Last week, PepsiCo, Inc. announced that it will return to using only 100% Florida oranges in the production of its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice products. While PepsiCo said its decision to use of 100% Florida oranges in its juice products was made several months ago, the announcement was made in the wake of concern over the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) discovery of small amounts of a harmful fungicide in oranges shipped by foreign growers.
The fungicide in question, carbendazim, is widely used in Brazil and other countries to combat orange tree diseases. Although the U.S. still allows trace amounts of carbendazim (10 parts per billion) in certain grains, nuts and non-citrus fruit, the fungicide was banned from U.S. citrus juice by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009. According to Reuters, juices sold under the Tropicana and Minute Maid (owned by the Coca-Cola Co.) labels may contain a mixture of juices from the U.S. and Brazil. PepsiCo told Reuters that its switch to 100% Florida oranges has already begun and will be completed by the end of the month.
Tropicana only used 100% Florida oranges in its juice products until 2007 when hurricane damage and a freak early freeze damaged 11% of the Florida citrus crop and forced the company to find additional suppliers.
There is nothing fresher or more pure than fresh-squeezed 100% natural Florida orange juice made from fresh-picked Florida oranges from FloridaOrange.com.