The history of juicing dates back hundreds of years.
Mankind has been crushing herbs, fruits and vegetables trying to extract the goodness within since before 150 BC when early records show that figs were crushed as they were believed to ‘give strength’ to whoever consumed the juice.
What is a Juicer?
A juicer is any tool used to separate the juice from the pulp of vegetables, fruit, leafy greens and herbs. By removing the pulp the juicer naturally concentrates the goodness found in the food being juiced and allows the body to more easily absorb the available nutrition in its most natural form.
It wasn’t until the 1930’s when the first commercially available juicing machine, the Norwalk was made available and juicing really started to become popular.
The Norwalk was designed and invented by raw food enthusiast Dr Norman Walker (Nor+Walk) and is still a recognised brand today and a popular machine for small juicing businesses around the world.
In 1963 Dr Walker produced a book entitled ‘Raw Vegetable Juices’ and the Norwalk juicer naturally followed on from this.
The Norwalk grates and squeezes fruits and vegetables and then presses the pulp through a linen bag. The same basic design is still in use today and the Norwalk remains a best seller all over the world.
In the mid 1950’s the Champion Machine was born. This was the first masticating juicer and again still remains popular today. The machine is known to produce a lot of heat during operation however due to the 4,000 rpm turning rod inside. As we now know heat can damage the healthy aspects of the juice such as enzymes and other essential nutrients so ideally machines that generate too much heat should be avoided if possible.
It’s still a great juicer that’s built to last however and one we like here at juicerfan.
In 1993 the Green Power juicer was invented which utilised a twin gear pestle and mortar type internal design so producing much less heat than the Champion. This means that all the natural enzymes and essential nutrients are better preserved during the juice extraction process giving a more nutritionally complete juice.
Juicing became very popular during the 1990’s and many smaller units aimed at the home market were designed and built.
The 1990’s saw the creation of the company Jamba Juice which really took commercial juicing mainstream with outlets opening all over the world.
In 2000 the book ‘Juicing for health’ was released by Dr Jenson. This book contained many studies in relation to juicing and health and how the amazing nutritional benefits of raw juice have a positive effect on our health.
Today there are a huge range of juicers available on the market and choosing the best juicer for your needs can be a little confusing.
What are the main types of juicers available today?
The most affordable type of juicer on the market today, the centrifugal juicer works by first cutting the ingredients into smaller pieces and then spinning it at very fast speeds to ‘wring out’ the juice. A bit like a washing machine on a spin cycle, minus the chopping bit of course.
The pros of these units include the speed. They are able to produce juice quickly. They are also easier to clean.
Cons of centrifugal juicers include the production of heat during the spinning process which is known to oxidise the juice and damage the enzymes and nutrients. The volume of juice extracted by a centrifugal unit also tend to be a little lower than the other types of juicers available.
We believe that as a starting point centrifugal juicers are not bad especially is you’re always in a hurry as they’re easy to clean and produce juice quickly.
Please see our review page for further information on the best centrifugal juicers.
If you’re really into your juicing though we recommend that you take a look at masticating and twin gear juicers.
Masticating aka slow juicers use a single gear or blade that slowly crushes the produce to produce the juice.
These are more efficient than their centrifugal brothers and more importantly produce little to no heat during operation so the essential nutrients and enzymes in the juice remain preserved.
They work a little more slowly than centrifugal juicers but are more efficient at getting all the juice from the produce.
If your budget can stretch to it we highly recommend masticating juicers as feel the extra investment for the better quality juice you will obtain is worth it.
Please see our review page for details on the best masticating juicers.
Twin Gear and Hydraulic Press Juicers
Most high grade commercial juices come from a cold pressed hydraulic juice machine today such as the Norwalk. They are the industry standard for preserving the goodness in the produce being juiced and come highly recommended by us here at juicerfan.
The Norwalk Juicer is one of the most famous hydraulic press juicers on the market today and for good reason; it produces a high quality juice with little waste.
Hydraulic press juicers like the Norwalk are top of the line machines.
They work by slowly chopping the produce and then subjecting the pulp to a slow high pressure press. This ensures that nearly all the juice is removed from the produce.
Juices from hydraulic cold pressed juicers like the Norwalk can last around 3 days in the fridge due to the natural preservative action of the nutrients present in the extracted juice.
These units are not cheap however and cost upwards of $1000. They tend to be favoured by businesses or serious at home juice enthusiasts.
Twin gear juicers work similarly to masticating juicers but have two blades or gears, run a little slower and more efficient at getting every last bit of juice from your produce.
They produce no heat so the essential nutrients and enzymes present are preserved. These juicers are ideal for someone where price is not an issue and they want the best juice at home.
Please see our review page for more details on twin gear and hydraulic press/cold pressed juicers.