Fruit Juice, Arsenic and Calories

Dec 5, 2011 – Drinking the recommended amount of 100% juice is a healthy part of an overall health and weight management plan. In September 2011, Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” shared with viewers’ results from tests he’d commissioned on three dozen apple-juice samples. The results showed total arsenic levels exceeding 10 parts per billion (ppb) in 10 of the samples. At the end of November 2011, Consumer Reports tested juice from bottles, cans, and juice boxes from three different states. Levels in the apple juices ranged from 1.1 to 13.9 ppb, and grape juice levels were even higher, 5.9 to 24.7 ppb. This report also found that about one-fourth of all juice samples had lead levels at or above the 5 ppb limit for bottled water. The top lead level for apple juice was 13.6 ppb and 15.9 ppb for grape juice. Samples tested included some made from concentrate from multiple countries including Argentina, China, New Zealand, South Africa, and Turkey. Others came from a single country. The few samples solely from the United States had elevated levels of lead or arsenic, and others did not. Consumer Reports stated a much bigger test would be needed to establish any correlation between elevated arsenic or lead levels and the juice concentrate’s country of origin.

The FDA has been collecting its own data and talking with consumer advocate groups to see whether it should change their guidelines to continue to ensure the safety of all juice. The FDA continues to use 23 ppb for the presence of inorganic arsenic in juice and 50 ppb for lead as a guide to determine potentially unsafe levels. It’s also important to note that the FDA standard is for inorganic arsenic only, while Consumer Reports was reporting total arsenic values. All of the juice tested by Consumer Reports was below the FDA 23 ppb standard for inorganic arsenic. The Juice Products Association is committed to providing safe and nutritious fruit juice products.

The calories and sugar contained in 100% juice has also been discussed recently. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consuming only 4-6 ounces of 100% juice per day for children 1-6 years old and 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years old. For adults, 4-8 ounces per day as juice is a reasonable amount. While consuming 100% juice is nutritious and a convenient part of a healthy diet, it’s also important to consume whole fruits and vegetables to ensure adequate fiber intake.

More information can be found in our About the Buzz on arsenic in juice.

Other Stories