September 2, 2007

You Ask, I Answer: Fruit Juice Concentrate

I bought some gummy bears the other day. The label said, "Made with real fruit juice!" I looked at the back and the only ingredient that came close to that was "apple juice concentrate." What is that?

-- Joanne Lubek
Berlin, Germany

Oh, the things manufacturers can get away with on their food labels!

Fruit juice concentrate is the result of taking all the water out of fruit juice and then adding sugar to whatever is left behind. It is, simply put, an added sugar (not a natural one, like you would get from biting into an actual apple).

I always find it funny when manufacturers put "nutritious" statements on food that isn't supposed to be healthy. Even if a gummy bear is made with fruit juice, it is still candy.

Why do we need to assuage our guilt? It is perfectly OK to eat gummy bears not made with real fruit juice, as long as they are an occasional treat and you don't eat the whole bag.

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