Nector drink refers to fruit juice that is too thick to drink straight or undiluted. There are two kinds of these antioxidant nector drinks, the homemade variety and the commercially produced versions that are available in supermarkets and health food stores.
The commercial antioxidant nector drinks are made from fruit puree and often needs sweetening and some type of liquid added so it becomes easily drinkable. The fruit or fruit-juice and fruit pulp content can vary from 25 percent to 99 percent. Sometimes nector contains only one type of fruit and at others, it could be a blend of two on more types of fruit, this should be clearly stated on the label.
These commercial antioxidant nector drinks are made to provide a quick and easy way to get the total antioxidant benefits of the fruits for people with busy lifestyles who do not always have time to make their own antioxidant drinks from scratch
Regulations For Commercial Antioxidant Nector Drinks
The (FSC) Food Standards Coder Of New Zealand and Australia has set mandatory standards and requirements for all fruit juices including antioxidant nector drinks. These have been put in place to ensure the safety and quality of all juice and juice products. There are set limits for the types and amounts of additives allowed as well as when they can be used. This is to make sure that the products are not contaminated with any pollutants or pesticides or filled with unwanted additives.
The labeling requirements state that the contents must be clear and state the type of juice whether it is pure juice, freshly squeezed or made from concentrate. All Australian beverages must comply with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
By law, if any juice product states on the label it is 100% fruit juice, it cannot contain any added sugar or preservatives. Nector drinks are concentrated juice often with thickening agents added. All the ingredients have to be clearly listed on the label so those looking to know exactly what they are buying.
Nector manufactures use processes that can remove some of the essential nutrients, especially Vitamin C, one of nature’s most well known and most powerful antioxidants is quickly destroyed by heat and processing. Because of this, most Antioxidant nector drinks have added vitamin C, but the processes used to preserve most of the other antioxidants, minerals and nutrients.
Homemade Antioxidant Nector Drinks
For those who have access to fresh ripe fruit, it is easy and inexpensive to produce your own antioxidant nector to make wonderful and super healthy drinks. Not only will they taste terrific but you can make them to your own recipe, adding your favorite antioxidant fruits. You can enjoy homemade nector straight away, refrigerate it if you wish to use it over the next few days, freeze it for up to a year. By using a simple mesophilic culture, the same one, people have used for thousands of years to preserve food, you can increase its antioxidant and other nutritional qualities.
Making Antioxidant Nector Drinks
It is best to use Organic fruit and wash it well before using. Berries and fruit with edible skin can be washed in a solution of ¼ of a cup of white vinegar and 2 tbsp of baking soda in a gallon of water. Just soak for a few minutes, then gently stir before removing and rinsing in clean fresh water.
There is no need to peel any fruit to make an antioxidant nector, in many types of fruits including avocado, bananas, passion fruit mangosteen, and pineapple etc. there are many valuable antioxidants in the skins and seeds. Just slice or dice them whole and place in a large nonreactive heavy bottomed saucepan (do not use cast iron or aluminum)
Place a small amount of water in the saucepan to prevent the fruit burning and make a little steam to help the fruit soften and release its natural juices.
Gently simmer the fruit until it just becomes tender. The less cooking the fresher their flavor will be.
Either puree the fruit in the saucepan with a stick blender or process them in a food processor, then pass them through a fine colander or squeeze it through some cheesecloth to remove all the hard pieces
It can then be placed in a clean food safe container ready for use
To make a drink add an amount to a glass with fresh water and either a sweetener of your choice or lemon juice if it’s too sweet already
Antioxidant necter is a great way to enjoy the many health benefits of fruit, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to make fresh antioxidant drinks each day. Commercially prepared nector is a great alternative when you don’t have fresh fruit to make your own.