Monday, 18 February 2013

Tropicana Trop 50 Lower Calorie Juice Drinks NEW

Fresh fruit juices are delicious and thirst quenching, but it's so easy to glug down loads of the stuff without realising how many calories you're downing too. That's one of the negatives of fresh juice – the relatively high sugar content. Because of this, I usually stick to one or two small ‘shot’ glasses to keep the calories down.

This week I noticed one of my favourite brands ‘Tropicana’ were selling a new variety called Trop 50. Tropicana Trop 50 contains a range of juices with 50% less sugar and calories than regular orange juice and they’re sweetened with stevia. I had to find out more.

What the bottle says:

‘Introducing a special little leaf. Originating from South America, the Stevia Leaf has long been treasured as a natural, calorie free sweetener. We use an extract of the natural stevia leaf – so you get the great taste of fruit juice with half the calories and sugar. (Compared to regular orange juice.)

A 200ml glass of Smooth Orange contains only 42 calories!

Tropicana Trop50 Fruit Juice bottles

I always have a carton of fresh juice in my fridge and Tropicana is a brand I often choose. They have a wide selection of exotic fruit flavours and their juices aren’t made from concentrate, which gives them a fuller flavour.

Varieties for Trop 50 currently includes Apple, Orange Juice Smooth, Orange Juice Original, Orange & Mango and Pomegranate & Blueberry Juice.

Tropicana Trop50 Fruit Juice Pomegranate & Blueberry
I purchased bottles of Orange Juice Smooth, Pomegranate & Blueberry and Orange & Mango Juice. From what I initially gathered, Trop 50 is made from Tropicana fruit juice and sweetened with stevia. I knew that in order to lower the calories, it was likely to be a watered down version of their orange juice.

Before even looking at the ingredients, I wanted to taste the juice so I wouldn’t be prejudiced in any way. So the next morning I swapped my usual fresh juice for a glass of Tropicana Trop 50 smooth orange juice.

It was cold, it was refreshing, it tasted like orange. But, it wasn’t the same. It was sweeter than regular fresh juice and with a different consistency. However, it didn’t taste like watered down orange juice, which I really don't like. It actually reminded me of another drink called Sunny D (I’m not sure if it’s even sold any more).

The Pomegranate & Blueberry Juice has a lovely smell when opening the bottle. It’s got a strong flavour and is one of the nicest pomegranate & blueberry drinks I’ve tried. However, pomegranate and blueberry juice each account for just 2.5% of the total drink, with apple juice making up 41%.

Tropicana Trop50 Fruit Juice Smooth Orange bottleThe Orange & Mango is my favourite. The mango flavour is perfect, lovely and fresh and I couldn't tell much difference between the regular version and Trop50. The greatest bonus for me is the saving in calories, as  mango juices generally have more calories. Tropicana's Orange & Mango juice has 47 calories per 100ml, compared with Trop50 which has 22.5 calories.

Trop 50 is classed as a juice drink as it’s got added water. However, in contrast with many other juice drinks, it is made with pure orange juice (42%) and not a concentrate. Also, being sweetened with stevia rather than sugar, glucose syrup or various artificial sweeteners, this definitely gives Trop 50 a health advantage.

When I served it to the rest of the family, no one could tell any difference between our usual orange juice and Trop 50.

I’ll continue to buy the pomegranate as it’s one of the best in the low calorie range of this flavour. I'll also buy the Orange & Mango drink because it has a delicious Mango taste and  is so low in calories.

Tropicana Trop50 Fruit Juice Orange & MangoAs for the orange, I’ll buy it as long as it remains at its current price of £1.50. This is actually being sold at Tesco as part of a 2 for £3.00 deal. Its actual price is £2.28 which I wouldn’t pay.

Trop 50 are among the lowest calorie juice drinks around but with a higher concentration of juice (and not from concentrate) so are a good choice if you are cutting down on calories but love your daily glass of juice.

As an afterthought, I suppose you could always buy your usual Tropicana juice, pour out half juice and half water, then add some stevia sweetener. It would have a thinner consistency though, without the added thickener. But it may be worth a try for the sake of saving some money.

Trop50 juices are available in 1 litre bottles and 330ml single serve bottles. A whole bottle of 330ml Trop50 Orange juice has only 75 calories.

Nutrition per 100ml (Smooth Orange): 21 calories, 0.3g protein, 3.9g carbohydrate, 3.9g sugars, 0g fat, 0g saturates, 0.8g fibre, 0g salt. 40mg Vitamin C.

Ingredients (Smooth Orange): Water, orange juice (42%), colour (beta carotene), Vitamin C, thickener (pectin), malic acid, citric acid, sweetener (Steviol glycosides – extract of Stevia leaf), natural flavourings.

Nutrition per 100ml (Pomegranate & Blueberry): 22 calories, 0g protein, 4.8g carbohydrate, 4.7g sugars, 0g fat, 0g saturates, 0.8g fibre, 0g salt. 40mg Vitamin C.

Ingredients (Pomegranate & Blueberry): Water, Apple Juice (41%), Pomegranate Juice (2.5%), Blueberry Juice (2.5%), Elderberry Extract ,Vitamin C,Thickener (Pectin),Citric Acid ,Malic Acid, Sweetener (*Steviol Glycosides - Extract of Stevia Leaf), Natural Flavourings.

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