Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice
Another example of technology's effect on agriculture is the processing of oranges for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ). The Florida Department of Citrus invented frozen concentrated orange juice in 1945, and gave the patent to the United States Government in 1948, which helped make the frozen food industry commercially viable.
Few, if any, oranges were processed before the 1931-32 season in Florida. For that season, 98 percent of oranges produced were marketed as fresh and the other 2 percent were processed. Through the mid-1930's, this percentage had not changed much and at the end of the 1930's, 80 percent of Florida oranges were still produced for the fresh market. By the end of the 1940's, however, the share of oranges going to processing had increased to 40 percent. Five years later, that share was nearly 70 percent. By the 1970's, over 90 percent of oranges produced in Florida were processed, as they still are today. Economically, the value of Florida's orange industry went from $15.7 million in 1935 to $140 million by 1950.
Within the next 30 years, the value of orange production in Florida had topped $1 billion (packinghouse door equivalent, PHD) annually and was valued at $1.3 billion PHD for the 1998-99 crop year. There are a number of reasons FCOJ became popular. It is convenient and time saving compared to squeezing juice at home. It readily pours when thawed, easily reconstitutes with water, and is pleasantly cool immediately.
Last modified: 08/11/09