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Coke Engineers Its Orange Juice—With an Algorithm

The cola giant has an algorithm to engineer consistent taste for its OJ
Coke Engineers Its Orange Juice???With an Algorithm
Illustration by Dan Cassaro

Don’t let the name fool you. Coca-Cola’s Simply Orange juice is anything but pick, squeeze, and pour. That cold glass of 100 percent liquid sunshine on the breakfast table is the product of a sophisticated industrial juice complex. Satellite imagery, complicated data algorithms, even a juice pipeline are all part of the recipe. “You take Mother Nature and standardize it,” says Jim Horrisberger, director of procurement at Coke’s huge Auburndale (Fla.) juice packaging plant. “Mother Nature doesn’t like to be standardized.”

A computer model directs everything from picking schedules to the blend to maintain a consistent taste