The nutrient-density study, in the May issue of the Journal of Food Science, gives the Florida citrus industry another marketing tool in the agency's effort to reverse a slide in consumption of citrus juices.
Orange juice and pink-grapefruit juice topped other 100% juices such as apple, grape, pineapple and prune in most categories for vitamin C, potassium and folate, and matched or exceeded levels of vitamin A, thiamin and phosphorus, the study found.
UF researcher and lead author Gail Rampersaud of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences used six different methodologies to rank commonly consumed fruit juices.
Cranberry juice was not included in the study because it is typically sold as a blend with other juices or at less than full strength, and tomato juice was not included because it is marketed as a vegetable juice.
Andrew Meadows, a spokesman for the Citrus Department in Lakeland, said Tuesday that the study's results will be used in upcoming marketing promotions, though the details have not been set. "We're going to leverage it as much as possible," Meadows said. "It gives us some credible ammunition."
The nutrient-density rankings differed slightly based on methods used, but pink-grapefruit juice, such as from the Ruby Red variety, came in first in most scoring methods, followed by orange juice, white grapefruit, pineapple, prune, grape and apple.
From the May 9, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash