Friday, February 15, 2013

Fussy about my orange juice

We drink a lot of orange juice, my husband more than I.  And over the years I’ve learned to avoid certain off brands (cartons designed to look like name brands) because they are either tasteless or bitter.  In the Alchemist Newsletter today I read about a disease that may cause that.

Oranges that are not "in the pink" can be detected using NMR spectroscopy, according to work by scientists at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) based in Fort Pierce, Florida. The researchers have used the amino acid composition of juice from oranges to identify those grown on trees infected with HLB, Huanglongbing, a pathogen that causes citrus greening disease. The study should allow fruit growers and processors to identify problem batches before products based on the citrus fruit, such as fruit juices, are manufactured. Additionally, work that leads to a better understanding of how the pathogen affects the amino acid profile of the fruit might lead to agrochemicals to inhibit infection in the first place.

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