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Market Data 06.06.2024

45 % of Brits are unaware of what food or drinks are ultra-processed

Research into ultra-processed foods (UPF) and their role in today’s diet is becoming an increased focus for healthcare professionals. But with a range of studies emerging and differing opinions on the matter, it can be confusing for consumers to navigate what the broad term really means.

45 % of Brits are unaware of what food or drinks are ultra-processed
(Photo: FJSC)

Research into ultra-processed foods (UPF) and their role in today’s diet is becoming an increased focus for healthcare professionals. But with a range of studies emerging and differing opinions on the matter, it can be confusing for consumers to navigate what the broad term really means.

A recent study highlighted some of these misconceptions when almost half of respondents (45 %) said they wouldn’t be able to define or identify an ultra-processed food or beverage, and the same amount said they don’t know the difference between ultra-processed and minimally processed products.

Orange juice was highlighted as one of the most common misconceptions amongst Brits in the study, with 21 % believing the drink was ultra-processed, despite being minimally processed. In the same study, 19 % even said they avoid buying orange juice as they worry it sits in the UPF category.

Award-winning nutritionist and health writer, Dr Emma Derbyshire says: ‘Some of the misunderstandings around ultra-processed foods are resulting in consumers avoiding certain products which contain healthy benefits. Products like 100 % orange juice are essential in a balanced diet and provide essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and potassium, needed to help meet an individual’s nutrient needs.”

Top 5 orange juice truths:

  • Unlike ultra-processed products, 100 % orange juice contains no added sugars and cannot be diluted with water under European law
  • Fruit juice counts as one of your 5-a-day fruit and vegetables – a convenient and nutritious way to up your fruit intake
  • The high levels of vitamin C found naturally in fruit juice help the immune system to combat symptoms of common colds and illness and support normal skin health
  • Fruit juice contains potassium, which supports normal blood pressure
  • Drinking orange juice helps your body absorb iron from plant foods
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