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In light of the recent changes to our capsule blends, we sat down with Liza Pepple, Director of Product Innovation at Juice Plus+, to dig into the changes with some frequently asked questions. Have you been wondering about the switch from papaya to mango? Curious about the elimination of oat bran? Look no further.
25 Years! That is some staying power. What’s the secret?
Juice Plus+ has been a leading brand in the whole food nutritional space since our start in 1993. We were ahead of our time with whole food-based nutrition. Our goal, since 1993, has been to stay at the forefront of whole-food nutrition.
What made the team decide to change the formula?
Since our start, we’ve used clinical research to reveal exactly what Juice Plus+ was doing inside the body. We use that clinical research to inform our ingredient and formula changes. No change to Juice Plus+ is done quickly. Most changes, the recent ones included, have been conceived, contemplated, discussed, tested and trialed years before they are implemented! We don’t just test the ingredients individually; we test them in our formula to ensure they complement the other ingredients and don’t affect the balance we know works well. Juice Plus+ has a strong team working closely with our Director of Clinical Research, Dr. Manfred Lamprecht, to make sure each formula modification results in positive changes to the performance of Juice Plus+ in the body.
If it isn’t broke, why fix it? Why change the formula?
We make changes to our formulas for a few reasons, the first being regulatory or quality related. Sometimes a global regulatory agency will change their rules and either allow or disallow ingredients. We always make sure that our products are compliant. The second reason for changing the formula is if we can no longer find a sufficient supply of an ingredient at the quality standards we demand. Another reason to modify the formula could be that we are able to improve an ingredient either by improving the farming or drying processes or other manufacturing steps. The last reason is to increase the whole food base. We have 2 pieces to the Juice Plus+ puzzle: The Juice (all of those great fruits, vegetables, berries and grains) and the Plus+ (the nutrients that we add in order to maintain standard and stable label claims).
So which of those reasons led to the most recent changes?
The most recent changes to the product came from a combination of all of these reasons. I’ve spoken about the challenges of sourcing non-GMO papaya for several years. We watched how papaya ringspot virus affected the non-GMO crops for quite a long time. When it was determined we could no longer confidently source enough high quality, non-GMO papaya to meet our needs, we implemented a switch from papaya to mango. We started by looking at the nutrient contributions of papaya in our capsules and identifying potential alternatives. We looked at 6 different fruits over the course of 5 years and evaluated all of them from a sourcing, quality, non-GMO, nutrient and allergen perspective. All things considered, we felt that mango best fit all of our needs.
Ok. That explains the mango. What about the removal of oat bran?
We had some challenges with regulatory agencies in some parts of the world who would not allow us to state that our capsules were gluten free simply because they contained oat bran. We always made sure our oat bran was certified gluten free; however, this did not matter in some places. We took this opportunity to remove the oat bran and replace it with more rice bran since the ingredients serve largely the same purpose.
What’s the reason for adding lemon peel?
That’s a change we’ve worked on for nearly 3 years. It’s one of my favorite types of changes since it involves replacing one of the standardized nutrients with a whole food! We’ve always included a standard amount of folic acid in our capsules to ensure we had a stable and consistent label claim, but recently, we identified lemon peel as a great source of whole food folate. Luckily, we found a great company who can standardize the amount of folate in lemon peel so that we can replace our added folic acid with folate from the whole food. We’re all happy about that one!
What do you see for the future of Juice Plus+?
We are constantly working to improve our product line, especially this year in honor of our 25th anniversary. These changes are the most recent in a long history of adapting and improving. We are excited for the future. Our goal is to keep improving the products to maintain our state-of-the-art, clinically-supported, nutritionally-superior, whole food-based products for the next 25 years and more!
Have more questions about Juice Plus+? Leave them in the comments below for a chance to see them answered in a future blog post!