Freezing Orange Juice: Healthier Than Freshly Squeezed Juice

How can our body absorb the health-promoting components of orange juice better? Researchers have made a surprising discovery – and explain why we should freeze orange juice.

Drinking freshly squeezed, juice is the healthiest – that’s what people thought until now. However, the results of a Spanish study seem to refute this: it is healthier to freeze orange juice before drinking it.

Study: Orange juice protects against cancer

So-called carotenoids are the focus of many scientific studies. The reason: the fat-soluble pigments, which characterize the color and shape of tomatoes and carrots, among other things, are said to have various health-promoting effects. Our body converts carotenoids into vitamin A, for example, which in turn is important for our eyesight, among other things.

Spanish researchers from the Laboratory of Food Color and Quality at the University of Seville have been working on two rather rare carotenoids, which are found in orange juice, among other things. Existing studies show that the two substances phyotene and phytofluene can prevent certain types of cancer such as breast and prostate cancer, but also diseases such as arteriosclerosis.

Freezing Orange Juice – That’s Why It’s So Healthy

The scientists wanted to know how the human body can best absorb the health-promoting substances. In their study, they analyzed the cell structures of freshly squeezed, pasteurized and frozen orange juice that was thawed either in the microwave, at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

The result: the general concentration of phytotenes and phytofluene in the juice that was frozen had decreased significantly. At the same time, however, the deep-freezing process increased the so-called bioavailability of the carotenoids, i.e. the ability of the body to absorb the substances. The effect was greatest for juices that were first frozen and then thawed at room temperature.

Freshly squeezed juice is not always better

“The concentration of carotenoids in the frozen juice has decreased. At the same time, however, the particles of the substances were reduced in size and cell material was destroyed by the deep-freezing process – this meant that more carotenoids could be absorbed by the circulatory system,” explains study leader Prof. Paula Mapelli-Brahm.

Freshly squeezed juice, on the other hand, had the highest concentration of carotenoids, but according to the researchers, this does not automatically mean that all of them can be absorbed by the body.

Can you freeze orange juice if it’s in a tetrapak?

For a healthy start to the day, it may be worth freezing orange juice after shopping. But which method is best for this? In principle, orange juice in a Tetrapak can simply be placed in the freezer. However, it should be checked beforehand whether an air pocket has formed in the box. Because this causes the cardboard to expand and finally burst when the temperature drops below zero. A practical alternative is to portion orange juice into small bottles – this way large quantities do not have to be defrosted immediately.

How to freeze freshly squeezed orange juice

Orange juice can be stored in the freezer at a temperature of minus 18 degrees for at least three months. In particular, unpasteurized, freshly squeezed juice, which can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three days, can be preserved much longer by freezing. In order to obtain a safe product after thawing, freshly squeezed juice should be placed directly in the freezer. If there are several days between production and freezing, germs and bacteria will form in the meantime. For the same reason, if you’re going to freeze the orange juice, put it in sterile containers.

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