Experts disagree on how healthy apple juice is. The high sugar content is to blame. Enjoyed in moderation, however, there is hardly anything to object to the natural product. If only a banned spray poison would not appear in some juices, as an investigation by Öko-Test shows.
In 2021, the per capita consumption of apple juice in Germany was around 5.6 liters. Which means that demand is falling. In 2005, 12.4 liters were drunk, more than twice as much. Which may also be due to the fact that excessive sugar consumption is not exactly beneficial to health.
And the natural product apple juice has it all in this regard. Because with ten to twelve percent natural sugar content, the juices can usually compete with the sugar content of a cola. This promotes tooth decay and, if consumed excessively, obesity. The juice also doesn't contain much of the dietary fiber in the apple. The German Society for Nutrition recommends diluting only one part of apple juice with three parts of water.
Some valuable nutrients at least partially survive the pressing of the fruit. Above all, the polyphenols, of which a cloudy apple juice contains more than a clear one. Studies have shown these to have a preventive effect against numerous lifestyle diseases, from diabetes to cancer to high blood pressure. And a little vitamin C also remains in the juice. But while some apples have 25 milligrams per kilo, their juice only has a maximum of two milligrams.
Öko-Test has nevertheless indulged in one or two jars of the natural product. Or to be more precise: The testers bought 33 naturally cloudy apple juices in drugstores, (organic) supermarkets and discounters, including 16 with an organic seal, and looked at what the products were good for. The prices for a liter of juice are between 0.99 and 3.99 euros.
All 17 conventional juices in the test contain one or more pesticides. If only in such small quantities that Öko-Test classifies them as traces and does not devalue them. The only exception is the "Amecke Soft Juice Apple Naturally Cloudy" ("good"). Here the commissioned laboratory found the pesticide acetamiprid, for which there was a grade deduction despite the low content. Because the poison harms bees and insects, the testers therefore consider it a particularly questionable pesticide.
However, the fun stops for the testers when the spray poison Mepiquat, which is actually forbidden in fruit growing. No more than 0.02 milligrams of mepiquat may be measured in one kilo of apples. Which is why a lower limit value applies at EU level. Three juices exceeded this "maximum residue level". Namely: "Becker's best naturally cloudy apple", "Belsina apple naturally cloudy" and "Paradiso apple naturally cloudy". As a result, they were rated "unsatisfactory".
But it's nice that consumers can quench their thirst with undiminished joy. For example with the "Alnatura apple juice naturally cloudy, Bioland" for 2.39 euros per liter, the "Dm organic apple juice naturally cloudy, Naturland" (1.35 euros), the "Dennree apple juice naturally cloudy" for 1.59 euros, the "Edeka organic apple juice naturally cloudy" for the same price or the "Organic store apple juice naturally cloudy, Bioland" for 1.89 euros.
The fact that "very good" is also available for only 0.99 euros per liter is shown, for example, by the ratings of "Rio D'Oro apple juice naturally cloudy Aldi Nord/ Aldi Süd), "Rewe Beste Wahl apple juice naturally cloudy", "K-Favourites apple juice". naturally cloudy, Kaufland", "Solevita Premium Direct Apple Juice, naturally cloudy, Lidl), "Trimm Apple, naturally cloudy, Norma", "Edeka Apple Direct Juice, naturally cloudy, Edeka" or "Every Day Apple Juice, naturally cloudy, Central Trading Company).
(This article was first published on Thursday, August 25, 2022.)