It’s true, oranges have always made juice. But the carton of OJ that has become a staple on breakfast tables all around the world wasn’t invented until World War II. As the war broke out, there was concern about the troops succumbing to scurvy due to a lack of Vitamin C. The US government immediately called in the Florida Citrus Commision to find a way to get Vitamin C into the barracks overseas. Their answer was a complex method that consisted of reducing the water content, adding fresh juice for taste, freezing the mixture and the reconstituting it, so that it could last longer, but taste more or less like orange juice that didn’t have to go through the process.
According to one of the inventors, Dr. Edwin Moore “The Florida Citrus Commission had a booth at the Florida Orange Festival, and we were demonstrating how it was made. We had a book out for comments, and the comment from 5000 people was ‘This tastes like fresh juice. Where in the world would we be able to buy it?’"
Global orange juice consumption is now calculated at 2600,000 metric tonnes a year.
Image: paulswanson via creative commons
FALLOUT is a series of blog posts that explore the side-effects of war.