Most people realise that long-life juice contains extra ingredients that nature never intended. As it turns out, this includes traces of meat and alcohol. No really. Juice manufacturer Golden Circle recently admitted that it uses alcohol-based flavours and a clarifying agent derived from beef for its long-life juice range. Personally, when I order "cow juice" I expect to be served a glass of milk.
Golden Circle's parent company Heinz was forced to come clean after a Hindu customer inquired whether its fruit drinks contained any ingredients that are prohibited under his religion. Heinz responded that none of the Golden Circle long-life juice range was suitable for him to drink due to either non-halal clarifying agents or alcohol based flavours.
“The clear apple juice used in the Golden Circle ambient juice and drink range is made clear using a variety of clarifying agents one of which is from a beef source and would not be halal suitable,” the company said in a statement.
“Flavours, including alcohol based flavours, are used across the Golden Circle and Original Juice Co. juice and drink ranges. Unfortunately none of the ambient Golden Circle juice range would be halal suitable as they are made using either non-halal clarifying agents or contain alcohol based flavours.”
Because the products meet Australian regulatory standards, the company is apparently under no obligation to declare the processing aids, or components of flavours on the list of ingredients. It also added that the alcohol content in its juices was "very small", so don't substitute your goon bag for OJ just yet.
In any event, you're almost always better off eating fruits whole as the juicing process breaks down the fibres and removes much of the nutritional value. Plus, there's less chance of picking up ungulate interlopers along the way.