Concentrate VS Juice Fresh: Everything You Need to Know

Nick Mirev
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    Both concentrated and fresh juices have a big role in the bar and restaurant industries. Fruit beverages are a preferred option for many customers and they are the main alternative to soft drinks. Furthermore, fruit flavor is a must in summer cocktails and other refreshing beverages. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the main aspects of the concentrate vs juice standoff. We’ll also share additional information about the most popular concentrated juices and their applications not just in the food service industry but also in hard seltzer manufacturing and other businesses. This article is part of our series on wholesale beverages. In our blog, you can read more about wholesale whiskey, wholesale tequila, and other beverages sold in bulk.

    Concentrate VS Juice

    Let’s start with the basics. What is juice concentrate? Juice concentrate is made by removing some of the water content of squeezed juice. That leaves behind a concentrated form of juice that is easier to transport and is less prone to spoilage. Fresh or not-from-concentrate (NFC) juice is produced from fruits or vegetables. After they are squeezed, they are pasteurized and bottled.

    Concentrate VS Juice Flavor

    Consumer data suggests that most people prefer to drink NFC juice. It’s fresher and has a more authentic aroma and taste compared to a concentrated one. Juice is a common ingredient for a lot of well-known and common cocktails. Usually, bartenders use concentrated juice when making cocktails. Ready-to-drink cocktails are also made from juice concentrate. For example, manufacturers will buy wholesale champagne and juice concentrate, mix it, bottle it, and sell mimosa cocktails.

    Concentrate VS Juice Storage

    One of the biggest advantages of concentrated juice compared to fresh one is that it’s easier to store and is less bulky. That’s why you’ll often see companies buy concentrated beverages from juice and soda wholesale distributors. Wholesale drinks suppliers often have concentrated versions not only for juices but also for coke, cider, and other beverages. By stocking juice concentrate, businesses will have additional storage space for other items they might purchase in larger quantities like wholesale water or wholesale wine.

    Concentrate VS Juice Shelf Life

    Even though NFC juice is pasteurized, it usually has a shorter shelf life compared to concentrated juice. The reason behind this is that the dehydration process makes the drink less likely to spoil. 

    Concentrate VS Juice Uses

    Not-from-concentrate juice is usually consumed as a standalone beverage. Concentrated juices are used in food manufacturing, as ingredients in basic cocktail recipes, or for making juice mixes.

    Key takeaway: Juice concentrate is made by dehydrating regular juice. That reduces the volume and makes transportation easier. It usually has a longer shelf life as well. Juice concentrate is used in cooking, beverage manufacturing, and other industries. Not-from-concentrate juice has a more intense flavor and aroma. It’s usually consumed as a standalone drink.
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    Juice Concentrate Applications

    As it is a versatile ingredient, juice concentrate has many applications. Naturally, it’s used mostly in the food and beverage industries. Let’s see some of the main applications of concentrated juice.

    1. Beverage manufacturing. Juice concentrate is a major ingredient in a lot of beverages. It is used for the production of fruit juices. The process is fairly simple. By just adding water, you have a ready-to-drink juice made of concentrate. That’s why juice concentrate is one of the frequently purchased wholesale products by fast food restaurants and other food service businesses. Establishments aim to optimize their storage and find suppliers that offer lower wholesale prices on beverages. Juice concentrate checks all the boxes in that regard.
      Concentrated juice has a large role in the cocktails industry as well. Whether it’s cocktails in restaurants and bars or seltzers sold in convenience stores, most of them have juice concentrate as an ingredient. Nightclubs or bars might also stock wholesale energy drinks mixed with juice as it gives both energy and refreshment to guests.
      Manufacturing some beers and alcoholic beverages might also include adding juice concentrate. For example, fruit-flavored vodkas or liqueurs might include juice in their recipes. 
    2. Smoothies production. Mixing yogurt, ice, and juice can be an excellent recipe for homemade and commercially produced smoothies. As concentrated juice has a stronger taste, it might only a few drops are needed to flavor a smoothie.
    3. Desserts production. Juice concentrate can be an important part of ice cream manufacturing or used as an ingredient in energy bars. 
    4. Cooking. Fruit juice concentrates are used for creating sauces that add acidity and sweetness to a dish. In addition, a lot of baked goods might get their fruit flavor from concentrated juice.
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    Most Popular Juices from Concentrate

    Throughout the years, a lot of people and companies have experimented by mixing different juices. That’s why there are hundreds of options on the juice market. Allow us to share the most common ones.

    • Orange juice. As it is one of the most beloved beverages around the world, orange juice is undoubtedly one of the most consumed types of juice. As 100% not-from-concentrate juice can come at a higher price, customers and businesses will often opt for orange juice from concentrate.
    • Apple juice. The sweetness of apples makes them ideal for juices and juice mixes. 
    • Grape juice. As it is one of the sweetest juices on the market, the concentrated form of grape juice can be used in a variety of cocktails and beverage mixes. Furthermore, grape concentrate is also used by manufacturers of wholesale liquor and wine.
    • Lemon and lime juices. Their citrusy flavor is among the main reasons why the concentrated form of these juices is frequently used in the beverage and food manufacturing industries. Lemon juice concentrate is frequently used in cooking as it can provide additional acidity.
    • Mixed fruit juices. Multivitamin or tropical mixes are among the popular options as well. These mixes often include not only fruits but vegetables too.
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Concentrate VS Juice

    If you’ve read this far, you might still have questions about the whole concentrate vs juice standoff. In the next paragraphs, we’ve answered some of the common questions people might have regarding the two varieties.

    Is Concentrated Juice Artificial?

    No, concentrated juice is not artificial. It’s just dehydrated normal juice. When comparing concentrate vs juice, a lot of people believe that the latter is much better for your health. However, there is little difference in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. As concentrate is just juice that’s been dehydrated, it contains the same amount of minerals and vitamins as fresh juice. It’s important to note that a lot of brands in the beverage industry add sugar or other additives during the manufacturing process of concentrate juices. So, when discussing concentrate vs juice, the excess sugar content might make the former less healthy and with a different taste that seems artificial.

    Is Concentrate Juice Bad for Your Health?

    Both squeezed and concentrated juice should be drunk moderately as they contain a lot of sugar. Even though they are a source of a lot of vitamins, the sugar in juices can lead to weight gain and obesity. That’s especially true for some of the juices with the highest sugar content like cranberry or grape juice.

    Generally speaking, concentrated juices are as bad for your health as freshly squeezed ones. However, some makers add additional sugar during the manufacturing process. These concentrated juices pose more health risks than fresh ones.

    Can You Produce and Sell Homemade Concentrate VS Juice?

    Cottage food laws don’t allow the production and selling of homemade juice or concentrate. That being said, if you wish to start a juice-making business, you need to research the regulations regarding the industry. You might be able to outsource the manufacturing part of the business to a commercial juice manufacturer and take care of the rest. There are private-label beverage and bulk juice producers that you can cooperate with.

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