Defining a Smoothie: JASA Ranks the Quality of Smoothie Products


Variant(s): or smooth·ie /'smü-[th]E/
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural smooth·ies

Smoothies are a sensation in healthy dining. They are basically a healthy meal in a cup that can also double as a quick snack or dessert. Coupled together with vitamin supplements, "power smoothies" can even offer diet enhancement and dramatic weight control. Smoothies are the new beverage and drinkable meal for the future.

The Juice and Smoothie Association has a ranking system to assist consumers in defining the quality of different kinds of smoothie products. Predicated on medals often presented in competition, the system uses: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

The 2000's rendition of a professional smoothie recipe is: fruit juice, fruit, crushed ice, or nonfat frozen yogurt or soy milk. The product is generally made to order within a specialty juice and smoothie bar and is blended in a high-speed blender. The custom-made smoothie product can also include vitamin supplements. Smoothies served in this setting are generally deemed platinum or gold level smoothies. Here are the detail definitions:

Platinum Smoothie
- Is the smoothie made to order, using fresh ingredients?
- Is fresh-squeezed juice used?
- Is the fruit freshly cut?
- Are both of these items organic?
- High marks apply for any smoothie made to order and prepared with all-natural ingredients. Freshly squeezed juice and real fresh fruit also make for a top ranked smoothie.

Gold Smoothie
- Is the smoothie made with any combination of fresh or 100% juice concentrates, and/or IQF* (100% real frozen fruit) produce and made to order?
- High marks for a smoothie made to order using seasonal fruit or 100% frozen fruit and 100% fruit juice from concentrates.

Silver Smoothie
- Is the smoothie made from a starter mix or other proprietary smoothie base, which uses 100% natural ingredients?
- This ranking is based on the ingredients that make up the smoothie mix or starter base. Basically, if the contents are high quality, in the way of 100% fruit purees and fruit juice, they qualify as a Silver Smoothie.

This product is generally served via a dispenser machine, similar to soft-serve ice cream, or blended in a high speed blender.

Bronze Smoothie*
- Is the smoothie made from a prepackaged smoothie mix or a product that is not 100% natural?
- Is the smoothie prepackaged and consumed out of a container?
- Any smoothie that does not contain natural ingredients falls into this category, as do ready-to-drink smoothies found in grocery stores.

Products in cans and prepackaged containers are generally available through grocery stores and local markets. Typically, they are nectars, purees and/or kefir yogurt/cultured milk combinations.

* IQF (individually Quick Frozen) is a process that flash freezes using a two-stage process.

This information was excerpted from, Smoothies! The Original Smoothie Book: Recipes from the Pros
© 2000 Dan Titus. All rights reserved.