With so many varieties of pomegranate juice to choose from, it can seem hard to know where to begin. As with most fruit juices, it’s best to go back to the source as much as possible - the purer the better.
Before you go for any brand of the juice you happen to find while shopping online or in the real world, it’s important to remember that no two brands are identical. This is because some brands cut corners and water down pomegranate juice with other juices.
Pure, natural pomegranate juice is a far better alternative. It’s also important to be wary of brands that overclaim the health benefits of pomegranate juice. Try going for a natural brand which does what it says on the bottle. Many brands claim to have the purest juice on the market, but only certain pomegranate juice products actually make good on their marketing slogans and offer you the real deal.
Read on, to learn how you can find the best organic pomegranate juice today.
As Nature Intended is Always Best
First and foremost, nature often knows best. On the hunt for the best health food product or drink, consumers often find something that’s not quite as it should be, or not as nature intended. As we mentioned, many juices are often watered down. Meanwhile, the brands pushing their products to a growing audience of consumers benefit nicely from marketing them as having some connection to the fruit in question and its purported health benefits.
The watering down of juices is often done for economic reasons - brands might mix all natural pomegranate juice with a cheaper alternative like blackberry or even blood orange juice to save money. The consumer is often none the wiser, as the product does contain natural pomegranate juice, and taste of the fruit.
All the while, the brand profits from selling a product that appeals to the growing number of people looking for natural pomegranate juice. However, if you were given an insight into just how much of your favourite juice drink was actually pure, you might be surprised.
Science Saves the Day for All-Natural Pomegranate Juice
Fortunately, this sly watering down of pure pomegranate fruit juice on an industrial scale is no longer as easy as it used to be, thanks to pioneering studies into the authenticity of pure pomegranate juice.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to carry out this deception on consumers, as a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2011 demonstrated how easy it is to prove whether natural pomegranate juice has been diluted. This is because pure fruit juice contains specific acids and organic compounds.
These compounds and acids give it a unique fingerprint of sorts, making it easy to spot whether juice with a different composition has been added in, during the bottling process. The aforementioned study found that in samples of authentic pomegranate juice, tartaric acids were found in concentrations of one to five milligrams per litre, and that quinic acids were found at concentrations of roughly one milligram per litre.
However, some samples purported to be pomegranate juice displayed far higher concentrations of those respective acids, indicating that they had been adulterated with grape and apple juice, or even orange juice.
It short-changes the consumer, when they’re seeking to add the benefits of natural pomegranate juice to their diet, as they’re getting a lesser product which may not have the desired effects they’re after.
How to Spot Impure Pomegranate Juice
If in doubt about a brand purporting to offer all natural pomegranate juice, consider some of the following options, to make sure you get exactly what you expect.
• The label itself
A lot of juice products boast about being 100 per cent pure juice. It sounds technically correct, as the juice probably did come from fruit originally. The problem stems from the fact that those fruits might not all necessarily be pomegranate.
Brands might use 100 per cent juice labels to sidestep stringent naming and labelling restrictions by bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
• The ingredients list
The FDA doesn’t force companies to disclose how pure juices are when it comes to ingredients, but it’s always worth checking, if a brand does choose to make that available on any of their products.
Why Purity Matters
If you care about getting all the benefits to be had from this amazing fruit, purity is paramount. That’s because natural pomegranate juice is packed full of polyphenols and Vitamin C. More research is required to prove how effective the polyphenols are, owing to differences between testing in a laboratory and the human body’s tendency to metabolise certain compounds in unpredictable ways.
In contrast, the amount of Vitamin C offered from drinking a glass of pomegranate juice at least once a day almost certainly goes towards boosting your immune system. Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is often found in all kinds of fruit juices, and helps keep diseases such as scurvy at bay, while helping with the repair of cells in your body.
Vitamin C is also one of the building blocks of your immune system, helping it create more of the antibodies you need to defend yourself from microbes and viruses.
Pomegranate juice is so effective that a single glass of juice is enough to provide you with at least 40 per cent of your Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin C for a single day, according to the Journal of Food Engineering. It’s rare to find a juice that packs such a punch, but this reveals the power of pomegranates.
What’s the Best Natural Pomegranate Juice Brand?
We’re sure you must now be wondering which brands are worth considering, so you know you’re getting the best natural pomegranate juice every time.
Nature’s Goodness Pomegranate Juice claims to offer “100 per cent natural juice”, free from GMOs, artificial colors, added sugars or preservatives. The only thing to watch out for is whether that 100 per cent figure is actually referencing pomegranate, as we outlined earlier.
POM Wonderful offers what it explicitly states as “100 per cent pomegranate juice”, which sounds promising. The brand is especially keen to mention itself as producing juice sourced from Californian-grown pomegranates. However, the brand faced a well-documented legal case, which found that they had misled consumers based on the advertising for their products.
When sourcing natural pomegranate juice, it’s always important to double-check the claims brands make about their juices. In the case of POM, it was found to have made claims about being able to treat, prevent or even reduce the risk of a number of diseases and medical conditions.
An associated legal case obligated POM to make claims on disease treatment and prevention, only they were supported by at least a single randomised, well-controlled clinical trial, with any claims supported by proven scientific evidence.
Signs of a Purer Juice
Basic observations such as the color of the juice can be a good indicator of how pure your pomegranate juice actually is.
Natural pomegranate juice is known for its rich, deep red color. A bit of sediment in the bottle is often a sign of a more organic origin. Although most juices are often sweet, and pomegranate juice contains high levels of natural sugars, it shouldn’t necessarily be too sweet, and this could be a good way of spotting how pure it really is.
Authentic pomegranate juice should have a more bitter taste, and this is due to the presence of tannins in the pips. If the fruit is juiced in its entirety, peel and all, the taste should be even more bitter, as the skin of the fruit contains a higher concentration of these tannins.
These very same tannins are just some of the polyphenols present in pomegranate juice, so if you think there’s a trace of bitterness in the taste, you can bet that it comes from that.
Pure organic pomegranate juice can be refreshing and just what’s needed, as part of a healthy, balanced diet. As we mentioned, labelling is the key to determining just how authentic it is, and this can help inform the purchases you make.
Don’t settle for an inferior product or be the victim of brands which overpromise the health benefits of pomegranate juice. There are plenty of brands that put in the effort to bottle the juice in as natural a form as possible - with minimal dilution.