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by Fran Klab

With summer just around the corner most of us are turning our thoughts to getting healthy and shedding those extra pounds so we can fit into last years bathing suit. One of the healthier alternatives is juicing. I am often asked the same questions about juicers. So I offer this abbreviated guide to juicer buying.

What kinds of juicers are there?
Juicers generally fall into three categories: masticating, centrifugal and triturating. These have to do with the method of extracting and separating the juice from the pulp. The Masticating machine operates at a slower speed. It chews the fibers and breaks up the cells of vegetables and fruits. This gives you more fiber, enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. The Champion is a masticating juicer. It also is more versatile because in addition to extracting juices, the unit homogenizes making baby foods, sauces, nut butters, and sorbets. An optional grain mill attachment is available for grinding grains into flour.

The Centrifugal machine first grinds the fruit and vegetables then pushes them through the strainer by spinning at a very high rpm (similar to your washing machine on the spin cycle). This method usually yields a little more volume of juice. The Omega, Acme, Juiceman II, Ultramatic and L’Equipe are centrifugal machines. (Most juicers sold on the market are centrifugal). Optional citrus attachments are available for the Omega 1000 and Acme juicers that allow juicing of citrus fruits without peeling.

The Triturating machine, which turns at a slower rpm, has a two step process. The first step crushes the fruits and vegetables, while the second step wrings or presses the juice. This process gives you more fiber, enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. The Greenpower and Greenlife are triturating juices. The Greenpower and Greenlife machines do more than just juice, they homogenize and make pasta, and are good for people on raw food diets. These juicers also have magnetic and bio-ceramic technology that slows down the oxidation process, which is good if you want to make and store your juice.

What happens with the pulp?
Juicers can be sub-categorized into two categories, pulp-ejection and non-pulp ejection. With pulp ejection machines the pulp is ejected into a separate container allowing continuous juicing. This is more advantageous when juicing large quantities of juice. The Champion, Greenpower, Greenlife, Juiceman II, Ultramatic and Omega 4000 are pulp-ejecting machines.

With non-pulp ejecting machines the pulp collects inside the basket and one must stop and clean it after juicing about one quart of juice. Using the paper filters make cleaning a much simpler process and yields a finely strained juice. The Omega 1000 and Acme are non-pulp-ejecting machines.

What about green juice?
Wheatgrass and green juices have become more popular and but unfortunately most juicers do wheatgrass and leafy greens in a limited capacity. If you want to juice wheatgrass, celery, spinach, sprouts, or other greens it will be more effective if they cut or bunch these items and juice along with carrots or other vegetables. If they want green juice only…buy a wheatgrass juicer!

What kind of warranty do the machines have?
The above mentioned juicers have an average warranty of between one to ten years.

What about cleaning the machine?
Though machines vary in style and assembly, most machines have an average of four to seven cleaning parts, and may be cleaned in warm soapy water. Most manufacturers advise against putting parts in dishwasher as the hot water may damage parts and effect the operation of the machine.

How much will my juicer cost?
The juicers I have mentioned in this article are higher quality juicers from manufacturers that in some cases have been making juicers for over thirty years. Prices vary depending on different functions the machine has. The manufacturers suggested retail start at $199.00 for the Juiceman II up to $600.00 for the Greenpower, the average ranging from $250.00 to $350.00. Though one can buy a juicer for fewer than one hundred dollars, these have small capacity motors and may not be that efficient for someone who wants to do regular or heavier juicing.

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