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Apple Juice Thread


Last Edited: September 21, 2007, 4:56 am

Yesterday someone started a thread about toxic apple juice in the lottery discussion, so I'd like to make a comment on this matter.  I am unaware of this problem, so I'm curious where that story originated.

I was in the food packaging business for over 20 years and visited several large juice manufacturers. So to briefly give you my "Reader's Digest" version of juice processing..

First Mother Nature grows her apples on our lovely trees and the grower delivers them to the juice producer.  The apples go through an inspection process and are then washed by industrial strength washers. (In other words, you wouldn't want to shower in one of them!)  Then they are mashed and mashed by a hammer mill.  The mash is sent to an hydraulic press where the juice extraction takes place.  It is then filtered and pasteurized.  The juice is heated to very high temperatures just below boiling point and then cooled.  During the bottling process the bottles are washed & sterilized and a vacuum is created as the cap is applied to the bottle.

Okay, I hope this makes everyone feel just a little better. So, in other words - by the time you get bottled juice into your fridge, it probably has no toxins in it whatsoever, but it also has little nutritional value unless supplements were added to the juice.

Bacteria can come from a picker who doesn't wash his hands after using the bathroom. Whether it's here or in some foreign country isn't the issue.  It's how careful are we to insure that the American consumer gets clean, safe food?  If juice has been converted into concentrate, then it's likely it came from China, since it has cornered the market on juice concentrates. However, even the companies that buy these concentrates follow the same careful processing method to destroy bacteria that might be in the fruit. Still, with so much of our produce coming from China and South America, I don't see how we can regulate the safety of our food. Why not simply give this job back to the American grower?

Now, what can make us sick?  I hate to say this, since I believe in eating natural foods, but that fresh, organic juice is where you're going to find most of your toxins.  I mean, if you ate raw meat, there would be a much higher risk of getting something like E. coli, right?  So that's why we need to cook all meat products thoroughly.  It's much less common in fruit because of its high acid content.  However, when you buy unpasteurized products in the refrigerated section, you no longer know where the apples came from and if they contained some little microorganism that's going to give you a tummy ache.  Actually, the good news is that if you get diarrhea, your body washes out the poison. The bad news is that some of these toxins are deadly.

So my advice to you is, if you are going to buy juice from concentrate in the refrigerated section, make sure the fruit is grown in the United States or at least that's where the concentrate is from.  in other words, start drinking filtered water!  LOL  Soon home grown juice will be sold on the Black Market. Anyway, this won't guarantee the absence of any unwanted contaminants, but at least you hope one of the factory workers didn't piss into the concentrate because he hates Americans.  

I started to write a short paragraph and now this is turning into a novel.  I just want to mention that the FDA doesn't tell us the truth. It is not our friend.  Years ago when I was in the biz, almost everything was packaged in glass.  Glass breaks and is heavy to ship, so plastic helps to keep the price lower and is easier to handle.  The problem is (no matter what baloney they try to tell you) plastic breaks down over time and small particles will migrate into the food and juice. We knew this 25 years ago, but there was too much money in plastics and nobody was going to stop progress, even if it meant affecting the health of the consumer. The reason I mentioned the FDA is that they are still allowing DuPont to make cookware with Teflon, even though it's been proven beyond doubt to contain carcinogens that break down when heated. Duh?  So when they tell you it's okay to cook everything in plastic, they're full of manure, because that only speeds up the transfer of the chemicals into your food.  If you buy something in a plastic container, scoop it out and cook it in a glass or ceramic dish. I guess I shouldn't have used "manure" because at least that's natural and there's nothing natural about using the same product on the pots and pans in which we cook our children's food as they do on carpet to prevent stains. For years tests have shown that the gases emitted by Teflon-type products cause death in birds. So get out your cast iron pans and learn to scrub!

I'll stop here, because I might never stop if I start writing about styrofoam. You should see what a hot cup of coffee or a bowl of chili in styrofoam looks like under a microcope after 20 minutes.  But the FDA says the people who post warnings about these things are "alarmists."  Hypocrite yes, alarmist no.  I am only writing about what I know to be true, not necessarily what I practice.  After all, I'll never give up my non-stick skillets and my microwave oven because I'm much too lazy.

Entry #80


truecriticComment by truecritic - September 21, 2007, 5:19 am
This is the URL for the thread

This is a URL for a FDA article, appears to be pre-2000, about Patulin in apple juice.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 21, 2007, 5:21 am
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Much of the juice in the refrigerated section has been pasteurized as well. Look at the time I wrote this. This is what happens when you take cough syrup, which is why I didn't buy any for 2 weeks until today. It worked instantly and I felt like singing. No more stuffy nose and I can breathe again! But then I got violently sick to my stomach and didn't have the strength to drive to Walgreen's for some Pepto. I'm still quite weak and shaky.   On the other hand, maybe that meatloaf dinner with green beans my neighbor brought over at 8:00 was full of toxins. LOL Am I getting paranoid or what?
truecriticComment by truecritic - September 21, 2007, 5:25 am
*Minor correction...the article is dated 2000 but all the testing involved seems to have taken place in the late 1990s.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 21, 2007, 5:27 am
Thanks, TC. Yes, I saw the thread.   I'm aware of Patulin in apple juice, but haven't heard that come up in many years either. It's from a type of mold. This is why so many people say organic isn't always the best solution unless you know what you're doing. I used to juice my own carrots and apples and I never got sick, but I also examined the fruit I bought and cleaned it thoroughly. However, fresh juice should be injested immediately before it begins to deteriorate.
Rick GComment by Rick G - September 21, 2007, 8:58 am
Interesting info. I believe it about the styrofoam...makes for a crappy cup of coffee.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 21, 2007, 2:56 pm
Thanks, Rick. I went off-topic a little from plastics to Teflon to Styrofoam. Yes, it makes a lousy cup of coffee. Chances are, since we usually drink our coffee within minutes, styrofoam won't end up hurting most of us. Neither will plastic, but it does get into the food. Even that plastic wrap we're told to cover food with in the microwave isn't very healthful since it might melt onto the food. So it depends on its handling.

One problem with Teflon coated products is that we can't always see the scratches on the skillet or pan and pieces might be getting into our food. There have been whistleblowers from big companies like DuPont who have come forward with reports stating that it is a health hazzard, but it's still on the market.

Here's a link you might be interested in reading. I hope everyone reads this. I mean, why give a company 5 years to lower the amount of carcinogens in a product? I know - to save money! As the article notes: (this is from 2006)

"The EPA Science Advisory Board voted unanimously on Wednesday, February 15th, to recommend that PFOA be upgraded from the current "suggestive carcinogen" to a "likely carcinogen." A month ago, DuPont and eight other companies made a voluntary agreement with the agency to reduce the use of the Teflon family of chemicals by 95 percent in the next five years, after DuPont agreed to pay a $15 million fine to the EPA for the alleged hiding of toxicological data on the chemical. Past research has documented that PFOA causes cancer in animals. More than 95 percent of Americans carry C8 in their blood."

Why isn't this front page news?   Is the arrest of Paris Hilton more important than the American Public's health?


ToadSchmodeComment by ToadSchmode - September 23, 2007, 8:19 am
I worked for a citrus juice plant in 80's. Over the long period i worked there i learned all positions in the juicing process. Now i can't speak for all juice plants, but, the citrus juice we made was from the worst crop. The good looking stuff went to the packing houses and sold in bags, the second - third grade stuff we got. The juice was ran through an evaporator to condense it into concentrate and along the way all the additives were added for flavoring. No part of the citrus was wasted. They even captured the oil coming off the peel when it was squashed to sell to the cosmestic company's. The peel itself was sold to the cattle farmers, i guess the cows loved it.
But now for the good part! In the summer they started making tomato paste. Tomato's were totally different. They had to be floated in. We'd fill the truck with water and down a metal canal they'd go to the grading tables were the ladies were supposed to throw out the bad ones and whatever trash came through. A few times anight you'd hear screaming and it was graders running because a snake or rat or??? came through and they weren't touching it. So the snake, rat or whatever when down in the choppers with the tomato's and wha la! it was turned into tomato paste. So next time you use that tomato paste and see the little spices, it not always basil!
And i have read recently that plastic has been linked to down syndrome in babies and Alzheimer's in the elderly. The startling facts with down syndrome is it used to be 1 in a 1000 and has recently jumped to 1 in 150. Teflon flu has been reported to be found in 100% of all people tested. Due to cooking in teflon pans and Teflon in the clothing in the furniture, carpet, etc... But what can you do? Everying is packaged in plastic now a days.

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