Nowadays there are a lot of people out there who worry maybe a tad too much about whether everything they consume is organic and free-range and whatnot. The vocabulary that goes with this sort of persona has incredible range, so we won’t go into the details that much. But among the primary concerns whilst consuming fresh fruit derivatives and juices is whether the juice actually is apple juice and not water with a load of chemicals in it. In other words, is the apple juice you’re drinking a pure substance or is it really an additive bath?

To understand this question, you need to know the basic difference between freshly squeezed orange juice and the Sunny D on your breakfast table. Freshly squeezed apple juice is a pure substance; adding even some water or sugar in it will not adulterate it. However, things get a little tricky when we’re talking about packaged goods; see when you’re trying to produce a derivative in bulk, it’s a financially good option to substitute the resource-extensive product with the cheaper one at the expense of the product quality. And in this juice business, a lot of players want to maximise profit and reduce their dependence on a crop which isn’t very reliable. So, is apple juice a pure substance? Let’s get into it,

Is Apple Juice a Pure Substance?

First things first. We need to understand what actually is the definition of pure. Because if we’re going for the literal meaning, no. Bottled and packaged apple juice is not a pure substance. However, if you have a couple of bushels of apples lying around, you can make some pure apple juice for yourself, considering that it would be proportionally inefficient, since a whole lot of apples would be needed to get a pitcher or two out. And that’s just not good for business, now, is it?

So, to get around this problem of squeezing more fruits for less juice, companies like Nestle and other package consumables manufacturers use a slew of compounds to make up for the content of the juice. According to many industry insiders, as little as one to two per cent of the actual apple concentrate is used in the juice; the rest is water and these compounds that give it a consistent taste throughout the bottle despite it sitting for months at a time in market shelves.

What are the compounds that make bottled apple juice impure?

Bottled apple juice is impure because it does not adhere to the definition of pure; that is, it is not consistent in its composition. Purity in any other sense, for instance, the inclusion of dirt and other biological impurities would classify this bottled product as pure, but since the purity in question is of the chemical nature, therefore, we can all agree that apple juice is not a pure substance because its composition isn’t consistent. It is not just apple juice or concentrate; it also includes a whole slurry of other compounds to ensure that it stays tasteful even after a year in a freezer and does not rot. Let’s take a look at what these compounds are,

  • Sucrose 
  • Fructose 
  • Glucose
  • Malic acid
  • Quinic acid
  • Citramalic acid

These are the primary compounds that make up most of the chemical composition of the apple juice. Then come in other compounds, which make up preservatives, tasting agents, additives and substrates including butyle acetate, ethyl pentonoate, pentyl hexanoate and a whole lot of other chemicals and compounds that only an organic chemistry student can get his or her head around. Then you have various agents that impart the characteristic colour and taste, not to mention the sweet smell of the juice which is definitely sugar. Add that with 94-96 per cent water, and now, you’ve got apple juice that is by no definition pure at all.