A spokesperson for Tropicana told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the Pure Premium Essentials product contains FiberSol-2, a corn-derived soluble fiber supplied by Archer Daniel Midland. An 8 oz serving of the juice contains 3g of added fiber, the same as eating the whole fruit.
FiberSol-2, which is also used in Danone's added fiber yogurt product, is said to be ideal for beverages as it does not impact on taste or texture.
The fibrous parts of an orange are the flesh and pith, which are usually filtered out from orange juice products. The spokesperson said even juice with pulp contains only trace amounts of fiber. It is a common misconception that juice with pulp is fiber-rich.
Lynn Dornblaser, director of custom solutions with Mintel, told NutraIngredients-USA.com that there have been less than half a dozen orange juices with added fiber launched on the US market to date.
"Anything else on the market has niche distribution," she said. "This is a significant introduction, and I do think other companies will follow suit with more fortified juices."
She said that the US market in general is seeing a stronger focus on fiber, and especially on wholegrains, since the USDA's MyPyramid published earlier this year recommended six servings of grain products a week, three of which should be wholegrain.
Fortification with fiber is a follow-on from this - whether or not the focus is on whole grain.
"[Tropicana's move] is not surprising. We have seen so much fortification in orange juice, it seems fiber is the next logical step," said Dornblaser.
Interestingly, Mintel data shows that there have been a higher number of fiber-added juices launched in Asia to date (China, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea), and in Spain.
Registered dietician Ursula Arens told NutraIngredients-USA.com that providing three grams out of a recommended 25g (for women) or 35g (for men) is not a huge amount, but it is better than nothing.
What is more, it could help people who have difficulty meeting the recommended five to nine portions of fruit and veg a day to meet their fiber targets. According to the USDA, nine out of 10 American adults do not consumer enough fiber.
Arens explained that fiber is usually classified as one of two types: insoluble fiber from wheat and bran, which can help with fecal bulking, and soluble fiber, which is better at slowing the rate of glucose absorption.
In addition, although not strictly speaking a fiber, resistant starch has fiber-like properties since it is not digested.
While beverage-makers try to prevent too much oxidation of the vitamin C when the oranges are squeezed, Arens said that fruit has another benefit over juice: satiety. While a consumer is likely to be full after eating four oranges, the same number of fruit would yield just a glass of juice - not enough to fill them up. This means they are more likely to consume more daily calories by eating other foods too.