Posts Tagged ‘masticating’

The juice championships

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Here are the competitors: two juicers that work in different ways. On the left is Le Duo from Magimix, my old centrifugal juicer that’s still going strong after ten years. On the right is the new arrival, the Champion 2000+, a classic masticating juicer made in California.

Juicers

So why have I bought a new juicer when the old one still works? Mainly because I’ve read so many positive reviews of masticating juicers generally, but especially of the Champion. It’s said to produce more juice of higher nutritional value because it generates very little heat and doesn’t damage the cell walls of the ingredients. (This site gives more information about how the two types of juicer work).

I’m not equipped to measure the vitamins in my juice, but I decided to compare the two machines according to various criteria, starting with:

Size
The Magimix would obviously be more suitable for a small kitchen as it takes up only half the space of its rival on a worktop or in a cupboard. Of course if you put it away, you’re less likely to use it regularly…

Ease of use
Similar for both machines. You do have to cut the ingredients into quite slim slices to fit them into the funnel. Even a fat carrot can get stuck.

The Champion has the advantage if you want to make a lot of juice in one go because the pulp is pushed out continuously. With the Magimix, the pulp is retained inside the machine, which needs to be cleaned every now and again to keep it running smoothly.

Yield
The main sales argument for the Champion is that it makes a lot more juice than a centrifugal machine. To reassure myself I hadn’t wasted my money, I made the same juice in both, using exactly the same weight of the same ingredients: 250g of apples and 250g of carrots. This is a particularly quick and easy combination. I obtained 300ml of juice from the Magimix and 350ml from the Champion – 12.5% more. I can see this difference would be significant if I were making juice in industrial quantities, but it hardly shows in a glass:

Jus x 2A

The juice from the Champion, on the right, is thicker and smoother. Some people may prefer to thin it down with water. The juice from the Magimix soon throws a slight deposit, which can easily be stirred in.

Safety
Obviously you should unplug the machine as soon as it stops running, and use the pusher to force ingredients into the funnel rather than your fingers… A clear message in red type on the Champion reminds you about this.

Even so, two other dangers ought to be mentioned. The cutting blades of the Champion are only just inside the hole where the pulp comes out. It would be far easier for tiny fingers to explore this opening than to poke around in the funnel higher up. The Magimix, on the other hand, has a nasty habit of suddenly starting to bounce around on the work surface when the amount of pulp inside has built up somewhat (the first time this happened, it gave me quite a shock!), and it could easily fall off if close to the edge… It’s another reason never to leave a machine of this kind running unattended.

The pulp
Pictures speak louder than words:

Pulp

It’s not just that the Champion produces less pulp, but it’s really well ground up and compacted so it takes up less space.

The pulp from the Champion, on the right, is ready to be used in recipes for biscuits, cakes, vegetable fritters and so on.

Ease of cleaning
Both machines are easy to clean as long as you do this straight away after making the juice. I prefer to put the juice in the fridge while I rinse the parts under a warm tap (washing-up liquid is seldom necessary), even if this means waving goodbye to a few vitamins. You soon get the knack of using a brush and small sponge to clean out the waste.

Which only leaves the little matter of:

Cost
Prices vary, but on the whole masticating juicers cost two to three times as much as the centrifugal kind. Are they worth it? For the moment I’d say yes, but there are lots of issues to consider and the answer may not be the same for everyone.