Apple juice in the test: why only naturally cloudy straight juice works well

Apple juice tested by Stiftung Warente – with different results. Non-concentrated juices work best, most juices are mediocre. There is no big problem with the test method.

After orange juice, apple juice is the second most popular juice in Germany: we drink about six and a half liters a year per capita – without apple spray. The selection of goods in the supermarket is accordingly large.

The Stiftung Warentest has now tasted 26 apple juices and tested them in a laboratory. The result: only six juices – all naturally cloudy non-concentrated juices – rated “good”. Most juices are satisfactory, three are fair and one fails with the poor.

Apple juice: Naturally cloudy straight juice is convincing in the test

Of the 26 apple juices that participated in the test, 16 are non-concentrated juices. It is a juice that is briefly heated and bottled immediately after the apples are pressed. In contrast, in the case of juices made from juice concentrate, the pressed juice is heat-treated to a concentrate which is later diluted back into juice with water and spices.

“The test shows that naturally cloudy non-concentrate juices are especially better in taste than concentrate juices,” says project manager Janine Schlenker. Apple juice is naturally cloudy, but this can be clarified by centrifugation and filtration. Gelatin is sometimes used for filtration, so such juices are often considered non-vegan.

According to the Stiftung Warentest, naturally cloudy juices are also healthier than clear ones because they contain more effective plant substances (polyphenols). They are mainly found in cloudy matter. However, apple juice contains almost no natural vitamin C.

Test winners and losers

Among the six good juices are two organic juices:

  • Voelkel Demeter apple 100% straight juice
  • Van Nahmen organic apple juice from orchards

Even conventional naturally cloudy direct juices from Edeka and Lidl perform well.

apples
The regional apples of the orchards not only provide a fine juice but also protect the environment. (Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur)

Both Aldi Nord non-concentrate juices as well as popular branded juices – for example, from amecke and pan Are satisfactory only in the test.

“Sufficient” paragraph inter alia naturally cloudy juices from Dm Bio and Granini away. The testers criticized both the relatively low aroma content and the vague declarations of granular juice sugar content and alleged CO2 neutrality.

Of the eight organic apple juices tested, only two of the above, four others (Aldi Nord, Edeka, Lidl, Rabenhorst) satisfactorily.

Its Alnatura apple juice is naturally cloudy is the only juice that failed the test – high levels of ethanol, volatile acidity and acetone were found in the laboratory. According to the Stiftung Warentest, this indicates lower quality apples or incorrect processing. However, the levels are not harmful to health.

The test ignores pesticides

What you should know: Unlike the Eco-Test, the Stiftung Warentest evaluates the most “sensory evaluation” (ie taste). “Chemical quality”, on the other hand, accounts for only 15% of the overall rating.

apple orchard
Excessive use of pesticides is not uncommon in apple orchards. The Stiftung Warentest has not examined whether residues can be found in the juice. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash.com – Matthew Rumph)

The laboratory apparently did not check for pesticide residues. The use of pesticides in apple growing is widespread. In 2020, the Eco-Test found traces of pesticides in all common juices in the apple juice test – in some even several and in some particularly problematic.

No contaminants, but not necessarily healthy

The Stiftung Warentest laboratory did not find any residues or contaminants harmful to health, such as mold poisons or germs, in any of the juices.

However, nutritionists have repeatedly pointed out that fruit juices are not suitable for quenching thirst. They contain a lot of fructose.

The German Nutrition Association (DGE) does not even classify fruit juice as a drink, but as a fruit and vegetable – because experts say drinks should be “low in energy”. This applies to water and unsweetened teas, but not to juice. To make it easier to implement the recommendation to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, one serving of fruit can be replaced with 200 milliliters of fruit juice, but not every day.

Detailed test results can be found on the web at test.de or in the magazine test 22.03.

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Tags: food news fruit Stiftung Warentest

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