It is a fruit juice made by the maceration and pressing of Apple. The resulting expelled juice may be further treated by enzymatic and centrifugal clarification to remove the starch and pectin, which holds fine particulate in suspension, and then pasteurized for packaging in glass, metal or aseptic processing system containers, or further treated by dehydration processes to a concentrate.
Russet apple juice from Bolney, Mid Sussex, England, in a glass.
Due to the complex and costly equipment required to extract and clarify juice from apples in large volume, apple juice is normally produced commercially. In the United States, unfiltered fresh it is made by smaller operations in areas of high apple production, in the form of unclarified apple cider. One of the most common fruit juices in the world, with world production led by China, Poland, the United States, and Germany.
Apples used for apple juice are usually harvested between September and mid-November in the Northern Hemisphere and between February to mid April in the Southern Hemisphere. A common cultivar used for apple juice is the McIntosh. Approximately two medium McIntosh apples produce around 200mL of juice. After the apples are picked, they are washed and transported to the processing facility. The apples are then pressed and juiced right away to avoid spoilage. Depending on the company and end-product, the apples can be processed in different ways before pressing then filtered, with the quantity of solid particles remaining partly defining the difference between apple juice and apple cider.
Vitamin C is sometimes added by fortification, because content is variable, and much of that is lost in processing. Vitamin C also helps to prevent oxidation of the product. Other vitamin concentrations are low, but apple juice does contain various mineral nutrients, including boron, which may promote healthy bones.
It has a significant concentration of natural phenols of low molecular weight (including chlorogenic acid, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols) and procyanidins. It has been shown to reduce oxidative stress on the brains of aging lab mice. Research suggests that apple juice increases acetylcholine in the brain, possibly resulting in improved memory.
Despite having some health benefits, apple juice is high in sugar. It has 28 g carbohydrates (24 g sugars) per 230 g (8 ounces). This results in 130 calories per 230 g (8 ounces) – protein and fat are not significant. Also like most fruit juice, apple juice contains a similar amount of sugar as the raw fruit, but lacks the fiber content.