Thanks for the question! The first thing to note is the question stem: it's a Most Strongly Supported stem, not a Strengthen stem. Although it uses the words "most support," the question is phrased so you are supporting one of the answers, not using one of the answer to support the stimulus. Thus, the first lesson is always to be careful when reading that stem, and don't assume that certain words (such as "support") automatically indicate a particular question type. The test isn't that straightforward
Next, this problem is a great example of how the test makers can place ideas that are very similar in close proximity, and then force you to identify the small differences that are present. It's a close reading exercise, which tend to be particularly challenging when they appear near the end of the section as this question did. So, let's break down what happened in the stimulus first, since that will make the correct answer easier to understand.
First, we have two separate groups of terms that are used in the stimulus:
- The first sentence brings up the concept of flash pasteurization, which is a process that quickly heats and then immediately rechills the juice. This is the process that McElligott uses for its apple juice.
The second sentence introduces intensive pasteurization, in which juice is heated for an hour. The next piece of information we are told is key: intensive pasteurization eliminates bacteria more effectively than does any other method, but is likely to destroy the original flavor.
From the above, we know automatically that McElligott is using a less effective form of pasteurization for its apple juices, because they aren't using intensive pasteurization, and intensive pasteurization is the most effect method of destroying bacteria. This info plays a role in the correct answer.
- We are introduced to apple juice in the first sentence, and then in the third sentence we are introduced to citrus juices (which would be juices such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit). This is a tricky little move on the part of the test makers because it is extremely easy to just think they are referring to apple juice when they say "citrus" juice, but they aren't.
Ok, now when you look back at the stimulus, hopefully it is a bit easier to see how they change terms along the way, and how the information they provide about the various pasteurization methods is different. It's an example of a classic LSAT stimulus: multiple groups of similar but different terms, and key information provided about one of the terms that is very easy to mix up with another of the terms. Given that students face this question deep in the section at a point where fatigue is often a factor, you can understand why only about 30% of students answered this problem correctly.
Answer choice (A): While we know that McElligott's citrus juices are unpasteurized (last sentence), we do not have any information about McElligott's citrus juices compared to other companies, and so there is no support for this answer.
Answer choice (B): At first glance, this is an attractive answer, because we know that McElligott's apple juice is pasteurized and that McElligott's citrus juices are not. But, what we haven't been told is how effective (if at all) flash pasteurization is, and we haven't been told the natural level of bacteria in apple vs citrus juices. It's entirely possible that citrus juices (often being more acidic) have very low levels of naturally occurring infectious bacteria, and thus that even when the apple juice is flash pasteurized, the citrus juices are less likely to contain infectious bacteria.
Answer choice (C): Another answer that is attractive at first glance. Here, the test makers try to see if you will erroneously connect the comment about intensive pasteurization being likely to destroy flavor to all other forms of pasteurization. We know that McElligott's citrus juices are not pasteurized. Does that mean that it retains more original flavor than other citrus juices that have been pasteurized? No, because we don't know what pasteurization process those other citrus juices went through, and whether those pasteurization process affected original flavor at all. This is because while intensive pasteurization is likely to destroy original flavor, there could be other forms of pasteurization that have no effect on flavor whatsoever. Because we've been given no information about how the other citrus juices have been processed, we cannot make the judgment called for in this answer.
Answer choice (D): A third tricky answer in a row! We know that intensive pasteurization is the most effect at destroying bacteria, and we also know that it is likely to destroy original flavor. But, does this mean that intensive pasteurization does the most damage to original flavor? No, because while we know it does some damage to flavor, it is possible that another method out there (which would be less effective at destroying bacteria) could destroy much more of the original flavor of the juice.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer.
As discussed above, McElligott's apple juice undergoes flash pasteurization, which is less effective than intensive pasteurization. Thus, apple juice that undergoes intensive pasteurization is less likely than McElligott's apple juice to contain bacteria.
Overall, a great LSAT problem, and a really good one to study to see how the test makers attack you with similar terms. They purposefully made this problem confusing, and if you don't clearly separate out the terms used in the stimulus, this problem becomes extremely difficult. However, if you can clearly identify the terms and the game LSAC is playing, this question isn't so bad.
Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!