I saw a ad for the new Tropicana Fruit Squeeze drink. It portrays the product as a fresh, low sugar alternative to juice. My impression was that it was simply watered down juice, which I think is a great idea. I've been watering down my juice for years to cut back on sugar, etc.
So decided to try one out the other day. I went with the "Tropical Tangerine" flavor. It was great! I really did enjoy the taste. I had my wife try it, but she thought it was good too. But then she noticed a weird after taste. I tried it again and noticed the same weird after taste. Both of us agreed the after taste reminded us of diet pop. Why would a juice drink, that has the tag line "Flavored water and juice beverage with other natural flavors from concentrate" taste like a diet soda?
Well I checked the label. Apparently the product contains an artificial sweetener called "Sucralose". After doing a little research I found out that Sucralose is often used in diet sodas as a sugar replacement. I also found out that it is NOT a natural occurring substance. Though FDA approved, from what I read the jury is still out on whether the long term effects of the substance is bad for you. It pretty much turned me off from the "natural" product right away.
I kind of felt deceived since there was absolutely no mention of the use of artificial sweeteners anywhere in the ad, or even on the bottle. You pretty much had to know what Sucralose was to figure it out from the ingredient list. Maybe I'm a big paranoid over the whole artificial sugar thing, but I still don't think a company should be able to market a product saying "We squeezed real Tropicana juice into cool, crisp water. Only 20 calories per serving"... with no mention of the artificial sweetener used.
For the past few months I've been trying really hard to limit my sugar intake. I've seen the commercials for the Tropicana Trop 50 orange juice. It has half the sugar and calories as regular orange juice. I love juice, but haven't been able to drink much of it lately because of all the sugar.
I decided to try this juice today. It doesn't taste much like orange juice, more like orange punch. It's less acidic and sour than orange juice. It kind of has that artificial taste to it that a lot of diet drinks have, even though it says 'no artificial sweeteners' right on the front of the container. My sister in law is sick today and she likes it because it doesn't hurt her throat, like regular orange juice does. So at least someone on the house will drink the rest of it.