Simone Gabbay, RNCP
"Mmmh, this is delicious!" said my friend Joanne as she sipped the freshly pressed vegetable juice we had just been served at an organic juice bar. "I wish I could make fresh juice at home, but I'm confused about what juicer to buy."
“Mmmh, this is delicious!” said my friend Joanne as she sipped the freshly pressed vegetable juice we had just been served at an organic juice bar. “I wish I could make fresh juice at home, but I’m confused about what juicer to buy. There are so many different types!”
Selecting the right juicer for your home can indeed seem overwhelming. It helps to do some thorough research before deciding on your purchase. Good construction, juice quality, and yield are important considerations. Quality juicers extract as much as 25 percent more juice from fruits and vegetables than lower-end models.
Let’s look at the three major types of household juicers, classified according to their juicing method.
Centrifugal juicers cut or grate the vegetables or fruits and then force them through a strainer at high speed, ejecting the juice in the process. Centrifugal extraction exposes the juice to oxygen, which speeds up nutrient degradation. Oxidative damage is minimized if the juice is consumed immediately after extraction. Centrifugal juicers efficiently process most fruits and popular juicing veggies such as carrots, beets, and celery. They are not, however, suitable for juicing leafy greens, such as parsley, wheatgrass, lettuce, or watercress.
Masticating juicers, which operate at lower speed, break up cells by “chewing” the produce and then use pressure to separate the pulp by forcing the juice through a screen. This method produces a higher yield than centrifugal juicers. It also keeps more nutrients intact and reduces the risk of oxidation. However, heat generated by friction in the extraction process results in some nutrient loss. Like centrifugal juicers, masticating models are suitable for most hard fruits and vegetables, but not for sensitive leafy greens.
Hydraulic press juicers produce the highest quality juice at rapid speed and maximum yield. Oxidative damage is prevented because the juice is not exposed to oxygen. Vitamins and enzymes remain intact. Press-type juicers effectively juice most vegetables, including leafy greens. One disadvantage with this type of juicer is that it doesn’t juice fruits well because it mashes them.
Blenders Are Not Juicers
Juicers should not be confused with blenders or food processors, which puree the food without separating the juice from the fibre. Blenders can, however, be used for mixing bananas, which are too soft to juice, with fresh juices from other fruit to create smoothies in a wide variety of flavours.
Where to Shop
The best place to shop for a juicer is your local health food store, where the staff knows the importance of keeping nutrients intact and minimizing oxidation. They can help you choose the juicing equipment that’s best for your needs. A high-quality juicer is an investment in your good health–strive to preserve it!