- Author: Bonnie Brown
Ventura County Master Gardener
A blind lemonade and orange juice taste-testing trial was incorporated into a recent citrus grower workshop in Santa Paula. The topic of the meeting was lemon rootstocks and scions and the attendees were for the most part lemon growers. This seemed like an opportune time during the refreshment portion of the workshop to see what commercial lemonade and orange juices these professional growers might prefer. This would be an unreplicated trial, since it was only this one time with a small set of tasters, but might be give a sense of what citrus farmers prefer as their juice.
Four different orange juice brands and four different lemonade brands were chosen based on a range of prices. Two tables, one with lemonades and the other with orange juices, were divided into four sections labeled with Roman numerals, 1-4. A small amount of each juice was provided to the tasters in unmarked cups. The testers ranked their preferences on a grid with an 'A' though 'D' ranking beneath the corresponding Roman numeral label. “A” being the preferred juice and “D” being the least preferred. A paper label on the juice container temporarily concealed the juice's actual identity.
In this small,unreplicated trial, the most expensive juices did not have the greatest number of taster votes. None of the tasters expressed negative opinions about any of the juices, but there were definite preferences as can be seen by the tally. There's no accounting for growers' tastes, maybe.
ORANGE JUICE RESULTS, in order of preference:
Trader Joe's fresh squeezed orange juice; 16 votes; 8.6 cents/oz.
Walmart store brand; 6 votes; 3.5 cents/oz.
Tropicana Original; 5 votes; 5.5 cents/oz.
Simply Orange with pulp; 3 votes; 9.0 cents/oz.
Simply Lemonade; 12 votes; 5.8 cents/oz.
Tropicana Lemonade; 10 votes; 6.8 cents/oz.
Minute Maid Lemonade; 5 votes; 2.3 cents/oz.
Newman's Own Virgin Lemonade; 3 votes; 5.6 cents/oz.
We thank all who were involved in this survey and to the five Master Gardeners who have been involved in not only the organization of this tasting, but also the grower meeting and help in harvesting some of the lemon trials that were reported on at this meeting.
This is the summary of a recent article by Allen Morris, a retired University of Florida Extension Economist
Even when a cure for HLB is implemented, unless something is done to stop the decline in orange juice consumption, the citrus-growing part of the industry will become too small to support the infrastructure of input suppliers, harvesters, grove caretakers, etc. necessary for it to function competitively. For example, assume that the lower prices from lower cost production get into the orange juice market evenly over the 2023–24 to 2031–32 nine-year period, reflecting the time required for fruit produced from new plantings of HLB-resistant trees to increasingly impact prices. Ten years after the first plantings, by 2031–32, only 58 million boxes of Florida oranges and no orange juice imports will be needed. In spite of an 11 percent increase in the orange juice market stimulated by the lower prices, the underlying rate of decline in orange juice consumption eliminated its benefit.
The three major orange juice brands will probably continue mainly as juice storing, blending and packaging operations, using orange juice imported primarily from Brazil and Mexico, but also using juice from the small declining volumes of Florida fruit still available to process. However, because of the high costs of processing small volumes of fruit in the large processing plants owned by the brands and the companies processing oranges for the Coca-Cola Company's Minute Maid and Simply brands, it is likely that one of the bulk processors may have an opportunity to process fruit for all three of the brands. This would reduce costs by processing all of the industry's remaining volumes of oranges in one plant, and thus allow that processor to continue to operate. The bulk processors, other than the ones storing and blending juice for the Coca-Cola Company's Minute Maid and Simply brands and the one which processes the remaining volumes of oranges, will soon have no economic reason to exist in Florida. Private labels' orange juice needs will be supplied by imports, primarily from Brazil and Mexico.
Because of the declining U.S. orange juice market, the brands will probably increase their focus on the European orange juice market, which, as was pointed out, is being positioned to grow. There will also probably be a proliferation of exotic juice blends like blueberry mango, pomegranate limeade, strawberry banana, watermelon, berry greens, etc. being introduced by the brands as they begin to position themselves away from citrus.
This conclusion doesn't have to happen. But it is likely to happen if something isn't done to restore the U.S. orange juice market to growth. One way to fund that is to partner with Citrus BR the way AIJN and the European orange buyers/packagers are doing. The U.S. orange juice market is second only to Europe in importance to Brazil as an export market for its orange juice. If approached, the Brazilians would probably be interested in working with the Florida Citrus Commission the way they are working with AIJN to restore growth to the U.S. orange juice market.
For the complete article, go to:
In the citrus world there is a relative tolerance to the bacteria that causes Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening. Grapefruit and some orange varieties are very sensitive and some mandarin varieties are much more tolerant, meaning they live longer in the presence of the bacteria. Work is being done to use mandarin juice as a substitute for the traditional glass of orange juice. A recent bulletin out from the University of Florida has this news. This does not mean that Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing are any less of a threat to citrus at this point. Just a way of prolonging an industry until true solutions can be found.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some people like to wake up and drink a glass of fresh Florida orange juice. With the greening disease ravaging Florida's citrus industry, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers want to make orange juice from disease-tolerant fruit.
Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening as it's commonly called, has destroyed 80 percent of citrus in Florida, a state where citrus is an $8.6 billion-a-year industry, according to UF/IFAS research. About 90 percent of the state's oranges are used to make orange juice, UF/IFAS researchers say.
So it's critical that scientists find sources for orange juice upon which consumers can rely. UF/IFAS researchers have found some mandarins that are tolerant to citrus greening.
In a newly published study, UF/IFAS researchers also found that consumers sense little, if any difference in the smell and taste of certain specific mandarins, compared to oranges.
“We found out what makes orange taste like orange and mandarin taste like mandarin, even though they are very close species,” said Yu Wang, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of food science and human nutrition and lead author of the study.
“If we use greening-tolerant mandarin for orange-juice making, the first thing we need to know is the difference between them,” Wang said. “This will provide more possibilities and flexibilities for the citrus industry in particular in the HLB era.”
In the past, researchers used traditional methods such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to study the flavor differences in orange and mandarin, Wang said. But people's senses of taste and smell are much more sensitive than analytical equipment, so scientists integrated sniffing into the study, she said.
It's important to remember that oranges are descendants of mandarin and pummelos, said Fred Gmitter, a UF/IFAS horticultural sciences professor and co-author of the study. So there's already a lot of mandarin's genetic makeup in an orange.
The problem is that oranges are very sensitive to citrus greening, Gmitter said.
“While we find other selections in the breeding program, mostly mandarin, hold of up a lot better against greening, we are finding some of these selections produce fruit that more closely resemble orange in appearance,” Gmitter said. “But more importantly, here, that they also very closely resemble orange in flavor.”
The study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry:
It can't be any more local than this. This is a juice container with the image and name of the person who has personally juiced your oranges right in front of you. This is almost the ultimate in branding for a locally produced product. This is clever advertizing for the product and it will stick in the mind of the consumer. Every time a glass of this Valencia orange juice is poured, it will remind the buyer that this is the place to go next time to buy orange juice, especially if it is good tasting juice!