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Taste test: mango juice

Mangoes were so plentiful in the Hawaiian back yard of my childhood that we sometimes, unbeknownst to my parents, would toss them over the fence at unsuspecting friends. At the time, we were more concerned with clearing the yard of debris on our Saturday morning yard duties than enjoying the fruit as a healthy snack or drink. Today, I would relish a mango tree at arm's reach. Just thinking about the mango salsa, the salads and the delicious morning juices makes me long for the fresh fruit. Our judges joined in my reminiscing to taste eight brands of store-bought mango juices. Some were mixed with peach flavor. A couple tasted as delicious as fresh-picked fruit.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
V8 V-Fusion Peach Mango 69Tropicana Farmstand Peach Mango 59GoodBelly Mango 54
Judges'

comments
This juice was a smooth blend of mango and peach flavors. Judges enjoyed the thin texture of the juice, along with the appealing, pinkish color. "It's nice because it's not too sweet, not too thick and not a weird, school bus yellow color like some of the others," said one judge. "I would love this over a tall glass of ice and with a warm slice of crusty toast."The familiar juicemaker did a good job of producing a sweet, delicious drink that left our judges craving seconds. "It tastes clean, transparent and light," said one taster, adding, "It's almost perfumy." Another raved about the beautiful pink-orange color. "It looks like the Tuscan sun in late autumn, and the taste is brilliant," he said. "It's tart but not too assertive. I love this juice!"GoodBelly's organic drinks contain active probiotic cultures and claim to offer digestive health benefits. Our judges weren't concerned about the benefits, because GoodBelly had them at taste. The color of the drink was lighter than some of the competition. Judges appreciated the mild flavor, saying it wouldn't overpower anything else on their breakfast tables. "This reminds me a bit of a pineapple juice," said one judge. "It's a bit tart and the color is dazzling."
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.99 for a 46-ounce bottle from Winn-Dixie.$4.29 for a 46-ounce bottle from Winn-Dixie.$3.99 for 1 quart from the Fresh Market.


Also Sampled: Odwalla Mango Tango ($2.29 for a 12-ounce bottle from Target, 47 points); Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango ($3.49 for a 32-ounce bottle from Target, 31 points); Naked Mighty Mango ($2.50 for a 15.2-ounce bottle from Target, 25 points); Pom Mango ($2.99 for a 12-ounce bottle from Target, 30 points); and Looza Mango ($3.99 for a 33.8-ounce bottle from the Fresh Market, 20 points).

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; Wayne Conery, manager of the R Bar on Treasure Island; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All drinks were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving size8 ounces8 ounces8 ounces
Calories120120110
Fat/Fiber0g / 0g0g / 1g0g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium26g / 70mg28g / 40mg22g / 10mg
Carbs/Protein28g / 1g30g / 1g26g / 0g

Taste test: mango juice 04/28/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2014 7:30pm]
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