MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Artificial Lemon Juice Vs. Real Lemon Dishwashing Liquid

Why is it that lemon juice is made with artificial flavor, yet dishwashing liquid is made with “real lemons”?

First, it depends on what what you mean by “lemon juice”. If you’re talking about just raw, unsweetened lemon juice that you might use for cooking, you can actually buy that (“RealLemon” brand) & it really is simply lemon juice (though from concentrate). If you mean LEMONADE, however, that tends to be made with artificial flavors. Artificial flavors are used in a lot of foods in order to get the taste just right (as well as to save money). However, you really can’t make lemonade without some actual lemon juice. And, while a lot of people will complain about how this food is so fake or that food is so artificial, the fact of the matter is you really can’t make a food product without having some of the actual real ingredient in it.

As for the dishwashing liquid, well, you’ll notice that the manufacturer will say it’s made “with” real lemons. They never say it’s made out of lemons. The “made WITH lemons” thing usually means it has some form of lemon product in it (oil, zest, concentrate, etc.).

The difference between the lemon in dishwashing detergent & the lemon in lemon juice is what each is used for. The acidic quality of a lemon, primarily found in the rind, is what’s required for dishwashing soap. So, in that case, they use natural lemons. In lemon juice, it’s the taste that’s important. And, while some companies do use natural lemon juice, a lot of brands ultimately go with artificial flavors to enhance the taste of their lemon juice (since flavor is the main objective). Usually, this is done as a way to either sweeten the juice or remove some of the acidity which can make it bitter.

So, really, it comes down to the purpose behind the lemon that’s most important.

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