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Bottled Lemon Juice

  • jayt90 Oct 12, 2007 02:33 PM
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Why does the nutrition label say there is no nutrition in bottled Lemon juice?
Is fresh better?

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  1. Fresh tastes better, but huh, weird. Maybe the "serving size" is too small?

    1. No more than you're using, generally, nutritional value is not really an issue. But seriously...STEP AWAY FROM THE BOTTLED LEMON JUICE. Nasty stuff. Skunky aftertaste. Get a reamer, and use fresh lemons. Not even a little bit difficult.

      3 Replies
      1. re: revsharkie

        I'll be more specific. Many people I know, including a few Mom's, use bottled lemon juice for pies, desserts, and salads. Maybe even canned tomatoes, which brought me here. When I looked at the white nutrition label, I was amazed to see no nutritive value at all. No Vit. C.
        So I wonder how they make it. Pulps and rinds boiled with water? Old lemons with mould? Industrial acetic acid added in?
        I think we deserve some answers, now that the nutrition labels are better.

        1. re: jayt90

          Just because many people use it, including Moms, that does not mean it tastes good. It means it's convenient. People don't always realize that it's the little things, like bottled lemon juice, or cheap butter, sour cream, cream cheese or chocolate that can make all the difference in the flavor of a dish or a dessert. Then they wonder why someone else's (okay, mine) tastes better.

          Oh, and I vote for battery acid as far as what's in the bottled stuff.

          1. re: jayt90

            Top quality (e.g., authentic Italian San Marzano) canned tomatoes can be considerably better tasting than fresh supermarket ones, and much preferable in cooking and salsas when you can't get fresh home-grown or heirloom ones. Bottled lemon juice, on the other hand - yuck! It's amazing how bad that stuff tastes.

        2. It's because the serving size is one teaspoon, not really enough to count anything.

          Fresh is way, WAY better than bottled. Lemons and limes keep for a few weeks in the fridge. The best juicer I've found is the kind that looks like a monstrous garlic press. Put in the lemon half, squeeze, and it turns the lemon inside-out to juice it. I do tend to keep a bottle of lemon juice in the back of the fridge as a sort of emergency backup supply... I wouldn't use it in something where the lemon is a primary ingredient (like lemon meringue pie) but when you're putting a couple of teaspoons into a batch of tuna salad, it does get the job done..

          1. Let me put it this way:
            Bottled lemon juice= 2 thumbs down
            Lemon juice from a real live lemon: 12 thumbs up

            1. Of course fresh is better even though the bottled lemon juice may be convenient for some uses.
              Any time you get away from fresh products and use processed things that have labels, you fall down the Rabbit Hole of regulatory confusion. The basic rule is that if the "suggested serving size" is of an amount (like a teaspoon) that doesn't contain measurable amounts of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of some nutrient, it can be listed as 0%.
              Chances are that the same amount of natural lemon juice squeezed from a fresh lemon would also have 0% of the RDA of the same nutrients. It's all silly and can be misleading, especially for things like fat and sodium.

              Bottled lemon juice is OK for emergencies or for use in canning when you have to have a standardized acidity level. For just a little bit of lemon in a recipe where lemon isn't the main ingredient, it's probably fine, but it's not going into my lemon meringue pie.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MakingSense

                Nicely put. It clarifies the issue for me.

              2. At least try to find one without citric acid added- which contrary to what most food companies want us to think, is no longer made from citrus usually in the US (its made from corn of all thing). A lot of bottle lemon or lime juices add so much citric acid, not to preserve the juice, but to give it more of a sour bite, just as they add citric acid to Sour Patch Kids for the same reason.

                1. Bottled lemon juice is also filled with preservatives that increase its shelf life and give it more of a chemical taste -- and any real vitamin C would be destroyed by the processing. Good cooks know that there is no substitute for fresh lemon juice.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Moka

                    Not all bottled lemon juice has preservatives. http://www.minutemaid.com/products/Ot...

                    Not advocating for it, but it's not got anything untoward in it. At 5ml, not much of anything has significant nutritional value

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      Good to know, but I still would never buy it.

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        Why is it made from concentrate? Isn't that like getting a tank car from last year's excess?

                        1. re: jayt90

                          I would presume because it's cheaper that way. Most consumers buy on price. That it's from concentrate, just as is the case with any orange juice from concentrate, doesn't change the nutritional profile at all.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            It is the excess. Citrus is seasonal. When there is a surplus of juice (lemons, oranges, grapefruits) concentrate is stored for use/sale when it's not as plentiful in the off season. We don't get large amounts from overseas because of import quotas - at least nowhere near the amount to satisfy the American taste for citrus juices.