I already know that boxed or cartoned juice is less likely to have been freshly squeezed, but what about transparent bottled juice especially in the refrigerated section of supermarkets?

This article from the Atlantic and Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice evidence that modifiers like 'freshly squeezed' and/or '100%' and/or 'pure' can mislead and prove false.

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    It's not a guaranteed thing -- but if you look through the whole case, and there's no 'best buy' dates that are more than a few out, there's a fairly good chance that it's fresh. Of course, even being refrigerated isn't a true sign of being fresh -- some stores put soy milk and similar in refrigerated cases even though they're shelf-stable. – Joe Oct 7 '16 at 20:53

This isn't exactly scientific but..

Taste. Specifically looking for the taste difference between pasteurized and un-pasteurized juice. Pasteurized orange juice has a distinct tart taste that just isn't there with fresh juice.

I guess it depends on your exact meaning of "fresh", but if it hasn't been pasteurized then it will have a shelf-life of only a few days.

The legal specifics of the terms will vary from country to country, so if you have one in mind then you might have to mention that. Although as you hinted at, the legally defined terms are often side-stepped and might not be much use.

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    Not scientific indeed, but pretty much the only way. Pasteurized juice almost tastes like someone is trying to invent orange juice without actually using oranges, and the taste of unpasteurized juice degrades rapidly on a day to day basis. – Willem van Rumpt Oct 6 '16 at 4:58

According to Juice and Cider: Make Sure They're Safe

Some grocery stores, health food stores, cider mills, and farm markets sell packaged juice that was made on site that has not been pasteurized or processed to ensure its safety. These untreated products should be kept refrigerated and are required to carry the following warning label:

WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.

So if it carries the 'has-not-been-pasteurized' warning then it is freshly squeezed.


I'd say that the first clue is in the fact that the juice is in the supermarket at all. Unless you see an actual apparatus on site that does the squeezing while you wait, you have to assume that the juice was produced somewhere off site and then transported to the store you are visiting.

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    Sorry to disagree. There are very high-end grocery stores, e.g. Wegmans, who do fresh juice. I would venture to say that there are others. You cani't say that, because it is in a grocery store, it is not fresh-squeezed. – Cindy Oct 5 '16 at 23:07

Nothing beats experience. Have you ever tasted juice just squeezed from oranges or apples? Nothing else compares to this. In restaurants or shops you often get "freshly squeezed" juice that only once was freshly squeezed - a long time ago. If you know the taste of freshly squeezed juice you will never be fooled again.

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