The Verdict on Vitamin-Infused Juices

Posted in Fruit Juices

Dear Brand Doctor:

My kids drink orange juice for breakfast, and since they’re not the best eaters, I started buying Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice with Calcium and Vitamin D so they’d get the added vitamins. I thought more vitamins would be a better choice for my not-so-good eaters! Please shed some light on this!
Squeezed in Scranton

Dear Squeezed,

You sound like a very caring parent… good job! To answer your question about the vitamin-infused Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice with Calcium and Vitamin D, we instructed our food sleuths to see exactly what it brings to the table for your family! Check it out:

Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice with Calcium and Vitamin D


Nutrition Facts: (100% Juice), 110 calories per serving, og fat, 22g sugar, 2g protein, 35% calcium, 120% vitamin C

Ingredients: 100% Pure Squeezed Pasteurized Orange Juice, FruitCal (Calcium Hydroxide, Malic Acid, and Citric Acid) (Ingredient Not Found in Regular Orange Juice) and Vitamin D3 (Ingredient Not Found in Regular Orange Juice).

Decoding the Fine Print

This premium drink is 100% juice – and that’s a great start to any day. If your kids are not consistent dairy fans (milk/yogurt/cheese), then the added vitamin D and calcium are definitely a big bonus – in fact, this variety has as much of both as you’d find in a serving of milk!

So, if your kids need a calcium boost, buying OJ varieties that are 100% orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D gets a thumb’s up in our book!

Reality Check

A Word of Caution: Not all vitamin-infused foods and beverages are created equal! In fact, some sneaky manufacturers will splash marketing buzzwords like “vitamin-enhanced” or “antioxidants” on their flashy labels to insinuate that their products are healthy!

Case in Point: Capri Sun Juice Drinks


Nutrition Facts: (10% Juice) 100 calories per serving, 0g fat, 15mg sodium, 26g sugar, 20% vitamin C

Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Pear, Apple, and Strawberry Juice Concentrates, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Acetate, Natural Flavor.

Take a look at the front label – it boldly states “ANTIOXIDANTS!” To a time-pressed shopper this might be all the nudging needed to get this product in the grocery cart. After all, the word ANTIOXIDANTS implies it’s a great choice. Right?

Not so fast. When you take the time to read the fine print, you’ll quickly see you’re getting nothing more than sugar water with a splash of juice and an insignificant amount of added vitamins! For more on this story, click here.

CENTS & SENSIBILITY: A handful of extra vitamins will not magically transform any sugary juice or soda, and any salty snack or other junk food into something that is good for you. Don’t fall for the hype. Bypass that front label and target instead the fine print on the ingredients list.

Bottom Line: Added vitamins can be beneficial – like when vitamin D is added to 100% fruit juice. But adding vitamins to junk food… well, we hate to squeal but that’s akin to putting lipstick on pig!

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In Our Opinion: The information contained in the eBrandAid e-newsletters is strictly based on the opinions of the eBrand Doctors. We have created a set of guidelines that we believe will help shoppers to better understand and decode food labels on products found in most grocery stores. Our mission is to help shoppers find the healthier brands that have the least amount of chemicals and other junk ingredients.

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