Reading ingredients in the quintessential American breakfast drink feels good. It’s simply “orange juice.” I get a mental picture of a factory smushing the tangy orange balls until nothing else drips out. Then it strains some or all of the pulp and bottles the bright, vitamin C-filled juice. Three steps. At least, that was the picture I had until I overheard a conversation on my plane ride back from Science Online last month. A woman from the orange juice industry was explaining something I never thought to wonder about.
“You know how oranges taste different at different times of year?” she asked her seat partner.
“Yes,” I thought. There’s nothing more disappointing than a tasteless, or worse, bitter, orange.
“Well, that makes orange juice taste different at different times of year too,” she said.
“That makes sense,” I thought. And then she came out with the zinger.
“Except that every bottle of orange juice you’ll ever buy at the store tastes exactly the same.” Read the juicy details…