Masticating vs. Centrifugal Juicers
If you have been looking into buying a juicer then you have probably noticed that most models are either labeled as “centrifugal” or “masticating”. But what do these two terms mean? They refer to the manner in which juice is extracted from fruits and vegetables. These two methods are quite different and both have their plus and minuses when it comes to juicing. Unfortunately, there is not one perfect solution for everyone. Determining which factors are most important to you will help you ultimately choose which type of juicer will be the best type for your needs.
“Masticate” means to “chew”. These type of juicers work by slowly feeding fruits and vegetables through a screw like auger. As the food is moved along it is crushed, squeezed and pressed to separate the juice from the pulp. The more traditional horizontal machines have the ability to also do other things like make nut butters, baby food, or extrude pasta. While on the other hand, vertical masticating juicing machines have the advantage of taking up less counter space.
This type of juicer does have some very distinct advantages over centrifugal type juicers and depending on the type of juicing you wish to do, this method of juicing may be more preferable. Some of the benefits of masticating juicers include;
Noise: Most of the masticating juicers being sold today operate at a slower 80RPM’s. This slower speed creates less noise than other types of juicers. Those who wish to juice early in the morning or late at night should not have to worry about waking other house members as this machines are pretty quiet.
Leafy Greens and Wheatgrass: Masticating juicers typically handle these types of produce more efficiently, with a high juice yield. If you anticipate that you will be juicing a fair amount of cabbage, kale, spinach and wheatgrass, you would probably be better served using this type of machine. Omega juicers are exceptional options for juicing these types of veggies.
Oxidation: Masticating juicers do not introduce a lot of air into the final product, cutting down on oxidation that can cause nutrient loss and can prevent the juice from staying fresh. Juice from masticating juicers can usually be stored cold for around 3 days before they turn, compared to 1 day, at most, for centrifugal juicers.
Less air during the juicing process also means less foam is typically produced which is usually a positive as foam, or froth, can affect the taste.
Juice Quality: Some owners find that the reduction in air in the juice also produces a final product that has better and deeper colors and one that tastes slightly better. This part comes down to personal taste, but some owners seem to notice a difference.
Masticating juicers have their strengths, but they also have some weakness. Some of these include;
Time: They are often referred to as “slow juicers” because they handle juicing in a more methodical and deliberate manner. At just 80RPM it will not make quick work of fruits and vegetables the way that centrifugal juicers can.
These types of machines also tend to come with smaller feed chutes. This means that produce must be cut up into smaller pieces in order to fit into the juicer. This can add to prep time.
Price: Masticating juicers tend to be a little more expensive than centrifugal juicers, especially in comparable lower “entry level” price points.
Pulpy Juice: The finished product tends to have a little more pulp end up in the juice than centrifugal juicers.
Clean Up: While clean up is relatively quick on newer models, some of the older masticating machines may take a little bit longer since they have more parts to wash.
These type of machines use centrifugal force to extract juice from various fruits and vegetables. When items are dropped into the machine, they are cut up into fine pieces and then spun at very high speeds. The spinning causes the pulp to press up against the walls of the mesh filter inside the machine forcing the juice out and through tiny holes that will eventually make its way into your glass. The pulp is then ejected into a separate container. Centrifugal juicers usually spin anywhere between 2000 to 14000RPM.
Speed: This is method of juicing is usually a lot quicker. The high RPM usually make quick work of produce entered into the machine. Centrifugal juicers are great for hard fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and beets.
Newer models, especially Breville’s line of centrifugal juicers, come with a wider feed chute that are capable of handling whole apples, carrots and other produce without the need to cut them up into smaller pieces. This saves on prep time.
Price: Quality centrifugal juicers are generally less expensive than quality masticating juicers, although some of the higher end models can run about the same amount of money.
Clean Up: The newer models are designed with easy clean up in mind and are pretty simple to disassemble, wash and reassemble.
Noise: The high RPM and spin rates of these machines cause them to be quite a bit noisier than masticating style juicers. One of the trade offs of a faster juicing process is a louder juicing process.
Leafy Greens and Wheatgrass: While these type of machines will juice this type of produce, they are not as efficient at it as masticating juicers.
Oxidation: Running at such high RPM’s means more air is pushed through the machine and into the juice. This not only may cause the juice to be more frothy, but it also means it usually will not keep. Juice produced with a centrifugal type machine should be consumed right away.
Wet Pulp: Some users find that when juicing certain soft fruits and vegetables, like grapes for example, the pulp that is extracted is not as dry as that of a masticating juicer. This means that some liquid was left behind in the pulp.
Knowing the pro’s and cons of each of these types of juicers should hopefully help you narrow down which one you would get the most use out of. Below is a great video demonstration showing how these two types of juicers operate side by side. A vertical masticating juicer is used but horizontal models operate in a somewhat similar fashion.