Even before beginning this whole less processed thing, I used to laugh at the labels on juice that would say “100% juice” and then in small print say “with added ingredients”. I mean, call me silly, but isn’t 100% supposed to be… you know… 100% of something. Wouldn’t adding other ingredients to that 100% make it more than 100%?
Turns out that with processed foods… 100% is almost never actually 100%. A quick little bit of research and I actually tracked down the FDA’s rule on this one, and here it is:
“If the beverage contains 100 percent juice and also contains non-juice ingredients that do not result in a diminution of the juice soluble solids or, in the case of expressed juice, in a change in the volume, when the 100 percent juice declaration appears on a panel of the label that does not also bear the ingredient statement, it must be accompanied by the phrase “with added ___,” the blank filled in with a term such as “ingredient(s),” “preservative,” or “sweetener,” as appropriate (e.g., “100% juice with added sweetener”), except that when the presence of the non-juice ingredient(s) is declared as a part of the statement of identity of the product, this phrase need not accompany the 100 percent juice declaration.” http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=101.30
So… you know that totally clears it up… right? Reading a little further in the regulations and it turns out that the 100% juice label just means that whatever juice is in it needs to be directly expelled from a fruit or vegetable or contain a certain amount of soluble solids. There is even this completely gobblety gook table with numbers that would only make sense to a mad food scientist of what could equal 100% juice.
Basically, the lesson is, if you’re drinking juice, do not rely on a heading of 100% juice. Read the actual ingredients or you could very well be drinking sweeteners, artificial colors or who knows what.