Many of us just don’t have the time to sit down and make ourselves a delicious juice, because we are either juggling the kids or shooting off to work. Either way, it shouldn’t stop us from missing out on a great way to get nutrition.
Throughout this blog post I will be talking about oxidisation a lot, so to save confusion later oxidisation in the context of juicing is the reaction of the nutrient compounds being exposed to oxygen. Juice in particular, is highly susceptible to oxidisation, because as soon as you juice ingredients, the cell walls of the produce break open, releasing the nutrients. Because the cell walls are broken open in a juicer and not in our stomachs, the nutrients can be sensitive to oxygen, light and heat which makes your juice decrease in nutrition. However, if you use good organic produce, the right juicer and store your juices correctly, you will have a minimal decrease in nutrients.
The juice quality is ensured by the process. This is why masticating juicers with twin gears or single augers get better reviews about the juice quality because of the grinding and chewing action they have on the ingredients, which is the most efficient way of breaking down the plant cells and membranes.
Another reason why masticating juicers tend to have better quality juice than centrifugal juicers is because the ingredients have to pass through very small gaps between two stainless steel gears, which achieves a better breakdown of the cells.
In a centrifugal juicer, the plant's cell walls are broken open very quickly due to the centrifugal force. This means that there is very little time for the cells to be broken down completely, which makes the juice less colourful and has a slight decrease in its nutritional content. Centrifugals tend to incorporate oxygen into there juicing process, which will mean your juice will discolour more quickly due to oxidation and the shelf life of your juice will be decreased. Whereas masticating juicers don’t incorporate as much air, so your juices will last much longer.
We recommend the Hurom H-AA 3rd Generation Alpha series for high-quality juice and ease of use. We also believe that this juicer is so quick to clean, which is perfect for anyone on a hectic schedule.
We know organic produce can be expensive, but for juicing purposes it’s important. With good juicers, you won't necessarily have to peel all of your ingredients, which is why we recommend using organic ingredients as the produce won't be contaminated with pesticides and other nasty chemicals within the peel, non of which you want in your nutritious juice.
Another great reason to use organic ingredients is that they tend to have higher levels of nutrition and even if your store your juice in the correct way the nutritional content will still decrease slightly, so it's always best to start off with a higher nutritional content.
Using citrus fruits within your juice is a great way to prolong the shelf life as these kinds of fruits tend to last longer than other fruits such as apples. When you cut up an apple, enzymes are released and oxidise, this causes your apple to turn brown. It is believed that plants use this enzyme as a defence mechanism to discourage animals from eating the plant.
Citrus fruits reduce the browning and oxidation of other fruits because they are full of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) which will always react with oxygen first. This is why some people put lemon juice on half an avocado to stop it from browning quickly. However, once the citrus fruit ascorbic acid has reacted with the oxygen then the avocados enzymes will start to react with the oxygen.
To make this easier to understand, think of citrus juice as a protective layer, once you put the juice onto another fruit, the citrus juice protects that fruit from the oxygen. Once the citrus juice has been worn down by the oxygen, it can no longer protect the fruit and it will eventually start to turn brown.
Lemon juice is the best to stop other fruit from browning due to its low (acidic) pH level, but other juices that can be effective are lime, cranberry and grapefruit.
TIP: Store all your juicing ingredients in the fridge before juicing, as chilled ingredients will help prolong the nutrients of your juice.
Storing your juice isn’talways easy if you don’t have the correct equipment, andunfortunately reusing old water bottles or milk cartons won't suffice. BPA free Vacuum containers are best for storing juice because they suck all of the air out of the container and the plastic won't leach into your juice due to its BPA free title. If you don’t fancy splurging on a BPA vacuum container then a glass airtight bottle is your next best option.
When buying a glass container make sure it's small enough for a single serving so you can open it and drink it all at once, instead of opening it, only drinking half and then saving it for later. This process of saving it for later will let air into your juice, which will make the juices nutritional content decrease a little bit more. This is why we suggest vacuum containers because you can pour however much you want into a glass and know that the rest is still vacuumed.
After juicing you want to pour your juice straight into a vacuum jug or glass container because the least amount of air that is exposed to your juice the longer it will last. You also want to get your containers into the fridge as quick as you can, because the juice will react well to dark cold areas.
TIP: Always fill your GLASS container to the very top to reduce oxygen exposure within the container. The smaller the gap between the cap of the container and the juice, the better. If you find you don’t have enough juice to fill your container add filtered water.
When taking your juice to work or the likes, always store it in a cooler bag with ice packs as this mimics the climate of a refrigerator and will keep your juice tasty and fresh for longer.
The maximum amount of time juices can be stored in the fridge is 24-48 hours if you have used all the steps above. However, juice is best drunk straight after the juicing process because that's when the juice is at its best. 24-48 hours are the recommended storage time, but you are able to push it to 72 hours if you have used lots of citrus fruits and a vacuum container.
After 72 hours in the fridge, your juice will lose a lot of its nutrients and will become darker in colour because of oxidisation. You will also notice that the taste can often become unpleasant. If you notice your juice changes colour or tastes different before 72 hours, then this is a clear sign of oxidation and/or the juice going bad and you should throw it out.Read More