Vitamin C and Acacia Gum in Pineapple Juice?

Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by marvz

The pack of juice I got has only 3 ingredients. The pineapple juice, acacia gum, and Vitamin C.

As my rule of thumb, a healthy but shelf stable food should only contain up to 5 ingredients. This pineapple juice contains only 3, and all of them are natural ingredients.

Vitamin C is a nutrient

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. It’s needed for the growth and repair of human body tissues. It boosts the body’s immune system. If you often catch a cold, your family will urge you to take a lot of Vitamin C and water.

Vitamin C is  a natural preservative

Vitamin C is sour, like vinegar and citrus. Vitamin C lowers the pH of foods, thus, making it resistant to microbial spoilage.

Pineapple organic acids are 60% citric and 30% malic. For processing purposes, if the inherent acidity is not enough, either malic or citric acid can be added. The two are available in powder form and readily available for purchase.

However, adding Vitamin C instead serves two purposes. It helps extend the pineapple juice shelf life. Then fortifies the product with the said nutrient. “The fortified with Vitamin C” on the label often attract buyers.

Pineapple is a natural source of Vitamin C

Pineapple is a natural source of Vitamin C. According to recent USDA data, pineapple has 47.8 mg Vitamin C per 100 grams.

Regular pineapple consumption may provide the Vitamin C you need. No need for supplements. Likewise, eating other fruits will also supply you with vitamins.

Vitamin C is sensitive to both heat and light

Vitamin C is not a stable nutrient. It degrades when exposed to both heat and light. Heat as low as simmering is enough to break down the vitamin. 

So, whenever you heat or expose to light any Vitamin C rich foods, don’t expect any Vitamin C benefits.

To protect Vitamin C supplements from light, makers pack them in amber bottles. While food processors are sometimes adding it back.

I’m sure this juice pack had gone through heat and light exposure, which made the Vitamin C content down to zero. Therefore, the maker felt the need to bring it back, right before sealing the package.

The thick packaging wall protects the vitamin from light. Let’s hope it has not gone through excessive heat – during transport and storage – before falling into your hands. Else, the effort of adding back the Vitamin C will go to waste.

Pineapple is a natural source of dietary fibers

According to recent USDA data, pineapple has 1.4g of dietary fiber per 100 grams. You probably need about 2 kg of pineapple a day or equivalent to meet the dietary fiber requirement.

Acacia gum is a binder and a fiber source

Acacia gum is also known as gum arabic. It’s a sap extracted from the acacia tree. It’s indeed a dietary fiber which also serves as a binder for food, paint, and ceramic.

WebMD says, acacia gum is good for people with high cholesterol, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome. However, the claims need more scientific proof.

The gum is also effective as medication for sore throat and stomach inflammation.

For liquid foods, it acts as an emulsifier. Preventing fibers from settling down to the bottom. I doubt it though.  I think I should experiment.

Why they’re adding acacia gum to pineapple juice?

I see two reasons here.

1. The juice in the package has low fiber content. The original value of 1.4g/100grams is not enough to meet the recommended intake. Adding more augments the juice effectiveness.

The juice is probably made from excess juices. Excess extract from the processing of pineapple cubes and slices. Packed as a natural juice, and added with acacia gum to compensate for the lack of fibers.

2. The acacia gum acts as an emulsifier, keeping the natural fibers suspended in pineapple juice.

Fibers naturally settle to the bottom. So juice makers are trying to battle this problem by adding the phrase, “shake well before drinking.”

On the contrary, we’re too lazy to read. We just drink. Then complain later that fibers are at the bottom. Emulsifiers such as acacia gum can minimize the problem.

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