What is a Masticating Juicer? Pros and Cons
Juicing is one of the best ways to meet your daily requirements of minerals, proteins and other nutrients. It not only convenient to drink and carry when you do not have the time to sit down and eat a big plate of greens or fruits but also makes the nutrients and enzymes easier for the body to absorb. Juicing breaks the food cell behind which most nutrients are locked away and will not be released unless you chew your salad well.
This makes juicers a very important tool for people who are looking for a healthier lifestyle. However, using the right juicer is necessary to get high quality juice with more nutrients, less oxidation and higher yield.
What is a masticating juicer?
There are majorly two types of juicers available in the market today. Centrifugal juicers are the traditional juicers that chop and spin the produce at a very high speed, using sharp blades to extract and separate the juice from the pulp. It utilizes centrifugal force to spin the chopped produce to extract the juice just like a washing machine.
Whereas masticating juicers use an auger (or twin augers) to chew or grind the fruits and vegetables to yield better quality and quantity of juice. The auger looks like a drill, where the screw blade rotates at slow speed to insert and crush your fruits and vegetables and squeezed against the wall of the juicer to remove the drilled pulp. The juice is then collected and strained through the wire mesh. (Read more about the difference between masticating and centrifugal juicers here)
The slow turning action produces lesser friction and thus lesser heat. This preserves the nutrients that are otherwise killed due to heat exposure. The slower RPM also results in lesser oxygen getting trapped inside the produce while rotation and results in less foam and reduces the oxidation of nutrients and enzymes. Lower oxidation means that more nutrients are available without being oxidized and discolored and juice stays fresher for longer period of time.
Pros of Masticating juicers
- More nutrition – Masticating juicers operate at a speed ranging from 40-160 RMP whereas a centrifugal machine runs at a high speed of 3,000 – 16,000 RPM. Lower speed means lower heat production and results in preservation of vital nutrients and enzymes. Whereas centrifugal machines heat up the produce and fruits, killing away most nutrients in the process.
- Less oxidation – These low speed machines stir in lot lesser oxygen which results in foaming and oxidation of the nutrients. Oxidized juice changes color and reduces the freshness and health benefits of the juice.
- Thicker in texture – Centrifugal force leaves out upto 20% of juice in the pulp. This means the juice produced is less flavorful and runny in texture. Whereas cold pressed juice or masticated juice that is produced by the chewing and pressing action of the auger produced dry pulp and delicious juice.
- Higher juice yield – If you were to take the pulp from the centrifugal juicer and feed it to masticating juicer, you will see how much juice was still left out. Higher yield makes the machine more economical in the long run as we end up using less organic vegetables and fruits for the same quantity of juice.
- Versatility – Masticating juicer can efficiently juice all soft and hard fruits/ vegetables including leafy greens, root vegetables and wheat grass. It can also double up as a machine to help to prepare baby foods, sauces, sorbets and nut milk.
- Maintenance and ease-of-use – With less number of parts, masticating juicer can be easily dis-integrated to wash and clean. Many machines come with parts that are dishwasher safe or can be just rinsed with warm water to clean up. Most brands back these machines with high warranty period of upto 15 years because they less heat means they age slowly.
- Quiet – Running at low RPM, masticating juicers are very silent rather than centrifugal machines whose high speed produces high levels of noise.
Cons of Masticating juicers
- Price – Masticating juicers are more expensive machines with the price range starting from $300. However, the cost is more like an investment because you end up saving a lot of money on produce. It’s all savings in the long run.
- Weight – They are a little bulky when compared to centrifugal machines. However, the manual juicers are lightweight (<5lb) and portable.
Masticating juicers (read reviews of the top masticating juicers in 2016, here) are the newer generation of juicers that do just as their name suggests.