R.W. Knudsen Family
In 1961 Russell W. Knudsen began making juice using the grapes from his organic vineyard. He vowed then to never add any artificial flavours, preservatives, or sugar to his fresh pressed and blended juices. Knudsen was the first to use pure white grape juice to sweeten his blends, which has since become standard practice in heath-conscious product lines.
The R.W. Knudsen Family continues this tradition of quality and innovation today. They have introduced numerous juices, juice blends and value-added products over the years including the first carbonated fruit juice spritzer. Bill Knudsen was the first to create a blend of carbonated water and juice because his kids loved pop, but he didn't like all of the refined sugar they were consuming.
The R.W. Knudsen family uses only "natural flavors" in their juices meaning that the ingredients used to enhance the character of certain flavours are derived from an all natural source, such as another type of fruit or a botanical extract. These "natural flavours" do not contain refined sugars, preservatives, artificial flavours, propylene glycol, ethyl alcohol distilled from petroleum and no monosodium glutamate (MSG). Every one of Knudsen's suppliers must provide a signed affidavit, certifying that their products do not contain any of the aforementioned "unnatural ingredients". This certification is one way that Knudsen can be sure suppliers meet their strict criteria.
Knudsen also has strict criteria regarding "stripped juice". In many no-sugar-added juice blends, fruit juice concentrates are used instead of sugar. The controversy surrounding "stripped juice" is due to the practice of using excessive de-ionization to remove the characterizing flavour and nutrients from the fruit juice concentrate. The result is that the stripped juice is lacking in all of the flavours and the nutrients of the original juice. This allows certain manufacturers to use poor-quality fruit juice concentrates to make a low-cost, fruit sourced sweetener to use in lower quality "no-sugar-added" or fruit-sweetened juices. Knudsen tests every fruit juice concentrate for proper acidity and potassium levels. If juice has been stripped, Knudsen rejects it immediately.