The Quality Juice Foundation (QJF) is also fund-raising and supporting with own funds the activities in the previously mentioned fields. In this context, the QJF contributes with the scientific community which has a key position in the overall development of the society in the XXI century. The QJF supports the science and technology applied to the fruit sector but also aims to boost, in particular, the work of young scientists, by rewarding the best research in this field.
The Quality Juice Foundation´s president, Mr. Carlos Abboud, presented the prize for 2015 which was awarded to Julian Aschoff, from the University of Hohenheim, in Germany, for his research on bioavailability on carotenoids in pasteurized orange juices, published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research Journal with the title: “Bioavailability of ß-cryptoxanthin is greater from pasteurized orange juice than from fresh oranges – a randomized cross-over study”.
In his study he appoints to the question of the overall nutritional value of orange juice due to its high intrinsic sugar levels and the higher risk of type 2 diabetes associated to excessive consumption of fruit juices. Despite these findings, he mentions that there are several health benefits in the consumption of orange juice: for example the readily accessible vitamin C which is linked to up to 15 health claims, such as reduction of total cholesterol levels and the improvement of the vascular function. Active compounds responsible for these effects are the carotenoids. Beta-cryptoxanthin constitutes a major carotenoid in oranges. Through a clinical study, the bioavailability of beta criptoxanthin was compared in a group of healthy volunteers who consumed the same amount of beta-criptoxantin as fruit (fresh orange) or as juice. The blood of the volunteers was analysed and showed that the amount of beta-criptoxantin after consumption of orange juice was significantly higher than that after consumption of orange juice. The results of the in vitro digestion of the fruit and the orange also demonstrated a higher bio-accessibility in orange juice compared to orange fruits, probably due to the juice processing.
In his discussion he indicates that the greatest increase in carotenoid bio-accessibility was observed during juice extraction. Finishing and thermal pasteurization of the fresh juice further increased carotenoid bio-accessibility in 40% as compared to fresh juice. These findings indicate the reduction of dietary fibres during the processing to be the most important step for improving carotenoid bioavailability in orange juice.
Transferring the results to an exemplary diet, the consumption of one glass (200 mL) of bottled orange juice would even provide 3 times more beta-cryptoxanthin than one serving of fresh navel orange. Very encouraging results for the fruit juice industry.