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February 27, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

FDA Probes Complaints of Diluted Juice: The Food and Drug Administration says the investigation is based on charges that products being sold as 100% apple juice are actually diluted with sugar water. The agency's announcement comes nearly a week after the maker of Minute Maid juices sued six suppliers of apple juice concentrate in Tampa, Fla., federal court, claiming they sold diluted products. The FDA said other juice brands are also affected. Minute Maid said it is withdrawing all its 100% apple juice products from warehouses but isn't pulling the products from grocery store shelves, because they're safe to drink. The sugar is a form of the fructose found in all fruits, FDA Deputy Commissioner Mary Pendergast said. Not enough was added to the juice to significantly affect its nutritional value, she said. However, 100% juice products are generally more expensive than others, so consumers weren't getting what they paid for.

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