Are you sick and tired of making fresh juice in your old juicer? Are you unsatisfied with its functionality, ease of use or quality of the result? Maybe you are simply using the wrong type of device. How to know what the right type is?
Making the right choice depends on your lifestyle and on which type of juice you prefer rather than on rankings, brands or even price.
It is difficult to avoid the fact that electric juicers are very convenient to use – all you need is to wash, peel and slice your vegetables, berries or fruits and then to put them into the machine, and it will do the rest. But on the other hand, they often come under criticism for causing the breakdown of beneficial elements of fruits and vegetables. There are several convincing scientific explanations why:
- Electric juice extractors featuring high rpm engines produce a lot of foam – we have all seen a thick layer of foam produced by these machines. This foam is nothing more than air bubbles that oxidise the juice, reducing the health benefit of antioxidants.
- Juice from electric machines is often poor in dietary fibre, which is contained in vegetables, berries or fruit pulp. Consumption of dietary fibre is important and recommended by many influential health organizations, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission for Functional Foods, since dietary fibre helps prevent diabetes, heart disease and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Juice from electric extractors with high rpm engines tend to contain fewer vitamins due to heating during the processing. The heating deprives the drink of useful nutrients like vitamin C and some enzymes, which are destroyed at a temperature of 48-50°C.
This does not mean that you must always use a manual extractor if you care about health. In fact, you have a few options.
Foaming and heating commonly occur in centrifugal juicers that work at high speeds, while electric masticating juicers usually feature speeds from 40 to 110 rpm and power below 500 W, avoiding both foaming and heating. For this reason they are called slow or cold press juice extractors, and they combine the convenience of electric ones and preserving qualities of manual ones. Electric cold press juicers grind fruits and vegetables into a mush, and then squeeze it through a screen, extracting the juice and leaving the pulp. Due to the working principle, masticating juicers boast high nutrient retention and some additional benefits you are sure to like in your drink:
- With this type of juicer you will be able to keep your juice fresh longer, storing them in your fridge for up to 24 hours (it is not recommended to store the products of the centrifugal machines because of their oxidation).
- Masticating juicers are really good at extracting juice from leafy vegetables and can be used to process nuts and seeds granting you more options in making all kinds of nutritive beverages.
- Since they are slow, they are also rather quiet – a nice choice for mothers that don’t want to wake their kids while cooking.
Masticating juicers do have their downsides, however, and the most obvious one is their price. You may be surprised to know that they often cost twice as much as centrifugal ones with similar characteristics. On the other hand, this price gap is observed only when it comes to world-famous brands and expensive juicers with many additional accessories. If you don’t need additional features you can easily find a masticating juicer at a reasonable price.
Another fact you should keep in mind when considering purchasing masticating juicers is whether you like pulp in your drink or not. Yes, quite a lot of pulp gets into juice bowl when a slow juicer is used and with soft textured tomatoes you can get something more like mashed vegetables than a drink. While some people see it as a negative, this pulp fills the juice with that healthy dietary fibre we discussed above. So, if you want your juice to do more good for your health, it is better to drink pulpy juice from masticating juicers.
Most of us like fresh juice, but usually we don’t look forward to the cleaning, peeling and chopping that comes with making it. You can save your time and effort in a few ways:
- Choose a device that features a wide round feeder – this allows processing fruits and vegetables of small and medium sizes without cutting them. Both centrifugal and vertical masticating juicers can feature a large feeding tube, while horizontal masticating ones tend to have a smaller feed chute diameter. An oval feed chute is less preferable since you will need to cut fruits like apples in half, unless the feed is really large (it seems that the widest feed tubes have a diameter of 3″). Keep in mind that an average apple has a diameter of 70-80 mm.
- Give preference to a juicer with a larger removable pulp tank. A removable tank will allow you to process more fruits and vegetables without disassembling the entire machine to clean both separator and container. A transparent tank will let you see when it is full easier, while a larger container means less frequent emptying. However, if you only plan on making just one or two glasses of juice in the morning, it is enough to have a pulp container of 0.5-1 litre, whether removable or not.
- Choose juicers that have a self-cleaning feature. Many modern ones can be cleaned in between juicing without disassembling – you just need to pour some water into a working juicer to wash away bits of fruit or vegetable. This feature will provide a fast, convenient way of switching from making one type of juice to another without bothersome cleaning.
- You should look for machines that consist of dishwasher-safe removable parts. Do not take this feature for granted, since some plastic parts may turn out to be sensitive to high temperatures and aggressive detergents. Also, the juicer screen needs to be cleaned with a brush, simple rinsing or using a dishwasher will not do. To help with that a special brush for cleaning the screen is included in the package.
- Choose a powerful centrifugal juice extractor if you just want to have your apple, carrot or pear juice fast – centrifugal juicers usually feature higher performance and boast a nice combination of speed and convenience. A power of 700-1500W should be enough for fast processing of firm fruits and vegetables.
It is quite easy to choose a juicer if you prefer orange juice in the morning – just buy a powerful electric device with 1-size-fits-all juicing cone, a filter for pits and a reverse function. It is much harder, however, to choose a do-everything juicer, especially if you don’t want to compromise yield or ease of use. Try to combine the best juicer types and functions depending on your individual preferences:
- Search for a device which features a pulse mode that makes the motor operate in short bursts. It is designed for processing firm fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, beet-roots, etc. These powerful jerks help the engine deal with such fruits and vegetables faster, safer and with better yield.
- Get one with at least 2 speed settings for use with different fruits and vegetables. You will need a lower rotational speed for processing tomatoes with their soft texture, while firm fruits and vegetables require a higher speed to avoid clogging. By switching speeds you can also control the amount of pulp – a higher speed allows more pulp, while a lower speed reduces pulp that squeezes through the filter.
- Choose a masticating juicer if you are going to process leafy greens, herbs, seeds and nuts along with soft fruits and vegetables with seeds (grapes, currant, tomato, pomegranate, kiwi, etc.). But please remember to remove pits from apricots, peaches and cherries before processing.
- Some centrifugal juice extractors can be used for processing citrus fruits due to special accessories – this will save you the trouble of making a hard choice and you can get just one compact all-purpose device instead of two.
Remember, you can get a perfect juicer while spending less money if you understand your needs and preferences.
As an example, you can purchase a cheap centrifugal juicer which performs the function that you want instead of spending more money on a masticating one that you don’t really need. Or you can go with a simple cold press juicer if you are all about the healthy lifestyle and don’t mind spending more time and effort to use it.