No action was taken after numerous speakers discussed potential changes to the standard of identity for orange juice (OJ) at a March 1 public workshop. Taking place at Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) headquarters in Bartow, the workshop was titled “Continuing the OJ Standards Conversation.”
FCM Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Joyner offered background on the standard of identity issue. He reported that in May 2022, the Florida Citrus Processors Association (FCPA) asked the FCM board to consider supporting a citizen’s petition to amend the pasteurized OJ standards of identity. The petition would have:
- Lowered the Brix level of not-from-concentrate OJ from 10.5 to 10.0
- Corrected the nomenclature for the sweet orange in the OJ standard
- Provided for the ability to create a new group and cultivar registry to allow citrus hybrids fitting certain criteria to be used in OJ
FCM’s board voted that the petition be filed with only the proposed lowering of the Brix level. FCM asked that more work be done later to continue the conversation on the other two issues. The March 1 workshop was the continuation of that conversation.
Workshop speakers addressing issues involving the standard of identity issue came from several organizations, including:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
- The International Fruit and Vegetable Juice Association
- New Varieties Development and Management Corp.
- The Coca-Cola Company
- Florida’s Natural Growers
Speaker Jose Chaparro, UF/IFAS associate professor of horticulture, discussed breeding to achieve tolerance to HLB disease, emphasizing that those efforts take years. One potential solution he presented was to modify juice standards to allow the use of HLB-tolerant mandarins or tangors. A tangor is a hybrid of the mandarin orange and the sweet orange.
Joyner said further discussion and action will be included in upcoming FCM board meetings.
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