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This article discusses the differences between the three main types of juicers – centrifugal, masticating, and twin-gear. Then, to help you decide what kind of juicer is best for you, we’ll discuss how these juicers work, what they are best used to juice and their characteristics. We use a centrifugal juicer and one of our two masticating juicers a few times a week to juice mainly carrots, apples, celery, lemons, kale, and spinach.
Let’s start by discussing centrifugal juicers.
The centrifugal juicer is the most popular type of juicer on the market. It is also called a high-speed juicer and, depending upon the model, can be inexpensive. Centrifugal juicers process the ingredients quickly and are easy to assemble, use, and clean.
Centrifugal juice machines operate at high speeds at around 3,000-16,000 RPM and usually have a low and high speed. They work by shredding the ingredients using a sharp blade and spinning the food against a strainer at high speed to separate the juice from the pulp. The liquid is then passed through the small holes of the straining basket/fine mesh strainer and flows into a container while the pulp goes into a separate container.
They are great for those who will primarily juice apples, carrots, celery, beets, and firm fruits. Some models, such as the Breville JE98XL, can process soft fruits at low speed. Although you can juice leafy greens in some centrifugal juicers, the juice yield and thus the amount of nutrients is much better using a masticating juicer.
Centrifugal juicing machines are great for those who want to juice primarily hard fruits and vegetables quickly and drink the juice right away. Also, they are a good choice if you are new to juicing and want to try it out before investing in the more expensive high-quality masticating or twin gear juicer.
If you are consistently pressed for time, the large feeding chute is advantageous as it saves prep time. For example, a medium-sized apple would fit in the chute; however, we usually slice the apple in half.
It doesn’t take long to make a glass of juice. Juice extracted using a centrifugal juicer can be stored in the refrigerator (4 °C) in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Some pulp inevitably ends up in the juice. If this is a concern, you can run the liquid through the juicer again or strain it. The foam can be stirred into the juice if you don’t want to waste it, or you can strain the juice or scoop it off with a spoon.
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A masticating juicer is sometimes referred to as a cold press juicer or a slow juicer. This juicer slowly rotates an auger to crush the fruit and vegetables at 80-100 RPM. Next, the produce is forced or pressed against a mesh strainer to separate the juice from the pulp. As with the centrifugal juicer, the juicer and pulp flow into separate containers.
The juicing process takes longer with a masticating juicing machine than with a centrifugal juicer since the auger turns slowly. However, it extracts more juice and creates less heat than a centrifugal juice machine, thus reducing oxidation. It also produces less noise since the motor is less powerful, and the auger rotates slowly.
Since the chute is small, the produce needs to be cut into smaller pieces than when using a centrifugal juicer, increasing preparation time by a few minutes.
Masticating juicers are ideal for juicing leafy greens, including kale and wheatgrass. Hard and soft produce can be juiced as well. In addition, many masticating juicers have features and attachments that can be used to make other foods like nut butter, baby food, or sorbets.
Masticating juicers are great for people who want to invest the time to make high-quality juice that can last for up to 48 hours. The juice must be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Masticating juicers are usually more expensive than centrifugal juicers. However, you will spend less money on raw ingredients due to the high juice yield. Therefore, if you are juicing for two or more people and plan to do so regularly, overall, a masticating juicer might be worth the cost.
Twin Gear Juicers
Twin gear juicers (also called triturating juicers) have two rotating gears close to each other. Although the exact process used to extract the juice from the produce varies according to the model, the gears crush and press the produce to release the liquid. The result is very dry pulp and a high juice yield.
The Angel Twin Gear Juicer Models 8500, 7500, and 5500 separate the juice from the fiber in three stages. In stage 1, the two gears crush the fibers and release the juice. In stages 2 and 3, the fiber is pressed and ground to extract more juice.
The Tribest Greenstar Elite Twin Gear Juicer has been updated to include a mixing stage in the juicing process. In stage 1, the produce is crushed and masticated to break the cell membranes to extract the juice. In stages 2 and 3, the produce is mixed and pressed, making it easier to effectively juice soft fruits.
The Tribest Greenstar Professional Commercial Twin Gear Juicer process differs from that of the Elite model in that the produce is mixed and rubbed together in stage 2. The first stage is the same – the twin gears crush and masticate the fruits and vegetables. In the second stage, the produce is mixed and rubbed together. The third stage involves squeezing the produce by applying extra pressure, which opens more cell membranes.
The motors of twin gear juicers operate quietly at a speed of 82-160 RPM. Although this speed is higher than a masticating juicer, the pulp is dry, and the juice yield is high. The juice can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 48-72 hours.
Triturating juicers process many leafy vegetables, including wheatgrass, beets, carrots, ginger, oranges, and apples. If the beets and carrots are cut into smaller pieces, they are easier to juice. Most, if not all, twin gear juicers come with food processing attachments to prepare recipes such as nut butter, baby food, and sorbets, making them versatile appliances.
Twin gear juicers are cost-effective for people who juice consistently for two or more people, plan to use the food processing capability once in a while, and want to store the juice for up to 3-4 days.
Twin gear juicing machines are the most expensive of the three main kinds of juicers. In addition, the juicing process takes longer than with a centrifugal juicer because the produce must be chopped into smaller pieces, and the juicer speed is much slower.
Some twin gear juice machines have an auto-reverse function to remove jammed ingredients. Other models can jam, but it is done manually by holding down the reverse button until the gears stop and pressing the forward button.
The amount of pressure to adjust pulp output can be adjusted on many twin gear juicers. This reduces the amount of jamming or clogging.
A centrifugal juicer is the least expensive of the three and is a good choice if you want to prepare your juice quickly, drink it within 24 hours, and don’t mind the noise. The exception to this will be if you plan to juice leafy greens daily. Then it might be more cost-effective in the long run to buy a masticating juicer.
Masticating juicers are perfect for juicing greens such as kale, spinach, and celery. I have both the Omega NC900HDC Juicer Extractor and the Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer. They are both easy to set up, use, disassemble, and clean.
I use the Omega NC900HDC Juicer Extractor to make both carrot/apple/ginger/lemon juice and green juice to store for a couple of days. The Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer Extractor works well but is a smaller unit, so it is used when I want a single glass of green juice.
Twin-gear juicers are designed to get more juice from fruits and vegetables than single gear masticating juicers and less foam. As a result, they are the “best” in the sense that they get the largest volume of juice from every ingredient; can handle soft fruits, tender leaves, and tough root vegetables; and produce high-quality cold-pressed juice. However, triturating juicers are usually slow in operation, expensive to buy, and difficult to clean, so they may not be the right choice for everyone.
These juicer types remain popular and in high demand because each type is ideal for various kinds of produce and personal preference. Knowing what the different types of juicer machines are and how they work, you can decide what type of juicer is best.
Perhaps you aren’t entirely sold on juicing; we have an article that discusses the differences between juicing and blending.
If you only want to juice citrus fruits, then ....
If your primary goal is to juice only citrus fruits, it is probably more cost-effective to purchase a juicer explicitly designed for them. Citrus juicers are designed to get the most juice from fruit and are easy to clean.
Many have different filters so that you can get your preferred amount of pulp. Citrus juicers are the fastest, most efficient way to get lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange juice.
Do centrifugal juicers get hot enough to destroy enzymes oxidize nutrients?
Robin Foroutan, an integrative medicine dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told CNN in an interview the following:
“Cold-pressed juicers don’t create heat the way centrifuge juicers do, and heat destroys enzymes in produce. However, centrifuge juicers likely don’t get hot enough to actually destroy enzymes or oxidize nutrients, Foroutan explained. “I don’t think the heat generated would be enough that it would kill enzymes or nutrients in the way cooking does,” Foroutan said.
Is the enzyme activity comparable in various types of juicers?
Let’s look at what the scientific research data shows about enzyme activity in juices produced by different extraction methods.
In a study conducted by Michael Donaldson Ph.D. and published in the Journal of Food Processing and Technology, the juicer types used were: twin gear, masticating, centrifugal, vertical single auger, and two 2-stage grinder and press units.
A panel of six enzymes was tested to assess juice quality. In addition, four measurements were taken of each juicer/produce combination when comparing the six juicers.
The results of this study showed enzyme activity was very comparable in all of the juicers. Additionally, the differences in enzymes were often greater between batches of produce than between the five kinds of juicers.
According to Dr. Donaldson:
"The results here, including the blender/press method testing, the speed of the impeller is not the main criteria for high-quality juice. Rather, the fineness of the grind and the pressure applied in the second stage of extraction determine the yield and quality of the juice. None of the juicing methods heated the pulp to any significant amount in the one-kilogram batches tested here. As long as heat is not generated the speed of the impeller apparently is irrelevant to juice quality.”
What type of juicer is best to juice grapes?
If you want to juice grapes, a masticating juicer is the preferred machine. A 2017 study by Kim, M. et al. evaluated and compared the antioxidant activities and contents in grape juices prepared using a masticating juicer (40-80 rpm), a centrifugal juicer (8,000-12,000 rpm), and a blender and grape flesh.
Antioxidant activities and nutritional properties of masticating juicer grape juice were the highest compared to other grape juices.
What kind of juicer is best to juice broccoli?
A study by Lee, M. et al. compared the quality and functionality of broccoli juice extracted using a NIC Kuvings silent juicer (uses masticating technology), a NUC centrifugal juicer, and a NUC mixer.
The results showed the extraction method might influence the quality and functional properties of broccoli juice. Specifically, the results indicated broccoli juiced prepared using the “silent juicer” (80 rpm) showed higher antioxidative, anticancer, and anti-diabetic activities than those prepared using the centrifugal juicer (15,000 rpm) and the mixer.