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J Food Sci. 2007 May;72(4):S261-6.

A comparison of nutrient density scores for 100% fruit juices.

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1
Food Science and Human Nutrition Dept., Inst. of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Florida, P.O. Box 110720, SW 23rd Drive, Building 685, FETL Gainesville, FL 32611-0720, USA. gcr@ufl.edu

Abstract

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that consumers choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient density is usually defined as the quantity of nutrients per calorie. Food and nutrition professionals should be aware of the concept of nutrient density, how it might be quantified, and its potential application in food labeling and dietary guidance. This article presents the concept of a nutrient density score and compares nutrient density scores for various 100% fruit juices. One hundred percent fruit juices are popular beverages in the United States, and although they can provide concentrated sources of a variety of nutrients, they can differ considerably in their nutrient profiles. Six methodologies were used to quantify nutrient density and 7 100% fruit juices were included in the analysis: apple, grape, pink grapefruit, white grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and prune. Food composition data were obtained from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18. Application of the methods resulted in nutrient density scores with a range of values and magnitudes. The relative scores indicated that citrus juices, particularly pink grapefruit and orange juice, were more nutrient dense compared to the other nonfortified 100% juices included in the analysis. Although the methods differed, the relative ranking of the juices based on nutrient density score was similar for each method. Issues to be addressed regarding the development and application of a nutrient density score include those related to food fortification, nutrient bioavailability, and consumer education and behavior.

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