A new study shows cloudy — or unclarified — apple juice contains up to four times the polyphenols as some types of clear apple juice. But researchers say clear apple juices dominate store shelves and sales due to their longer shelf life and consumer perceptions that they are purer.
Polyphenols, a class of antioxidants found in plants, are believed to provide a variety of healthy benefits, like fighting heart disease and cancer. Polyphenols are also found in red wine, dark chocolate and red berries.
In the study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, researchers compared the polyphenol content of cloudy vs. clear juices made from Idared and Champion apples.
The results showed cloudy juices had up to four times the polyphenols of clear juice, and cloudy juice made from Champion apples had the highest polyphenol content. For example, cloudy Champion apple juice had a total polyphenolic content of 1,044 milligrams per liter (mg/L) compared with 250 mg/L found in clear Idared juice.
Researcher Jan Oszmianski and colleagues at the Agricultural University of Wroclaw, Poland say the clarification process involved in creating clear apple juice may remove solids and other compounds rich in polyphenols.
SOURCE: Oszmianski, J. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Jan. 15, 2006 online edition. News release, Society of Chemical Industry.
By Jennifer Warner
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D