Monday, 2 December 2013

The Effect of Pasteurization On Mangosteen Juice

More people are keeping up with the amazing health benefits of the mangosteen fruit. With more companies jumping into the health bandwagon, it becomes more difficult to choose which mangosteen supplement is best for us. The brand names will confuse you, and the question you have in mind will be, “are all mangosteen supplements equal?”

Solid and Liquid Forms

First, there are different preparations of the mangosteen extracts. There is a solid form making use of the fruit’s rind or pericarp that is processed into a pill form. Then there is the juice form, using the whole fruit. The pericarp is bitter to taste, hence the juice preparation is mixed with other pleasant-tasting fruits like pomegranate, black cherry, cranberry, bluberry, and grapes.

The pericarp of mangosteen contains the highest concentration of the anti-oxidant substances called xanthones. This is the logic behind the use of the rind in processing the solid form. The juice form makes use of the pericarp plus other parts of the fruit to maximize the health benefits which can also be derived from the fruit pulp and seeds, albeit in lower concentration.

The Processes Involved

The source of the mangosteen fruit must be put into consideration. They come from Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, etc.

Were they free of hazardous chemicals? Check with the manufacturer if they employed pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers in growing the tree. The risks of chemically-laden fruits defeat the purpose of consuming the product to benefit from its medicinal properties. The chemicals contain cancer-causing agents and other pathogens.

Are they clean? The richest source of xanthones of the mangosteen is its pericarp. In some companies, the pericarp is bought from canning companies that make use of the fruit pulp, but throw away the rind, as it is considered a waste. The mangosteen fruits they use come from different farms. The pericarp is swept off the floor and sold to other companies needing the pericarp. The cleanliness of the floor and the process how they were collected is of major concern. Would you take in supplements collected through this method?

Make sure that the manufacturer has their own farm, to ensure the consistency of the fruits, and that they have a clean collecting process. The collection of the pericarp should be prioritized. A responsible company will sort, clean and peel the mangosteens after harvesting from their own farm free of pesticides, separate the pericarp and have them transported to highly developed countries for processing.

For the juice form, the whole fruit has to undergo irradiation, as required by law, to ensure that viruses, bacteria, and pests are killed before they are transported. The exposure of your food to radiation may potentially harm your health due to the carcinogens produced, which is something you may want to think about.

In the solid form, the fruit is crushed and encapsulated using a machine. In the liquid form, the juice is prepared by pulping the whole fruit, draining the liquid, and pasteurizing the juice afterwards. In most of the commercially prepared Mangosteen juices, Mangosteen is reconstituted from mangosteen puree back into liquid form.

What is Pasteurization?

It is the process that slows down the growth of microorganisms in food. It was named after Louis Pasteur, who discovered that spoilage organisms could be inactivated in wine by applying heat at temperatures below its boiling point. It does not kill the disease-causing micro-organisms, but reduces the number of viable pathogens so they will be less likely to cause a disease.

The process uses heat, at temperatures below the boiling point. The methods are usually standardized, and governed by national food safety agencies.

Standard pasteurization involves having the product exposed to heat for a long period of time. While it prevents bacterial growth, it tends to deteriorate the nutritional value of the juice and its fresh flavour. A newer method called flash pasteurization requires shorter exposure to higher temperatures, which works best for preserving color and taste in some products.

How Does Pasteurization Affect Mangosteen Juice?

All mangosteen juices are required to undergo pasteurization. The process of pasteurization, in general, while it saves you from harmful microorganisms and extends the shelf life of the product, comes with a price to pay. It destroys the many inherent healthful properties of the mangosteen. The naturally occurring enzymes and vitamins that function as antioxidants are killed.

In addition to pasteurization, the reconstitution process of mangosteen concentrate back into liquid further diminishes the medicinal value of the fruit.

Instead of enjoying the nutritional benefits of mangosteen, you are more likely to suffer from risks brought about by the juice additives included in the production of the juice. Benzoic acid or sodium benzoate is added to prevent the deterioration of the product before it is consumed after opening. Scientific studies have shown that adding sodium benzoate to any hot bottled liquid which also contains synthetic vitamin C may cause a chemical reaction resulting to the production of benzene within the product. Benzene poses many hazards to the body, including the risk for leukemia. The pleasant taste that comes with the juice may be due to citric acid, sodium benzoate, and artificial flavours added during the manufacturing process.

With all the processes involved and the additional fruits and preservatives used in manufacturing the juice, the production cost is increased, making it the more expensive option. Would you be willing to pay for a more expensive preparation when all the important health benefits are lacking and destroyed?


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