Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. But with so many juicer options on the market, how do you know which type of juicer is the healthiest? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between masticating and centrifugal juicers and discuss the potential health benefits of masticating juicers.
How Masticating Juicers Work
Masticating juicers, also known as cold press or slow juicers, work by slowly crushing and pressing fruits and vegetables to extract juice. Here’s a quick overview of the masticating juicing process:
- Produce is inserted into a narrow chute.
- A rotating auger or gear with blunt teeth grinds the produce into pulp.
- The pulp is pressed against a screen to separate the juice from the fiber.
- The auger operates at a slow speed, usually around 80 RPM.
- This cold press process minimizes heat and oxidation.
The slow speed allows time for the cell walls in the produce to break down and release their juices. Masticating juicers can effectively extract juice from leafy greens, soft fruits, hard vegetables, and wheatgrass.
How Centrifugal Juicers Work
Centrifugal juicers have a completely different mechanism. Here’s how they work:
- Produce is dropped into a fast spinning shredder disk.
- The high speeds, often over 10,000 RPM, rapidly shred the produce.
- The juice is separated from the pulp using centrifugal force.
- The pulp is spun into a container while the juice pours out.
The fast spinning action generates heat and incorporates air into the juice. Centrifugal juicers are ideal for juicing hard fruits and veggies like carrots and apples, but generally inefficient for leafy greens.
Heat and Oxidation
One of the main differences between masticating and centrifugal juicers is the amount of heat and oxidation they generate during juicing.
|Juicer Type||Juicing Mechanism||Heat & Oxidation Level|
|Centrifugal||High speed shredding||High|
The cold press process of masticating juicers produces juice with minimal heat and oxidation. Centrifugal juicers expose juice to heat and oxygen, which can degrade nutrients and antioxidants.
Along with differences in heat and oxidation levels, masticating and centrifugal juicers produce juice with varying quality characteristics:
|Juice Quality||Masticating Juicer||Centrifugal Juicer|
|Yield from produce||High, drier pulp||Lower, wetter pulp|
|Juice shelf life||72+ hours||24 hours max|
|Texture||Smooth, almost creamy||Thinner, more watery|
Masticating juicers maximize juice yields from produce with their grinding/pressing system. They produce juice with a longer shelf life and less foam. The juice has a richer, smoother texture as well.
The way juice is extracted impacts nutrient levels. Studies show masticating juicers do a better job of retaining beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to centrifugal models:
- Up to 60% higher retention of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene antioxidants.
- Up to 50% higher retention of phenolic antioxidants like chlorogenic acid.
- Higher levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
The slower speeds, lack of oxygen exposure, and minimal heat generation leads to less degradation of sensitive nutrients. Juice from masticating juicers may pack more of a nutritional punch.
Juicing Leafy Greens
If you want to juice a lot of leafy greens like kale, spinach, or wheatgrass, a masticating juicer is highly recommended. The crushing and pressing action is far better suited for greens than the shredding mechanism of centrifugal models.
Masticating juicers can efficiently process greens and extract substantial juice yields. Centrifugal juicers often struggle, providing low juice output and leaving greens loosely chopped rather than thoroughly juiced.
Fiber in Juice
Along with juice, masticating juicers expel some insoluble fiber into juice. Centrifugal models remove all insoluble fiber. This fiber gives masticating juicer juice more body and a smooth, pulpy texture.
While insoluble fiber doesn???t impact blood sugar, some find the addition of fiber aids digestion. The fiber may also help you feel fuller compared to juice with no fiber content.
Centrifugal juicers must rotate at very high speeds to work effectively, typically from 10,000 to 14,000 RPM. Masticating juicers feature much slower auger speeds, usually around 80 RPM.
The slower speed of masticating juicers results in less oxidation, less foaming, and minimal heating of juice. It may translate to better retention of nutrients sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen.
|Centrifugal||10,000 – 14,000 RPM|
Masticating juicers are generally more efficient than centrifugal models, resulting in higher juice yields and drier pulp.
Centrifugal juicers extract juice by shredding produce through circular cutting blades spinning at high speeds. This happens quickly but pulverizes produce, releasing juice but also trapping some within the pulp.
The slower crushing/pressing of masticating juicers allows more time for cell walls to burst and release their contents. The pressure applied extracts more juice from the pulp. You???ll typically get up to 20% more juice from a masticating juicer with drier pulp as a byproduct.
For juicing wheatgrass, masticating juicers again outperform centrifugal models. The long, tough fibers of wheatgrass clog the strainers of centrifugal juicers or result in low juice yields.
Masticating juicers crush and press wheatgrass slowly but thoroughly. The auger is forceful enough to squeeze high juice yields from wheatgrass where centrifugal juicers fail.
Centrifugal juicers operate at very high speeds, resulting in louder juicing compared to masticating models. If you juice early in the morning or have sleeping children, noise may be a consideration.
Masticating juicers typically operate under 60 dB, below the level of a normal conversation. Centrifugal juicers can produce upwards of 80 dB of noise, similar to a garbage disposal.
With both juicer types, cleaning immediately after juicing is recommended. Masticating juicers generally have fewer parts to clean than centrifugal models.
Centrifugal juicers feature more crevices and small parts where pulp can get trapped. Some masticating juicers have parts that are dishwasher safe.
There is quite a range in pricing for both types of juicers. In general, centrifugal juicers tend to be more budget-friendly while masticating juicers come with a higher price tag.
Higher end masticating juicers may cost over $400 while centrifugal models can run less than $50. Paying more for a masticating juicer may be worth it for the performance and juice quality.
Based on the evidence, masticating juicers edge out centrifugal models when it comes to producing the healthiest juice. Here are some key benefits of masticating juicers:
- Minimal heat and oxidation preserves more nutrients.
- Higher juice yields and drier pulp.
- Juice lasts longer with less foam.
- More effective for juicing leafy greens and wheatgrass.
- Higher retention of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants.
- Quieter operation.
For the health-conscious juicer looking to maximize nutrients, a masticating model is likely the best choice. The slower, cooler juicing method results in a superior juice quality that is worth the higher cost. Drink your veggies and fruits – just consider making them with a masticating juicer!