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Orange Juice

Florida State Beverage

Orange juice and fresh oranges (public domain photo by Scott Bauer/ USDA Agricultural Research Service). 

Official State Beverage of Florida

Florida designated orange juice as the official state beverage in 1967. Oranges are also Florida's state fruit and the orange blossom is the state flower. All State Foods  & Beverages

Citrus fruit, especially oranges, are a major part of Florida's economy. Florida produces the majority of citrus fruit grown in the United States (in 2006, 67 percent of all citrus, 74 percent of oranges, 58 percent of tangerines, and 54 percent of grapefruit). About 95 percent of commercial orange production in the state is processed (mostly as orange juice).

The production of orange juice became a multi- million dollar industry in Florida during the Second World War. Frozen orange juice used to be just a flavorless commercial flop. The only orange juice once available was either squeezed from fresh oranges, mixed from a relatively tasteless concentrate, or poured from a can (and it tasted like a can)! Lots of good Florida oranges were going to waste.

Then, over 60 years ago, Louis G. MacDowell (director of research for the Florida Citrus Commission) suggested that adding a little single- strength fresh juice to slightly over-concentrated orange juice might restore the flavor and aroma lost during vacuum evaporation. This vastly improved orange juice concentrate and began the success story that's made Florida frozen concentrated orange juice a familiar sight on the breakfast table.