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Consumers advised not to rely on drinking fruit juice as a substitute for consuming fruit

After a test on 40 prepackaged chilled fruit juices, the city's consumer watchdog found preservatives present in some of the samples that claimed to contain no preservatives while a contaminant patulin in excess of the food safety action level was detected in two cold pressed fruit juices.

The cold pressed samples, one apple juice and blended apple juice, were both found to contain patulin at values exceeding the Centre for Food Safety’s action level of not more than 50 micro grams per kilogram, the Consumer Council said, adding that the distributors have since removed the products from the shelves.

In terms of nutritional content, the test showed dietary fiber content of all samples fell far below the daily body requirements, while most apple juices and a few blended fruit juices had only low vitamin C levels.

Meanwhile, the watchdog's test showed freshly squeezed and cold pressed orange juice samples produced a vitamin C content of 6.1 percent higher than the pasteurized orange juice on average, but the price difference between the two was 48.4 percent.

"Consumers will do well to consider if it is good value for money to spend so much more just for that marginally increased nutrition value in fruit juice, or to eat fruits directly to benefit from their better nutrients and dietary fiber,” the watchdog noted.

"Besides paying more, it could well also affect your health.”

The test focused mainly on some of the common fruit juices covering eight apple, 19 orange and 13 blended fruit juices, among them 11 cold pressed and four freshly squeezed and packed on site.

On a scale of 5, 18 samples – comprising 13 orange, 3 blended and 2 apple juices - scored a high overall rating of 4.5 points while another apple juice detected with patulin contamination was rated with the lowest score of 1.5 points.


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