Re: Tropicana in the 1950s

Craig Zeni

Mark/Don, you'd probably be surprised at the way juices are processed, stored and shipped. Logic from those outside the industry doesn't really apply. For a sense of scale, the Trop plant at Bradenton FL has the capacity to store about 70 million gallons of single strength (Not From Concentrate) juice; Citrosuco at Lake Wales nearly 20 million gallons. It's stored cold in tanks in enormous refrigerated buildings. I used to know the Bradenton's capacity for concentrate but can't recall right now...somewhere around a million gallons.

When juice concentrates are reconstituted, it is not allowed to soften - temperature rise is not good for it and would allow molds and other nasties to grow in it. The way it's reconstituted is that the frozen concentrate is dumped into a stainless steel 'chopper tank'. It's typically a long flattish tank with chopper blades in it that macerate into small frozen chunks and mixed with some water. Sugars can be added at that's then pumped over thru a pasteurized (can be a plate/frame type or a tube style...depends on the plant) which is where it is melted as a side benefit from the pasteurization temperatures and into the mix tank where it's finally mixed with purified ambient water. Final mixing occurs there in that tank. I have a couple of customers in Florida that do precisely this (they make juice blends from pineapple, mango, orange and many other concentrates), and have done it this way for decades. It's a proven, reliable and inexpensive technology.

Orange juice concentrate business has dramatically shrunken since the 1960s. NFC rules the retail business now. Much of the concentrate that is made is not as viscous as what Bruce (and I and others) remember from our childhood so that it can be more easily pumped. This product is shipped in bulk insulated road tankers to diaries (yes, dairies) that reconstitute it into the private label brands you see in grocery and convenience stores. Concentrate now also comes up from Brazil in tanker vessels to Tampa and Wilmington DE for unloading and processing by these dairies and for blending with Florida juice as Florida's groves can no longer supply enough juice to meet demand. However, Florida's juice is widely regarded as the best in the world and is actually exported to Europe and Japan...go figure.

Craig Zeni
Cary NC

On Jun 21, 2014, at 4:51 AM, wrote:

1a. Re: Tropicana in the 1950s
Posted by: "Bruce F. Smith" smithbf36832
Date: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:08 pm ((PDT))


Dang, maybe I'm getting old, but when I was growing up in upstate NY, we got our orange juice in a cardboard tube with metal ends, frozen solid, at the grocery store. Thus, the frozen concentrate being shipped was not necessarily for repackaging, but for direct sales to consumers. As with all frozen food, it has to remain frozen to maintain quality. And even if it was being repackaged, temperature excursions on a food product such as this both can damage the nutritional quality of the food (the big sell for the frozen food industry, which mushroomed post WWII, as did the need for frozen food reefers) and above freezing there is the chance for bacterial and or fungal growth. Why don't you see that in today's "fresh" OJ? Ahem, well, try fresh squeezing some OJ and leave it out <G>. The steam era's OJ was not packaged with the preservatives that today's foods are and thus more care was needed to preserve the food from spoilage.



Bruce F. Smith

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."

On Jun 20, 2014, at 2:43 PM,<> [STMFC] wrote:

I agree Don,
There is no reason, if anything it defy's reason. Even if the OJ departs frozen it would have to be heated on arrival. Letting the load self cool for the 2-5 days in transit and arrive as a slushy liquid ready to be diluted and bottled.

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