Fruit Juices – Product Review
The other day at The Dollar Shop in Mulund I picked up a juice brand called Rubykrist. The sales boy told me that this wasn’t real fruit juice, it was synthetic as it was made from concentrate. He showed out the “Made from Concentrate” label and told me that Indian juices were the pure ones.
But all Indian juices are made from concentrate (which does not necessarily mean that they are synthetic), but when I informed the sales boy about this, he argued. The ingredients listed on the label on Rubykrist Grape Juice did indeed show that the juice was not synthetic, that it contained real fruit, although it was made from concentrate. I decided to buy the juice to try it out. The price was Rs 99/- for two litres of grape juice which I thought was a good bargain. Most Indian juices cost from Rs 70- 80/- per litre.
The taste of the juice was a trifle dilute as compared to the Indian juices. The juice also contained flavours, apparently “natural”. Another disadvantage was that this juice contained colour and there was a slight synthetic taste. I liked the juice however, as it wasn’t too sweet. Its not easy to get sugar free juices in India as they always seem to be out of stock. And the ones that contain with sugar are excruciatingly sweet for my taste. I guess Rubykrist is okay if you want to serve it in lieu of a soft drink, a healthy drink instead of the usual Colas, but as a breakfast drink I think it isn’t pure enough.
As for the Indian juices – whether, Real, Leh Berry or Safal, they are all made from concentrate which makes them processed and thus leaves them with far less nutritious than packed fresh juices. However out of these, Real Apple and Real Orange do not contain artificial flavours or colours. That is big plus. They are also less dilute than Rubykrist.
Leh Berry, also made from concentrate, contains water, sugar, fruit juice concentrate, berry pulp, citric and ascorbic acid and also flavourings, but no colour and no preservatives. However, the flavours are strong and there is a slight artificial taste to the juice.
Safal fruit juice seems to be the worst of the lot. In addition to it being too sweet, it contains flavours and colours. Even though fruit concentrates are present in good quantity, there are stabilizers, an acidity regulator, plus colours and flavours. No preservatives though. This juice has an artificial taste inspite of real fruit being used.
Safa is imported from the middle east and is made from concentrate. It doesn’t contain anything artificial, but I didn’t like this as much as I like the Real Juices.
Ceres, from South Africa is real, really real juice as its not made from a concentrate and nor does it contain any flavours or colours. Its tasty too…and expensive. Can cost upwards of Rs 80/- for one litre.
Another South African brand, Liquifruit, is like Ceres, as its not made from concentrate. Not as tasty as Ceres though.
Now, these juices, which all sell on the nutrition angle, are fairly good when compared to say, Tang the powder drink. Tang is completely artificial, a non fruit drink. True, it has added vitamins, and a strong orange flavour, but its synthetic.
If you get these juices at a discount, you can pick one up for around Rs 50, but the prices depend on the flavour and the brand. The average price of a litre is around Rs 70/-
Update 12th May 2008: Mumbai Mirror wrote about this topic today. Basically it was what I had written (this post is a year old) but with far less information.