Flavonoids in Florida Orange Juice
Flavonoids are plant-based compounds, or phytonutrients, that contribute to the beautiful colors of flowers and fruit, and whose potential health benefits continue to be researched. The most common flavonoids found in Florida Orange Juice include:
What is Hesperidin?
You may be familiar with flavonoids such as resveratrol in red wine or catechin in green tea, but have you heard about hesperidin? Hesperidin is primarily found in the peels of citrus and may function as an antioxidant. Think of antioxidants as little bodyguards in your body that reduces damages to your cells and tries to protect you from different types of diseases.
The flavonoid hesperidin is highly concentrated in citrus and rarely found in other foods, making orange juice a unique source of this flavonoid.1
Detailed Nutrition Information
Citrus variety, fruit maturity, post-harvest processing techniques, storage conditions, and the location within the fruit (e.g. peels are richer than pulp) affect levels of flavonoids in orange juice. Thus, the amount of flavonoids in a food can vary widely. Orange juice has been reported to contain between 30mg1 and 130mg2 of hesperidin on average in an 8-ounce (1 cup / 326ml) serving.
The higher pressures used to squeeze oranges to make 100% orange juice can dramatically increase the amount of hesperidin and other beneficial phytonutrients released from the peels of the orange.3 Furthermore, 100% orange juice has been shown to have higher available amounts of beneficial flavonoids than whole oranges or fresh pressed orange juice.4,5
Carotenoids in Orange Juice
Carotenoids are yellow, orange and red pigments found in abundance in citrus and include:
Carotenoids behave as antioxidants which can play a role in overall good health.
Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin can form vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A helps build strong bones and teeth, supports night vision and maintenance of normal vision, supports healthy skin, and contributes to the normal function of the immune system.6 Oranges and 100% orange juice are one of the main contributors of beta-cryptoxanthin in the U.S. diet.7
The amount of carotenoids in food can vary widely depending on citrus variety, growing conditions, fruit maturity, processing, storage, and multiple other factors. Eight ounces (1 cup / 236ml) of 100% orange juice has been reported on average to contain at least:8
- 20-82 mcg of beta-carotene
- 67-419 mcg beta-cryptoxanthin
- 0-285 mcg lutein and zeaxanthin
Commercial orange juice has been shown to have higher release and increased absorbable amounts of carotenoids than whole oranges, or fresh pressed OJ.4,5 Therefore, consuming 100% orange juice is a great way to access these bioavailable phytonutrients.
- Bhagwat S, Haytowitz D. USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods Release 3.2. In. Beltsville, MD: Unites States Department of Agriculture; 2015.
- Phenol-Explorer. Database on the Phenol Content of Food. Version 3.6.
- Fisher. J Agric Food Chem. 1978;26(6):1459-60.
- Aschoff et al. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(2):578-587.
- Bai et al. J Sci Food Agric. 2013;93(11):2771-2781.
- Government of Canada, 2019. Canadian Food Inspection Agency – Acceptable Nutrient Function Claims.
- Murphy et al. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112:222-229.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (slightly revised). US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory; May 2016.