Vitamin C is a key quality factor for orange juice, so the amount of vitamin C that is retained after processing and packaging is of key interest to the beverage industry. Contrary to many widely held beliefs, our field tests show that pasteurization does NOT adversely affect vitamin C retention. Similar findings are indicated for other quality parameters such as aroma, taste, or colour.
It is primarily the amount of dissolved oxygen in the product that determines Vitamin C retention – not thermal treatment. In addition, there is an optimal level of deaeration: not necessarily all oxygen must be removed to obtain a product with good quality.
Our research and practical experience in the food processing industry shows that we should question “accepted knowledge” and “industry know-how” more often. Beverage processing can be a highly variable area where optimizing processing can come down to individual beverages and the characteristics of their raw materials.