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Science File

I Didn't Know That

November 26, 2001

Q: How is concentrated orange juice made?

A: Concentrated products were once made by boiling off excess water, but that produces a cooked flavor that is not desirable. A better way is to partially freeze the juice and then use a centrifuge to whirl away the ice. That is cheap and easy, but some flavorings freeze out in the ice, altering the taste. Most juices and juice powders are now made by evaporating off water at greatly reduced pressures or by freezing the juice and then evaporating the water in a vacuum, a process called freeze-drying. Concentrates are made because they are much cheaper to transport over long distances.

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