Wendyl Wants To Know
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl Nissen: Just Juice with water just as sweet

Just Juice 50% less sugar Tropical - $3.09 for 1 litre. Photo / Wendyl Nissen
Just Juice 50% less sugar Tropical - $3.09 for 1 litre. Photo / Wendyl Nissen

Everyone loves juice and during the winter it is a good source of vitamin C.

Just Juice has been around for years but recently juice has received some criticism for being full of sugar, and parents have been advised to dilute it with water.

So it's good to see Just Juice has come up with a 50 per cent less sugar option using two sweeteners.

Just Juice 50% less sugar Tropical - $3.09 for 1 litre

Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity first):WaterThis drink is mostly water as it is a fruit-flavoured drink.

Reconstituted fruit juices Apple (15.2 per cent)

Of the three juices in here, apple makes up the most. It is common for apple to be used as a flavour base in drinks. The sugar content of all these juices combined is 11.7g per 250ml.

Pineapple (12.9 per cent)

Pineapples are great for you. They are high in vitamin C and have good levels of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and manganese.

Orange (11.2 per cent)

Orange juice has loads of wonderful things in it, including vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamine, folate, potassium, proteins, copper, magnesium, and a variety of other trace vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C

This will be added to give 85mg of vitamin C per 250ml serving. It is recommended that adults consume 45mg of vitamin C a day and children 35mg for 1 to 8-year-olds and 40mg for 9 to 18-year-olds.

Mango Puree (4.3 per cent)

This small amount will be in here for flavour.

Flavour enhancer (erythritol)

When stevia is used as a natural sweetener (below) you will often find erythritol in the mix because it can reduce the bitter aftertaste often found with stevia.

It is a low-calorie sweetener derived from fruits and fermented foods but studies have shown it doesn't give the blood-sugar spike associated with normal sugar and it doesn't appear to feed bacteria in the mouth.

Modified starch (1440)

This is hydroxypropyl starch, which is a treated starch.

Passion fruit juice (0.2 per cent)

This will be in here for flavouring.

Acidity regulators (ascorbic acid)

This is another form of vitamin C.

Sweetener (stevia)

Stevia is a plant which looks a bit like mint. It's about 300 times sweeter than sugar, but with no calories. It does have a bitter aftertaste so you will often find other sweeteners such as erythritol (above) included in the mix to help with the taste.

Natural colour (carotene)

Good to see a natural colour used here.

My recommendations:

It's good to remember that this is not juice, it is a fruit-flavoured drink.

It's already diluted, so you're getting 43.8 per cent fruit juice in this product and the rest is water, along with two sweeteners, colour, a modified starch and an acidity regulator.

This is great for bringing the sugar content down, so you will get just 11.7g of sugar in a 250ml glass.

But if you bought a good quality juice - let's take for example The Homegrown Juice Company's Apple Juice with Lemon, Honey and Ginger which happens to be in my fridge because I have a cold - this product is simply juice with a bit of honey added.

So if you take 125ml of this full-juice product, it will give you 12.4g of sugar.

If you dilute this juice by adding 125ml of water to make the standard 250ml serving, you will get just 0.7g more sugar than the equivalent serving of Just Juice, which is just over half water anyway.

Price-wise a litre of Homegrown costs $4.50, compared with $3.09 for Just Juice, but once the Homegrown juice is diluted to the same consistency as Just Juice, you get two litres - so you're only paying $2.25 a litre.

- NZ Herald

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