remain away from stress, digestive disorders, and tooth diseases.
Apple Juices- Trivia
Here are a few interesting facts about apple juice as explained below:
- Though the juice obtained from apples is known for its various positive health related benefits, yet, due to the high sugar content present in the juice, it is advised to consume the juice in moderation. The juice contains 28 grams of carbohydrates per eight ounces which makes 130 calories. Though, the sugar contained in the juice is natural, yet it may not be a recommended drink for diabetic patients.
- Apple juice is sold in two forms in the US viz. pasteurized and unpasteurized juice, with the latter being the unfiltered form and popularly called as apple cider, and the former being the filtered juice of apples. This unfiltered juice from apples is known to be an alcoholic drink in various countries like Australia, UK and New Zealand.