The term “from concentrate” on a bottle of juice has nothing to do with the quality or healthiness of the juice itself.
Instead, it refers to the fact that the juice came from a different source than your typical juice.
While there are many types of juices — including fresh-pressed, bottled, canned and frozen — all other varieties come from either concentrated (which means filtered) or natural sources.
For example, you can buy apple juice from concentrate (as well as apple cider and apple nectar).
You can also get orange juice from concentrate, grape juice from concentrate, pineapple juice from concentrate, kiwi juice from concentrate and even cranberry juice from concentrate.
But before we dive into how from concentrate is created and exactly why it’s so cheap, let’s take a look at its opposite.
What is the difference between from concentrate and not from concentrate?
From concentrate is the same thing as “non-from-concentrate” in terms of whether it has been diluted with water prior to bottling.
For example, if you purchase an orange juice from concentrate, you will notice that it says “not from concentrate” right below the words “orange juice.”
This is because the juice was made by squeezing oranges, which then were passed through a filter to remove pulp and other impurities.
It wasn’t until after this process that any water was added to the juice.
In contrast, the word “from” appears next to the label when a brand contains only water as part of the ingredients list.
For example, you may find a bottle of Gatorade that reads “Gatorade, 100% Natural. From Water Only.”
Why is from concentrate cheaper?
This might sound counterintuitive, but the reason behind this is simple: from concentrate is typically cheaper to produce than non-from-concentrate juice.
Think about it like this: If someone goes out and buys an orange from a grocery store, that person will have to pay the grocer for the orange — plus the grocer will add a markup to cover things like labor costs, warehouse rent and transportation fees.
A similar scenario happens when someone purchases juice from concentrate.
However, once the concentrate is made, the cost of producing it is minimal.
Once the concentrate is made, it’s just water and sugar.
There is no need to transport it anywhere or deal with other issues associated with selling raw fruit.
And while most people don’t bother making their own juice anymore, from concentrate is one of the few options left.
How do they make from concentrate?
You might be wondering where this juice comes from in the first place.
From concentrate is actually created using a special method called reverse osmosis.
In this process, water is forced through a membrane that is impregnated with tiny pores.
As the water passes through these pores, the contaminants are pulled away leaving pure, clean water behind.
The end result is a type of liquid known as distilled water.
Is from concentrate better for you?
If you’re drinking from concentrate, it doesn’t really matter if it’s from concentrate or not.
But there are still some advantages to buying from concentrate instead of buying juice straight from the source.
For instance, if you decide to drink from concentrate, you won’t need to worry about the shelf life of the product.
When you buy juice from concentrate, manufacturers use specific storage temperatures to ensure the product lasts long enough to last throughout the year.
If you buy juice straight from the source, it won’t last that long.
Another benefit to buying juice from concentrate is convenience.
Since you aren’t dealing with raw fruit, you don’t have to worry about the smell, the time it takes to prepare it or anything else related to eating a fresh fruit.
You can simply open up the package and pour it into a glass.
What are the benefits of from concentrate?
Buying from concentrate allows you to save money on gas and grocery bills.
Since you aren’t going shopping to stock up on fruits and vegetables, you can keep those savings in your wallet or purse.
Not only that, but when you buy from concentrate, you avoid dealing with the messiness of preparing fresh produce.
What are the drawbacks of from concentrate?
While from concentrate is definitely affordable, it isn’t always available to everyone.
Some stores and restaurants won’t carry it, and even when it is available, it can be hard to locate.
This means that if you want to save a buck, you’ll have to shop around a bit.
How does from concentrate taste?
Since from concentrate has been processed, it tends to taste somewhat bland compared to juice that has come straight from the source.
And while it might seem like a good idea to go for the cheapest option, sometimes choosing from concentrate can cause problems.
Sometimes, from concentrate is packaged with additives that contain preservatives.
These additives give food products a longer shelf life, but can cause them to lose their flavor over time.
Is from concentrate more or less healthy?
It’s true that from concentrate is cheaper than juice from the source, but it’s not necessarily healthier.
While it can certainly help you cut down on your overall expenses, from concentrate is just as bad for you as regular juice.
While some brands are fortified with vitamins and minerals, others aren’t.
This means that you could end up drinking an entire carton of juice without getting any nutrition.
Plus, since from concentrate is often produced using unhealthy materials, it can negatively impact the environment.
This is something consumers should consider when deciding which juice to buy.
What is the nutritional value of from concentrate?
There are several ways to measure the nutritional value of juice.
The first way is to count the amount of calories present.
Juice is generally high in calories, with some varieties containing as much as 2,000 per cup.
However, most of these calories come from sugar.
Second, you can check the percentage of each nutrient that is present.
The chart shows that from concentrate juices tend to be higher in fat, saturated fats and sodium levels than juice that comes from the original source.
What are some common uses for from concentrate?
Although there are plenty of reasons to choose from concentrate, the two main uses for it are in soft drinks and sports drinks.
Since most soft drinks are now made with from concentrate, you can expect to see them marked with the phrase “from concentrate” somewhere on the packaging.
Cold Brew Concentrate Recipe
- 1 jar
- 6 ounces ground coffee beans
- 1/2 cups water
- Put ground coffee in a sizable jar or pitcher. Put the water in.
- Gently stir. For 12 hours, cover with a fresh kitchen towel or cheesecloth and leave at room temperature.
- Through the strainer, pour the coffee into the pitcher. Don’t combine the ingredients. After straining the mixture, get rid of the cheesecloth and coffee grounds.
- Place it over a sizable jar or measuring cup. Do not stir as you pour the coffee through the filter-lined sieve; instead, let it drip naturally into the jar. Up to an hour may pass during this.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks in an airtight container. Pour one part cold brew concentrate into one part water or your preferred milk to make a cup of coffee.