Sunswell Machinery Co., Ltd.
Bottling machines for water, juice, carbonated drinks, milk and oil with 12 years of global market experience and more than 50 countries presence.
September 5, 2023
Summer is the season for drinking beverages. A friend around me asked me, 'What is NFC juice and is it healthier than other drinks? Today, I will introduce everyone to NFC juice.
What is NFC juice?
The full name of NFC is not from Concentrate, a non-concentrated reduced juice. What is the difference between NFC and traditional juice? Let's start with the production process of fruit juice.
NFC juice lacks two steps of concentration and blending compared to traditional juice. When preparing concentrated fruit juice, substances such as water, sugar, and food additives are usually added to the original fruit juice. According to the different additives, it is divided into juice drinks and concentrated reduced juice FC. Next, let's get to know juice drinks, concentrated reduced juice, and non- concentrated reduced juice in sequence.
Common fruit juice beverages include fruit flavored beverages such as orange granules.
Let's take a look at its ingredient list. The top ranked ingredient is water, followed by white sugar or syrup, followed by pulp and concentrated fruit juice. It indicates that water is the most abundant component in these beverages, followed by sugar, and the proportion of true fruit juice content is not significant. According to Chinese standards, it is sufficient for the original juice content in this type of beverage to exceed 10%.
Concentrated Reduced Fruit Juice FC (From Concentrate)
This type of juice is usually prominently labeled with 100% juice on the packaging.
The reason why it is called "reduced juice" is because it only adds water to the concentrated juice, and the amount added is equal to the amount removed during concentration, so it almost 100% reduces the juice. Look at its ingredient list, it says water and concentrated juice.
Not From Concentrate
This type of beverage packaging will include NFC juice, which is directly sterilized and canned after juice extraction, reducing the loss of nutrients and flavor substances during the concentration and blending process. It is closer to natural fruits than concentrated and reduced juice FC. Look at its ingredient list, only juice.
Some friends may ask, why does the production process of fruit juice beverages require concentration steps? This is because after concentrating the original fruit juice, the soluble solids can reach as high as 65% -75%. Simply put, concentration reduces the volume of the fruit juice and increases its concentration. Its advantage is that it is easy to package and transport, and because the acidity and sugar content increase, the antibacterial effect of concentrated juice is better than that of original juice, which can greatly save costs.
As people increasingly tend to pursue natural and fresh food, juice processing technology continues to innovate, developing non concentrated and reduced juice that does not require high-temperature concentration. But this juice, which is closest to natural fruits, has higher requirements for raw material selection, processing technology, and transportation costs.
So, the ingredients of various fruit juice beverages can be summarized as the following formula: fruit juice beverages: water+sugar+concentrated fruit juice+food additives
Concentrated reducing juice: water+concentrated juice
Non-Concentrated Reduced Juice (NFC Juice): Raw Juice
Is the nutrition of NFC juice good?
Although NFC juice is the closest juice to natural fruits, its nutritional composition is still slightly worse than natural fruits.
Nutrition in NFC juice
The process of making fruit juice can easily lead to the loss of some nutrients. Taking apples as an example, let's take a closer look at what nutrients are lost from apples to apple juice?
The insoluble nutrients in apples include insoluble dietary fiber, carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin), and minerals such as calcium, which are filtered out during the production process. If you purchase juice that contains a certain amount of fruit pulp, these nutrients will be lost less.
Insoluble nutrients suffer severe losses, so can water-soluble nutrients be spared? Unfortunately, some water-soluble nutrients (such as vitamin C, quercetin, catechins, anthocyanins, etc.) are easily in direct contact with oxygen and enzymes in the flesh of apples when their cell walls are destroyed, leading to oxidative decomposition. It can be seen that water-soluble vitamins can also be destroyed.
The advantage of NFC juice is that there is no concentration and blending process, which reduces the losses in these two processes. However, unfortunately, the juice needs to undergo sterilization treatment before being canned, usually using thermal sterilization technology. High temperature can cause a large amount of water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2) to decompose.
With the innovation of technology, the ultra-high pressure sterilization technology HPP (note: this technology can kill pathogenic microorganisms without damaging nutrients) has emerged. Although it can retain more nutrients, this technology is not effective in killing spores, often requiring refrigerated transportation and low-temperature sales, and the shelf life is also shorter than traditional thermal sterilization juice.
Summary: Even with NFC juice, the nutrients are still much less than fresh fruits (insoluble fibers, some minerals, and bioactive components such as phenols). But compared to juice drinks and 100% reduced juice, NFC juice has more nutritional components. The following figure shows the loss of nutrients in fruit juice during the production process.
Ranking of Nutrient Content: Fresh Fruit>NFC Juice>100% Reduced Juice>Juice Beverages