Unraveling the Distinctions: Plum Juice vs. Prune Juice

Plum juice and prune juice are two popular fruit juices with different characteristics and flavors. While they share a common origin in plums, they undergo different processes that result in unique qualities. In this article, we will explore the differences between plum juice and prune juice, including their flavor, texture, color, and nutritional profiles.

Plums and Plum Juice

Plums are oval-shaped fruits that come from the species Prunus domestica, commonly known as the plum tree. They have a smooth exterior and are typically red or purple in color. Plums contain a stone in the center and have a sweet and tart flavor.
Plum juice, made from fresh plums, has a runnier consistency compared to prune juice. It has a refreshing sweetness with a subtle tart flavor. Plum juice is often filtered to remove the pulp, resulting in a smooth texture.
Plum juice ranges in color from dark to light red. The presence of pulp in unfiltered juice can cause variations in color. As plums ripen, they change color from a bright green to a bright red with yellow or purple reflections. Fully ripened plums can be picked right off the branch in the summer.
In terms of texture, plum juice is smooth with a slightly grainy feel. Plums begin with a firm exterior that gradually softens as they ripen. The inside of the fruit consists of loosely packed, moisture-rich fibers that make for a tender and enjoyable eating experience.
The flavor of prunes is characterized by its sweetness and refreshing taste. Green plums in their early stages tend to have a sour and bitter flavor, which acts as a natural defense mechanism against predators. As the plums ripen, they become sweeter with a slightly tart flavor. The sweetness of plums can vary from variety to variety.
Plum juice, especially the commercial variety, is noticeably sweeter. It is often sweetened with sugar and a mixture of artificial and natural flavors. Homemade plum juice, on the other hand, offers a more natural taste, allowing the full range of subtle flavors to be appreciated.
In terms of health benefits, plum juice is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C. It also provides a healthy dose of potassium. Regular consumption of plum juice can aid digestion and help regulate blood pressure.

Prunes and prune juice

Prunes are dried plums, but not all dried plums can be classified as prunes. Certain types of plums, such as the European plum, are selected for drying and processing into prunes. These plums are harvested when fully ripe and mature.
Prune juice made from dried European plums has distinct characteristics compared to plum juice. Prunes are darker in color and have a wrinkled appearance. Initially purple and bluish in color, dried prunes turn black during the drying process. This contributes to the deep purple color of homemade prune juice, which can vary depending on the quality of the prunes used. Commercial prune juice often contains artificial colors, resulting in a lighter purple hue.
In terms of texture, prunes have a chewy and sticky consistency. When used to make juice, prunes produce a dense and thick liquid due to their low moisture content. Prunes retain their stone, although it is easier to remove than fresh prunes. Some people prefer to filter the pulp from prune juice, resulting in a concentrated, dark-colored liquid that can be further processed with water and sugar.
Prunes are known for their enhanced flavor compared to prunes. The drying process concentrates the sugars in the fruit, enhancing its natural flavor notes. Prune juice has a very sweet taste with subtle tangy and bitter undertones. The flavor of prune juice can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the prunes and the time of harvest. Artificial sweeteners are often added to enhance the taste, especially for a younger audience.
In terms of health benefits, prune juice offers a nutritional profile similar to that of plum juice. It is high in vitamins, particularly vitamins K, A and B. Prune juice aids digestion and may help control appetite due to its relatively high fiber content.

Plum juice vs. prune juice: A Comparison

To summarize the differences between plum juice and prune juice, let’s take a closer look at their respective characteristics:
Plum Juice:

  • Made from fresh plums
  • Color: bright or light red
  • Flavor: Sweet and tangy
  • Texture: Lightly grainy and runny
  • Nutrition (serving size: 8oz)
    • Calories: 18
    • Dietary Fiber: 0g
    • Carbohydrates: 5.2g
    • Fat: 0.2g
    • Protein: 0.4g
    • Vitamin C: 7.2mg (12% DV)
    • Potassium: 163mg (3% Daily Value)

Prune Juice:

  • Made from dried European plums (prunes)
  • Color: Dark purple
  • Taste: Very sweet with spicy and bitter undertones
  • Texture: Thick and dense
  • Nutrition (serving size: 8oz)
    • Calories: 182
    • Dietary Fiber: 2.6g
    • Carbohydrates: 46g
    • Fat: 0.7g
    • Protein: 2.2g
    • Vitamin C: 1.2mg (2% Daily Value)
    • Potassium: 707mg (15% Daily Value)

It’s important to note that prune juice is significantly higher in calories and carbohydrates than plum juice. This is due to the concentrated sugars found in dried plums. However, prune juice also offers a higher fiber content, which can aid in digestion and promote a feeling of fullness.
When choosing between plum juice and prune juice, consider your personal taste preferences and dietary needs. Plum juice is a lighter and refreshing option, while prune juice offers a more intense flavor profile and potential digestive benefits.


Plum juice and prune juice have different characteristics that set them apart. Plum juice is made from fresh plums and offers a sweet and tangy flavor with a more fluid texture. Prune juice, on the other hand, is made from dried European plums (prunes), resulting in a thicker and denser liquid with a very sweet flavor. Both juices have their own unique nutritional profiles and potential health benefits. Whether you prefer the refreshing sweetness of plum juice or the concentrated flavor of prune juice, both can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


What is the main difference between plum juice and prune juice?

Plum juice is made from fresh plums, while prune juice is made from dried European plums, also known as prunes.

How does plum juice taste different from prune juice?

Plum juice has a refreshingly sweet and slightly tart flavor, while prune juice is significantly sweeter with subtle tangy and bitter undertones.

Is there a color difference between plum and prune juice?

Yes, there is a difference in color. Plum juice is typically dark to light red, while prune juice has a darker purple hue.

Which juice has a thicker consistency, plum or prune?

Prune juice has a thicker and denser texture than plum juice, primarily due to the low moisture content of dried plums.

Do prune juice and plum juice have different health benefits?

While both juices have similar health benefits, prune juice tends to have a higher fiber content, which can aid in digestion and promote a feeling of fullness.

Can I substitute prune juice for plum juice in recipes?

Yes, you can generally substitute plum juice for prune juice in recipes, but keep in mind that the flavor and consistency may vary slightly. It’s always a good idea to consider the specific recipe and desired outcome when making substitutions.