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Taste Test: orange juice with calcium

Getting nutrients from many different sources is one of the keys to good health. And food manufacturers are competing to offer more options. One popular strategy has been to add nutrients to favorite foods such as cereal and juice. But do the fortified foods taste different? That's the question we asked ourselves while sampling seven brands of calcium-fortified orange juice from the refrigerated sections of local grocery stores. We picked pulp-free juices labeled "premium" where stores provided the option. A couple had a slightly medicinal taste, but the top choices were free of any suggestion of minerals. All contain 35 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium for adults in each 8-ounce serving. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Florida's Natural

8 ounces

Minute Maid

8 ounces

Publix Premium

8 ounces

Calories Fat/Fiber 110

0g / 0g

110

0g / 0g

110

0g / 0g

Sugars/Sodium/Carbohydrates 22g 0mg 26g 24g 15mg 27g 22g 0mg 26g
Protein /Calcium 2g 350mg 2g 350mg 2g 350mg
Judges' comments All four judges said this juice was a winner because of its fresh-squeezed qualities. "If it had a little pulp, I would swear it was made this morning," said one judge. They liked the balance of sweet to tart as well as the pleasing color. "It's a bit pale, but not unpleasantly," said another panelist. None detected a mineral flavor or aftertaste. Minute Maid's juice was more tart than some of the others. "It's tangy and full-bodied," said one judge. One said he tasted more orange peel than orange pulp. "If you don't have a sweet tooth, this juice would likely be a good pick," said another. Thick and smooth were the words judges used to describe the texture and flavor of the Publix Premium juice. "It's got a bit of a tang to it and it's really refreshing," said one. "I can almost taste the individual oranges," said another.
Shopping information $3.69 for a 59-ounce carton from Publix. $2.99 for a 64-ounce carton from Winn-Dixie. $3 for a 64-ounce carton.
Product/serving Florida's Natural

8 ounces

Minute Maid

8 ounces

Publix Premium

8 ounces

Calories Fat/Fiber 110

0g / 0g

110

0g / 0g

110

0g / 0g

Sugars/Sodium/Carbohydrates 22g 0mg 26g 24g 15mg 27g 22g 0mg 26g
Protein /Calcium 2g 350mg 2g 350mg 2g 350mg
Judges' comments All four judges said this juice was a winner because of its fresh-squeezed qualities. "If it had a little pulp, I would swear it was made this morning," said one judge. They liked the balance of sweet to tart as well as the pleasing color. "It's a bit pale, but not unpleasantly," said another panelist. None detected a mineral flavor or aftertaste. Minute Maid's juice was more tart than some of the others. "It's tangy and full-bodied," said one judge. One said he tasted more orange peel than orange pulp. "If you don't have a sweet tooth, this juice would likely be a good pick," said another. Thick and smooth were the words judges used to describe the texture and flavor of the Publix Premium juice. "It's got a bit of a tang to it and it's really refreshing," said one. "I can almost taste the individual oranges," said another.
Shopping information $3.69 for a 59-ounce carton from Publix. $2.99 for a 64-ounce carton from Winn-Dixie. $3 for a 64-ounce carton.

ALSO SAMPLED: Winn-Dixie Premium ($3.29 for a 64-ounce carton); Hannaford ($3.79 for an 89-ounce carton from Sweetbay); Tropicana ($2.99 for a 59-ounce carton from Publix); and HomeMaker Premium ($1.98 for a 64-ounce carton from Walmart).

PANELISTS: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Taste Test: orange juice with calcium 01/14/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 3:30am]

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