When it comes to apple juice, "cloudier" may mean healthier,
according to a study published.
In a head-to-head comparison of apple juices, Polish researchers
found that pulpy, non-clarified juice carried a greater antioxidant
punch than clear juice. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize
free radicals, molecules that can damage body cells and contribute
Unlike cloudy apple juice, the much more common clear variety
undergoes additional processing to remove any apple solids.
Manufacturers typically think the public will favor the more
attractive, clear juice over its cloudy cousin, and retailers
prefer the clear variety for its longer shelf life.
But the new findings suggest that health-conscious consumers
should reach for the cloudy variety, according to Dr. Jan
Oszmianski, the study's lead author.
"Cloudy apple juices contain much more antioxidant than clear,"
Oszmianski, a researcher at the Agricultural University of
In fact, Oszmianski's team found, cloudy juice packed up
to four times the level of polyphenols, a group of antioxidant
plant compounds. And in experiments, cloudy juice was the
more effective free radical "scavenger," the researchers report
in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
The findings are based on four juices that the study authors
prepared themselves, using two varieties of apple -- Champion
and Idared. Cloudy juice from Champion apples turned out to
be the most antioxidant-rich, but clarification of either
juice cut their antioxidant levels significantly.
The process, Oszmianski explained, involves using an enzyme
that oxidizes the juice's antioxidants, particularly compounds
But while cloudy apple juice may be a healthier choice than
clear, it's still best to get your apples in the form nature
"It is better to eat whole apples with skins than drink the
juice to get the most antioxidants," Oszmianski said.
SOURCE: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, online
January 15, 2005.