You would think something as simple as orange juice would be pretty innocent, right? If you were a person who thought that, then you are WRONG!
The advertisements don’t lie when they say the juice is made from real oranges and not from concentrate, but what they fail to mention is the unnatural, twisted transformation that these oranges go through to become juice.
Coca-Cola won’t say how it makes its best-selling Simply Orange orange juice, but one thing is for sure: It’s not so simple. A new investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek shows that the Coke-owned orange juice brand that’s billed as less processed version of Tropicana is in fact a hyper-engineered and dauntingly industrial product. The factory in Florida where the bulk of Coke’s orange juice products are made sounds less like a bucolic grove where natural things grow than an oil refinery where natural things go to die. And yes, that includes the “Grove Made” variety.
This story starts with an obscure algorithm called ‘The Black Book’ it is a plan that Coca-Cola has devised to standardize their ‘orange juice’, which is made up of anything but natural ingredients. According to the developer of the ‘Black book’ algorithm, Bob Cross “It requires analyzing up to 1 quintillion decision variables to consistently deliver the optimal blend.” Satellites monitor crops, determine expected crop yields, cost, weather, and even down to detail over 600 flavors in each batch of orange juice; all over seen by this algorithm. Doug Bippert, Coke’s vice president of business acceleration says “we can quickly replan the business in 5 or 10 minutes just because we’ve mathematically modeled it.”
Eight months to a year orange juice is stored in tanks and deprived from oxygen to prevent spoiling, it is slowly stirred at the bottom to prevent sedimentation. Transported via a 1.2 mile long pipeline where it is flash-pasteurized and separated by sweetness, acidity, orange type and batch season. This causes essential vitamins, minerals, flavors and fragrances to be lost. The ‘black book’ algorithm is then used to re-establish the orange essence. The reconstituted orange essence is nothing that can be found in nature, which raises the concern of truth in food labeling. Alissa Hamilton, author of the 2010 book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, states that consumers have a right to know about the various batches used in the process.