Cold Pressed: Hot Topic
A juice cleanse is a popular choice for many wanting to embark on a detox program. However it is important to know that not all juices are created equal. Additionally, there appears to be a lot being said about “cold pressed” juices at the moment. Products offerings are popping up all over the place touting juices that are “cold pressed”. So what’s the deal? Why do we care if our juices are “cold pressed” anyway? What does that even mean? Was my juice heat treated before? Well, in short – yes. But what does that mean exactly, and is it a bad thing?
This type of processing is the most common for almost all juices that are sold in stores. This type of processing heats the juice up to a very intense heat for a specific amount of time to kill any micro-organisms to increase the shelf life of the product. This is often done twice to ensure the product does not contain any pathogens. This type of processing reduces the nutrient content considerably particularly the vitamin C, phenols and other phytonutrients. All enzymes and most nutrients are destroyed with this type of processing. Additionally, synthetic vitamin C is often added to offer some nutritional content in many store bought juices. These juices also have a compromised taste and colour.
Okay, so heat treated = not so good.
Cold-pressed juice is juice extracted from fruits and vegetables so as to maintain the greatest proportion of nutrients and enzymes. Most juices, even those that are “freshly-squeezed”, are juiced in a way that results in a loss of much of their healthful characteristics on account of heating and processing (centrifugal juicing). Hydraulic juice presses (or cold-pressing) crush and then press fruits and vegetables in a two-step process. By doing so, the greatest amount of juice is extracted and the highest level of nutrients is maintained. Cold-pressed juices, which are raw and unpasteurised, are highly perishable and have a shelf-life of about three days.
There you have it. Should you be including juices as part of a cleanse or detox or simply, if shlurping one down is your preferred way of packing in the nutrients, hopefully this will make you think twice before grabbing a juice off the shelf at the supermarket. Perhaps instead pop by your local juice bar or even better, make your own!