Simply put, a juicer separates nutrient-rich juice from the fibers of fruit and vegetables, so your digestive system doesn’t have too. There are machines that do this very well and I can tell you from experience there are many more that do it poorly. A well-made juicer is almost magical—a carrot disappears and out comes fresh carrot juice. After 20 years I still enjoy the juicing process.
There are three different methodologies juicers use:
This is the most common juicer you will see on those late-night infomercials. Produce is pushed down a chute into a spinning basket. The base of the basket has tiny teeth that grind the fruit or vegetables into a soft mush. Because the basket is spinning at a high rate, the wet mush is thrown against the side of the basket, much like wet clothes in the spin cycle. Like your laundry tub, the side of the basket is porous, allowing the mush to release its juice using centrifugal force. The dry pulp flies out the top of the basket and is directed into a pulp dispenser while the juice drains from a spigot into your waiting cup.
Masticating, i.e., chewing, is a very different method. Produce is pushed down a chute into a slow-moving screw-like blade that is powered by a strong, low RPM, high-torque motor. Sometimes there are two screws working in parallel. They chew the food into a mush which is then pushed by the screw down a tapered tube, squeezing the juice from the pulp. Mesh on the bottom of the tube allows the juice to be released into a container while pulp exits the end of the tube. One of the first masticating machines was the Champion.
We are all familiar with the citrus press; it works on a very simple principle. Citrus fruit, such as lemon, is cut in half horizontally across its segments. The cut half is then pressed down on a reamer which has an inverted shape to the fruit. Some reamers are motorized and turn; others use long arms for leverage and you push a cup down onto the half-fruit, simply using pressure to squeeze the juice.
Centrifugal vs. Masticating – The Great Debate
Here’s how the debate goes. The masticating people say that centrifugal juicers spin too fast, resulting in the heating and oxidizing of juice, damaging delicate enzymes and reducing storage life. The other side believes that the chewing process of a masticating juicer releases a greater percentage of minerals from hard fibers compared to the grinding process of a centrifugal juicer.
Being quite skeptical of such claims, I have searched for solid comparison studies. It’s a critical subject because, even though a masticating juicer may not yield a greater volume of juice, if what is pouring out of the spigot is higher in nutrition and enzymes, then it’s worth paying more for a masticating machine. As well, if masticated juice keeps fresh longer, the extra cost is worthwhile. During a juice fast, I almost always make my next day’s juice the night before since I have to leave for work at 6 a.m. Most of us do not immediately drink the aromatic juice flowing from our juicers. New laboratory research is backing the masticating claims. The juice lasts longer, with enzymes intact, and there is a greater concentration in nutrients, including minerals.
This is one reason I promote the Samson Advanced Juicer. Unlike the centrifugal juicers, the masticating type can do more than juice; it makes raw nut butter, baby food, frozen smoothies, and soup purees.
Why do I still promote the Omega Big Mouth centrifugal-type juicer? Because the best juicer is one you will actually use. The Omega Big Mouth Juicer is only $199 and is a great machine for that price, producing many years of juice and is very fast to use. Even though the Samson Advanced does produce a superior juice, I know many people who have healed and reversed cancer with the juices flowing from a centrifugal juicer. For the first ten years of juicing, I turned my health around 180 degrees on an Omega Big Mouth type of juicer.
So... Which one should I buy?
The number-one question people ask when they are deciding which juicer to buy: Is it easy to clean?
Unfortunately, our time-saving mentality will not work with a juicer. Juicers will not save you time; they may save your life, and I suppose that is time-saving in the big scheme of things. Even the best juicers are not easy to clean but, from cutting to cleaning, some are definitely better than others. Because of the large hopper, the Omega Big Mouth will be the fastest, from start to cleanup. The Samson Advanced Juicer will take a little longer, but is still an easy machine to clean. When I say longer, I mean about a minute. And for you, that might result in the juicer ending up at the back of your deepest cupboard.
So, after twenty years, I have come to a very simple conclusion of what is the most important quality of a juicer: Pick the one you will actually use. I used bold print because I thought it was a profound insight, which says a lot about what I think of myself; or I have been doing this for so long, I take it all far too seriously; or I have talked to many first-time juicer owners who were all pumped about their health until the novelty of juicing wore off. I also feel the suffering of thousands of orphaned juicers, all purchased with grand promises and best intentions. In their honor, I am going to repeat myself. The best juicer is the one that gets used often enough that it has a positive impact on the owner’s health.
“Know thyself.”~ an oracle given by Socrates at Delphi
I put this in italics because I think it was another profound insight. Know thyself, and you will save a whole lot of money on what I call good intention purchases. That is why usability tops my list of a juicer’s best qualities. Bottom line, no matter how great the machine is—it may even be able to fold your socks—if it’s hard to use, you won’t use it!
I have suggested three of the best juicers in the world. Take your time to read about them and choose the one you will actually use. Link To Our Top Pick Juicers