Juicing has become an increasingly popular way for health-conscious people to get their daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Drinking fresh, raw juice made at home provides important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in their natural, unprocessed form. There are two main types of juicers on the market – traditional centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers. But what exactly is the difference, and which one is better for you?
How Juicers Work
To understand the key differences between these two types of juicers, it’s helpful to first look at how they work to extract juice from fruits and vegetables.
Centrifugal juicers work by first shredding the produce using sharp blades spun at high speeds. This breaks open the cell walls to release the juice. The juice and pulp are then spun against a mesh filter to separate them. The juice passes through the screen into a container while the dry pulp is ejected.
These juicers operate at speeds of around 1,000 to 15,000 RPM (revolutions per minute). Their fast spinning action generates heat and friction that can destroy some nutrients and enzymes. However, they tend to be more affordable and easier to use and clean than masticating models.
Masticating or “cold press” juicers crush and press produce to extract juice. They have an auger (a corkscrew-like blade) that rotates slowly at around 80-100 RPM. The auger crushes the produce against a chamber wall, squeezing out the juice. The pulp remains inside the machine longer, allowing more juice and nutrients to be extracted.
The slow speed and powerful crushing action of masticating juicers produces minimal heat buildup and oxidation. This preserves more vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients compared to centrifugal models.
There are some notable differences between centrifugal and masticating juicers when it comes to juicing performance:
Masticating juicers are generally more efficient at extracting juice from produce. Their slower, crushing mechanism can squeeze out up to 30% more juice compared to centrifugal models.
The high-speed shredding action of centrifugal juicers introduces more air into the juice. This can degrade quality through foaming and oxidation. Masticating juicers produce juice of superior quality with less foam and oxidation.
Juice Shelf Life
Juice made with masticating juicers can last up to 72 hours in the refrigerator due to less oxidation. Centrifugal juicer juice has a shorter shelf life of only 24 hours.
Centrifugal juicers can whip up a glass of juice in seconds. They’re faster than masticating models which have slower crushing mechanisms. However, what you gain in speed with centrifugal juicers you lose in juice quality and yield.
|Higher (up to 30% more)
|More foam and oxidation
|Less foam and oxidation
|Juice Shelf Life
|Up to 72 hours
Types of Produce
Both centrifugal and masticating juicers can juice all common fruits and vegetables. However, they differ in their effectiveness with certain produce:
- Best for juicing carrots, apples, celery, beets, and other hard fruits/veggies
- Can juice leafy greens like spinach and kale but not as efficiently – may require pre-chopping
- Not ideal for juicing wheatgrass which requires slow grinding
- Should not juice herbs, sprouts, or other fibrous produce
- Excellent for leafy greens like kale, spinach, parsley, wheatgrass
- Efficiently juices fruits and vegetables with high water content – citrus, melons, tomatoes, etc.
- Can juice nearly all produce including stringy herbs and sprouts
Overall, masticating juicers handle a wider variety of produce more efficiently. Their versatility makes them ideal as an all-round juicer.
|Types of Produce
Nutrients and Enzymes
The high speeds and heat generation of centrifugal juicers can diminish nutritional value in some cases. Masticating juicers better preserve nutrients and enzymes during juicing:
- Up to 60% more antioxidants and phytochemicals
- Up to 50% more vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene
- Up to 40% more folate
- Higher enzyme retention for improved digestion
Masticating juicers are gentler processing, so you get more nutritious juice packed with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
What happens to the dry pulp after juicing is another difference between the two styles:
- Centrifugal: Ejects pulp forcefully into external container
- Masticating: Exits pulp through internal screen into attached container
The strong outward ejection of pulp from centrifugal juicers makes them louder in operation. It can also create a mess on your countertops. Masticating juicers have quieter, cleaner pulp ejection.
In general, centrifugal juicers are easier to clean since they have less parts and surfaces exposed to pulp. Masticating juicers have more parts and small crevices that can be time-consuming to clean.
However, some masticating juicers have parts that are dishwasher safe. And they produce less froth and foam, resulting in reduced mess on juicer parts.
So while centrifugal juicers are quicker to clean, the cleanup difference is not substantially in their favor.
There is quite a difference in price between the two types of juicers:
- Centrifugal: $50 to $200
- Masticating: $200 to $400
Centrifugal juicers are more affordable for most budgets. Masticating juicers come at a higher cost but match that with higher performance and juice quality.
Centrifugal juicers operate at very high speeds, producing more noise in the process. Their forceful pulp ejection also adds noise.
Masticating juicers have much quieter operation at lower speeds. This makes them better suited for early morning or late night juicing.
The high-speed motors and spinning metal blades of centrifugal juicers can wear down over time. Masticating juicers have durable augers and crushing mechanisms that hold up better for lasting performance.
The stronger motors of masticating juicers typically come with 10-15 year warranties compared to just 1-3 years for centrifugal models.
For most people looking to try juicing, a centrifugal model is the best place to start. These mainstream juicers are affordable options for basic juicing needs. Their fast preparation is convenient, especially for busy lifestyles. Centrifugal juicers can make nutritious juices from hard fruits/veggies.
Serious juicing enthusiasts are better served by a masticating juicer. The slower crushing action maximizes juice yields from all produce. Juice quality is superior with minimal oxidation. More nutrients and enzymes are preserved for a nourishing beverage full of vitamins and minerals. Although more expensive initially, a masticating juicer is a wise investment for higher performance, versatility, and durability.