Cold-pressed juice is all the buzz lately, but what does it really mean and how is it different from other juices? Read on for all the details!
What is cold pressed juice?
Cold pressed juices are nutritious beverages crafted by processing raw fruits and vegetables. Virtually any type of produce can undergo cold pressing, including familiar choices like oranges, but it can also be used to incorporate highly nutritious greens like spinach and kale.
The method is specifically designed to prevent nutrient loss during extraction, aiming to retain as many healthy compounds as possible in the final product. A notable advantage of cold pressed juices is their ability to preserve the true flavor of the ingredients, resulting in a rich taste without added sugars or additional flavorings.
How is cold pressed juice made?
Cold pressed juicing uses a slow, mechanical grinding process to untangle the fibers that hold fruits and vegetables together, then uses a hydraulic press to squeeze out the fresh juice. The resulting juice is not pasteurized – it’s simply bottled and refrigerated.
This method of extraction uses less friction, heat, and air than centrifugal juicers. A centrifugal juicer is the type of juicer you may have at home or see in juice bars that make juice to order. It is loud and spins around and makes a noise when the produce is being pushed through. Juice made with a centrifugal juicer needs to be enjoyed right away as the heat and air that’s pumped into it during the juicing process begins to oxidize the juice and make it less nutritious, foamy, and airy. While a centrifugal juicer is an easy choice for home use, cold-pressed juice is the best for keeping juice on hand for instant nourishment.
What is pasteurization?
Pasteurization is a method where food or juice is processed to kill potential pathogens in the food or juice, and most importantly, extend the shelf life for more sales. The most common method is Heat Pasteurization, which involves taking the juice, heating it to at least 165 F and then cooling it back down. This is the most common form of pasteurization and it also kills all the nutrients, creating an anemic juice with less color, taste and nutrients.
High pressure processing (HPP) is also known as cold pasteurization. The juice is stored in a plastic container, put into a machine filled with water and then subjected to extremely high pressure to kill microorganisms. It is less harmful than heating the juice, but still results in loss of phytonutrients, enzymes and vitamins. Additionally, some consumers may be concerned about plastics leaching into their juice, since the plastic needs to be soft for the pressure to pass through the walls of the container to actually pressurize the juice.
Proponents of HPP claim only the ‘bad stuff’ is killed in the process and the nutrients are left intact. But does the pressure chamber know the difference between a microbe and a nutrient? We don’t think so!
Why you shouldn’t pasteurize cold pressed juice
Pasteurizing cold pressed juice destroys the nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes that make it so beneficial to drink. Additionally, some juices (namely green juices) can become extremely bitter and unpalatable if they’re heated and cooled. So, why would anyone pasteurize their fresh juice in the first place?
While cold pressed juice is the healthiest, it is challenging for juice bars to make it daily. As a result, many companies are making cold pressed juice and then pasteurizing it to make it shelf stable – hence, extending their distribution. These companies think they are getting the best of both worlds from unsuspecting consumers: they get to label their juice with ‘cold pressed’, which is healthy and on-trend, but they are pasteurizing it for mass production.
You see, the FDA regulates raw juice, and it must be sold directly from manufacturer to consumer (i.e. not sold for resale to other stores) unless it is pasteurized. The reason for this is because raw juice can carry pathogens if not handled properly, and the FDA has decided that unpasteurized juice changing hands is not safe. They keep the responsibility and control squarely on the manufacturer, hence the rise of juice bars making real, raw, unpasteurized juice for your health!
Therefore, grocery stores, markets, or coffee shops can only sell pasteurized juice by law, unless they are making their own. Many juices on the market today are labeled as cold pressed, but then they are subject to high pressure pasteurization, leaving little value to the consumer. These same companies also claim the juice is raw because it has not been heated. This is nothing more than a game of semantics since raw is defined as not being heated and just because HPP is a cold pasteurization process, they are saying it is raw. If it is pasteurized by heat, HPP, or some other process, it is processed and not raw. Another sure sign your grocery store juice is pasteurized is the shelf life. If the expiration date is more than 5 days, it is pasteurized juice. Full stop.
Where to find cold pressed juice
Here at Be Well, we always serve cold pressed juice that’s never heated or processed or pasteurized, ensuring the best and healthiest juice possible. Pasteurization compromises the natural nutrients in fresh produce, which is why we don’t do it. The point of cold pressing is to create a holistic raw juice with minimal processing and this is the juice you will always receive from Be Well by Toastique and Toastique.
Be Well offers fresh cold pressed juice delivery to Washington DC and the surrounding areas. We look forward to bringing our fresh delivery service to our other locations throughout the country!
Be Well and Stay Wellthy!