Is The Juice You’re Buying Actually Raw? Here’s How to Tell

Did you know that juice companies are legally allowed to label the juice as “raw” even if it’s not? That’s because there’s no “standard of identity” for the term “raw” under FDA guidance.

Additionally, businesses are not required to label if the juice has been pasteurized or HPP’d, since processing steps don’t need to go on the label.

woman in store buying juice

Six Ways To Tell That Juice Isn’t Actually Raw:

  1. The juice isn’t refrigerated at the store. Shelf stable juice must be heat pasteurized.
  2. The lid is one of those Snapple-type lids that “pops” when you open it. This is an indicator that the juice has been “hot filled” in the bottle.
  3. The expiration date is more than a week from the day you purchase it. The maximum shelf life for raw cold pressed juice is 7 days, and even that is pushing it (3-5 days is standard)! If it’s longer than that you can bet it’s been processed to extend the shelf life.
  4. The juice is labeled as “cold pressed” instead of “cold pressed”. “Cold pressured” is a tricky term invented by the HPP term industry that sounds a lot like cold pressed, but they use it to mean high pressure processed.
  5. The juice brand is a wholesale / national brand. Companies that sell their juice wholesale to grocery stores are required by law to process the juice via HPP, Pasteurization, or UV.

    Pro tip: Raw juice is not technically allowed to be sold for wholesale distribution in the US. However, it’s worth noting that not all regions of the US enforce this regulation. So, if you’re shopping at a small, local grocery store or café, it’s possible that they are re-selling actually raw juice made at a nearby juice bar. Always ask if you’re unsure.

  6. The juice is made in a far-away place. Raw juice is not going to be transported very far. So if you’re in Texas buying juice made in California, you can bet it’s not raw.

Beware of Marketing Terms

Some brands may not actually label the product as “raw”, but might use some labeling tricks to signal that it’s raw when it’s actually not. Here are some common labeling tricks:

  1. “Cold Pressured” as described above.
  2. “Made from raw ingredients” – uh… duh! All juice is made from raw ingredients. It doesn’t mean that the juice hasn’t undergone extra processing since it was made.
  3. “Consume within 3 days after opening” – This is a great way to signal that the juice has a 3 day shelf life when in actuality, it might expire in 60 days. Check the printed expiration date on the bottle (it might be harder to find).
  4. Using the word “raw” when describing other things, other than the juice itself. For example, the word raw might be in the brand name itself. Just because the brand has the word “raw” in it, doesn’t mean the product itself is raw. Tricky!

Ok, So How Do You Know If the Juice Is Actually Raw?

This one is easy – buy from small, local shops where you can see them making the juice! If you’re unsure, ask them where or how the juice is made. If they aren’t making it on-site (or nearby), you can bet it’s not raw.

Bonus: How to know if the juice is actually cold-pressed

Ask the juice bar what brand of machine they use to make the juice. If they use a Goodnature machine, you know it’s actually made in a real juice press. Check out the Goodnature Difference to learn more.


A Guide to Raw Juicing vs. Mass-Marketed Juicing

Juice comes in many different forms, each with its own unique properties and benefits. The juice you can buy in large quantities at the grocery store is different from a glass of freshly prepared juice from your local juice bar. Discover the differences and similarities between the two with this guide to raw juicing versus mass-marketed juicing.

Differences in the Product

Both raw juice and mass-marketed juice come from fresh fruits and vegetables. The difference between these two products lies in what happens after juicing. Raw juicing is a simple process that involves zero processing afterward. The juice is ready to drink immediately after juicing. Alternatively, you can keep raw juice in the refrigerator for a day before drinking it.

Mass-marketed juice, on the other hand, needs to last longer so that it can move through the supply chain before landing on grocery store shelves and making its way to customers’ refrigerators. As such, mass-produced juice undergoes a pasteurization process to kill any potentially harmful bacteria and to extend the juice’s shelf life.

Health Codes and FDA Regulations

Juice bars and other related businesses must navigate health codes to ensure they’re business properly and providing their customers beneficial products. When you’re learning about raw juicing versus mass-marketed juicing, you must consider the specific regulations each product calls for. For example, the FDA rules that businesses can only sell raw juice through direct retail or delivery. If you’re going to resell juice through a third party, you must pasteurize the product to destroy bacteria and preserve its shelf life. That said, businesses can sell raw juice through multiple locations if they own both the retail and production sites. You must also factor in local laws and regulations when you’re starting a juice business. Overall, the type of juice you sell is essential to building a safe, compliant juicing business.

Pros and Cons of Mass-Marketed Juicing

Because it lasts longer, mass-produced juice is easier to sell and therefore more widely available. However, the same process that kills potentially harmful bacteria in juice can also destroy some of its nutrients. Therefore, pasteurized juice doesn’t have the same health benefits as fresh, raw juice.

Pros and Cons of Raw Juicing

Businesses that sell raw juice face extra regulations and precautions. However, this means that raw juice–sellers must make their products fresh daily. Many juice bars and other juicing businesses make their juices to order, meaning customers always get fresh, healthy glasses of juice. Raw juice doesn’t last as long as pasteurized, mass-produced juice. However, it contains all the vitamins and nutrients of fresh produce without losing any of these healthy components to pasteurization.

If your business wants to find success selling raw juice, you need the right equipment. Juicernet has been providing juice bars, restaurants, cafés, and other businesses with professional citrus juicers and other quality juicing machines for four decades. Invest in your juicer today and see the difference raw juice can make.