Panel Discusses OJ and Health Research

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

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The Florida Citrus Commission’s (FCC) Scientific Research Advisory Council (SRAC) on Oct. 13 discussed recent studies and projects addressing the linkage between orange juice (OJ) and health. The FCC governs the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), which spends much effort promoting the health benefits of OJ.

PUBLISHED STUDIES
Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the FDOC, shared three recently published studies. The first two, published over the summer, showed that the hesperidin in OJ is linked to several health benefits. The third, published in October, found potential benefits of OJ in fighting inflammation and oxidative stress in adults. The findings of all three studies will be used to support FDOC marketing messages.

PROJECTS UNDERWAY
Walsh discussed three projects involving OJ that are underway. These include a study on OJ’s impact on skin health, which is starting clinical trials now. The project, which is being led by researchers at the University of Florida, is expected to be completed in March 2023.

Clinical trials have also begun on a Ryerson University research study on OJ’s impact on glycemia, energy and behavior. This is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022.

Another current project builds upon an existing Juice Products Association study and is in collaboration with PepsiCo and the Coca-Cola Company. It looks at the potential association between OJ intake and cognition. This is being conducted by Nutrition Impact, LLC and results are expected in 2022-23.

NEW PROJECTS RECOMMENDED
Two new research projects exploring the health benefits of 100% OJ were proposed by Walsh. The SRAC will recommend the FCC fund both.

The first project aims to demonstrate that OJ is a nutrient-dense beverage that helps meet recommendations in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This will build on previous research by the FDOC on OJ nutrient density. The FDOC received two proposals; evaluators chose Bespoke Analytics, LLC. The total project is budgeted at $63,000 over two years and is expected to be completed in late 2022.

The second project is a large clinical and analytical study on the impact of long-term consumption of OJ on overall health. This project aims to fill gaps in the existing body of evidence to further support the health benefits of OJ. The FDOC received four proposals; evaluators chose researchers at Monash University in Australia. The total project is budgeted at $600,000 over five years and is expected to be completed in 2025.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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