Fruits are probably the most important kind of food. They provide us with essential nutrients like minerals and vitamins in large doses to meet our daily requirements. But it can be difficult for many of us to consume fruits daily, simply because we have not made it a habit. But a quick solution to this problem is consuming fruit juices or Nectar made from fruit.
Fruit Juice is very popular worldwide. In a survey, it was estimated that a total of 35.9 million liters of fruit juice was consumed all over the world, 0.07 liters of which was in the EU alone, with 17.6 liters of fruit juice consumed per capita! But Germany was the largest consumer of fruit juice with a total consumption of 1.6 billion liters. Nectar is also a popular drink, with more than 45 million liters’ consumption in 2018.
Despite being such popular beverages, Fruit Juice and Nectar can’t be distinguished by many. So, in this article, we have taken the task on ourselves to differentiate between these two drinks, so when you go to the grocery store the next time to buy a fruit drink, you can make an informed and healthy decision.
Nectar is something that would be different for people living in different countries. But generally, Nectar refers to a concentrate of fruit juice that is considered too thick to drink; therefore, it must be diluted with water to make it drinkable. But the addition of water can make its flavor diluted and less palatable.
So, to cover the lost taste, additional chemicals are added, and they are called additives. Additives can come in many different shapes and forms. Some popular additives used in Nectars include flavor enhancers, stabilizers, and food coloring. But if an additive is purely to increase profit, it is considered an adulterant, usually hidden from the consumer.
Is It Healthy?
The term nectar can also describe fruit juice mixed with water and additives. Nectars also contain all the healthy nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, but water can dilute their concentration. Furthermore, the addition of sugar makes the drink less healthy, as sugar has a high glycemic index and can harm your health.
Sugar has a direct impact on our insulin levels. Our insulin levels spike quickly when we consume simple sugars, and large insulin doses are secreted in our bloodstream. This insulin then acts on insulin receptors on cells and converts the extra glucose into glycogen stored in our liver and muscle tissues. But when the limit for glycogen is peaked, all the extra glucose gets converted into fat and is stored.
So if you are consuming Nectar daily, you should be aware that what you are doing is unhealthy and requires your immediate attention.
How Is It Made?
Making Nectar is almost similar to making Fruit juice, but the final product is usually much thicker and contains more pulp. This extra thickness and pulp are why you can’t call it fruit juice. So, back to making Nectar.
The easiest and most convenient way of making Nectar at home is to use a plastic bag with a seal. First, wash your fruits thoroughly to decontaminate them, then cut them into small pieces and de-seed or de-pit them if they have pits or seeds. Now put these fruits pieces in the plastic bag, seal them, and squish it until it is reduced to pulp.
Fruit juice is a different product, made from either fruits or vegetables. Fruit juice usually has a lot more clarity and less pulp than Nectar. Imagine a glass full of apple juice; if you pass light through it, you will usually see the light on the other end. But if you repeat the same process with Nectar, all you’ll get is shadow.
Most products labeled as fruit juice will have 100% fruit juice and almost zero to very few additional ingredients. In many parts of the world, it is required to make the fruit juice from 100% fresh fruits, but this is not the case in all countries. It is common practice to mix fruit juice with water and even Nectar and sell it as fruit juice in some places.
Fruit juices have a lot of naturally occurring water, and microorganisms love this water. So, it is common to pasteurize the fruit juice before packaging it in a container and selling it. Pasteurizing is a technique that uses high heat to kill harmful bacteria in food. This increases the shelf-life of the juice many times. Some companies avoid pasteurizing or do it very minimally because the heat used during pasteurizing can destroy the beneficial nutrients in the juice, especially the B-complex.
It will help to remain vigilant when buying fruit juice from a store. Because you may end up buying juice that is only 10% real fruit juice, and the rest can be water mixed with other ingredients.
How Is It Made?
Making Fruit juice is very simple if you make it at home for your use. All you need is a good quality juicer and the fruits or vegetables you want to juice. But making Fruit juice on a commercial scale can be trickier. The first step is usually harvesting the fruits, sending them for inspection, selecting the ripest ones, and then sending them to the factory.
The fruits are fully squeezed in the factory, and the juice is extracted. Next is to pasteurize the juice and then package it in safe and sterile containers, ready to be shipped.
So What’s the difference Between Nectar and Fruit Juice?
- Fruit Juice contains almost no pulp, while Nectar contains plenty of it.
- Nectar usually has added water and additives, while Fruit Juice has none.
- Fruit Juice is healthier as it has no added sugar, while Nectar usually has some sugar added.
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