The EU has given its green light to increase the orange juice content in soft drinks, concentrated juices and other related beverages produced in Italy, from 12% to 20%.
The decision regards beverages sold under the name 'orange juice' on the packaging or bearing denominations that reference oranges.
According to a statement issued by farmers' group Coldiretti, the increasing of the content of orange juice modifies a rule from 1958 and aims to protect the health of consumers by adapting to a European regulations that promote healthier nutrition and correct eating lifestyles.
Higher Juice Content
In this regard, studies have highlighted that a drink with 20% of orange juice helps meet the daily recommended requirement of vitamin C and it has a varied mix of phytochemicals that can have a positive impact on the defences of the immune system.
The decision also has an economic impact on agricultural enterprises in Italy, as the increase in fruit percentage in soft drinks could save over 10,000 hectares of Italian citrus fruits, located mainly in Sicily and Calabria. The increase in the percentage of minimum fruit content to 20% corresponds to the use of 200 million kilogram more oranges a year.
According to Coldiretti director Roberto Moncalvo, leading producers have already started adapting to the changes, which will have to be implemented by 6 March 2018. He added that the next step towards transparency is to make mandatory labelling of origin of fruit used in the drinks to prevent the spread of concentrated juices imported from distant countries and marketed as Made in Italy.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine