Why Is Fresh Orange Juice Bitter? And How To Fix?

Orange juice is a staple in many households, and for good reason. It’s refreshing, packed with Vitamin C, and just plain delicious.

But what do you do when your OJ is bitter? Before you pour it down the drain, let’s take a closer look at why orange juice can sometimes have a bitter taste and what you can do to fix it.

Causes of Bitter Orange Juice

Overripe oranges

One of the most common causes of bitter orange juice is using overripe oranges. As oranges ripen, they begin to develop a bitter taste. This is because the sugar content decreases as the fruit ages, and the acidity increases.

So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to choose oranges that are firm and have a bright color.


Another potential cause of bitter orange juice is the use of pesticides. When oranges are treated with pesticides, they can absorb the chemicals, which can lead to a bitter taste. To avoid this, opt for organic oranges or wash your oranges thoroughly before juicing.


Finally, the way orange juice is processed can also lead to a bitter taste. Some companies add preservatives or other chemicals to their orange juice to increase its shelf life.

These additives can affect the taste of the juice, making it bitter. To avoid this, look for orange juice that is made from 100% pure oranges and has no added ingredients.

How to Fix Bitter Orange Juice

Add sweetener

If your orange juice is bitter, one of the easiest ways to fix it is by adding a sweetener. This can be honey, agave nectar, or even sugar. Start with a small amount and add more to taste. Be careful not to add too much as it will make your orange juice too sweet.

Mix with other fruits

Another way to improve the taste of bitter orange juice is by mixing it with other fruits. This can be berries, pineapples, or even mangoes. The sweetness of the other fruits can help balance out the bitterness of the orange juice.

Add some salt

A pinch of salt can also help to balance out the bitter taste of orange juice.

Salt can help to enhance the flavor of the juice and make it taste less bitter. Be careful not to add too much as it will make your orange juice salty.


No one wants to drink bitter orange juice, but it happens to the best of us. Next time you find yourself with a glass of bitter OJ, remember that it’s likely caused by overripe oranges, pesticides, or processing.

But don’t despair, there are ways to fix it by adding a sweetener, mixing it with other fruits, and even adding a pinch of salt. So, don’t pour that orange juice down the drain just yet, give it a second chance and make it taste like the delicious and refreshing drink it’s meant to be.