Monday, April 11, 2011
Today, the bulk of the world's commercial orange production, much of which is converted into frozen orange-juice concentrate (known in the industry as FOJC), comes from Brazil and from southern Florida in the USA. Brazil's annual orange production is about 19 million tons, more than the total of the next three countries (USA, India and Mexico) combined.
Within Brazil, production is located primarily in the state of São Paulo which accounts for 80% of Brazil's production and 53% of the global market for FOJC. Interestingly, 99% of Brazil's total annual crop is exported, leaving only 1% to serve the domestic market.
Although the market for FOJC has not been growing as rapidly as non-concentrated juice (think Tropicana), most of the world's orange juice still undergoes the concentration and freezing process before it is exported from Brazil.
One word of advise for those readers of Flavors of Brazil who might find themselves ordering an orange juice from a juice bar or restaurant in Brazil: if you don't want added sugar in your juice, specify that you want "suco de laranja natural". Adding "natural" to the phrase indicates that you want pure juice, without added sugar or sweetener. Personally, even though I'm aware of the notorious Brazilian sweet tooth, I cannot understand why anyone thinks that naturally-sweet orange juice needs to be sweetened, but many do in Brazil. To visit Brazil and not drink fresh-squeezed orange juice would be a crime. So do so, but do try it without sugar - it's nothing but pure naturally-sweet juice and there's nothing better.