A BRIEF HISTORY OF JUICERS
Can you imagine life without your favourite juicer? Humans have been making fruit and vegetable juices since the dawn of time. The technique used to extract the delicious liquid from fresh produce, however, has changed significantly over the years.
The Pre-Juicer Era
Archaeologists have discovered evidence of people making juices as far back as 150 BC to 70 AD. It seems as though the process involved pounding pomegranates and figs until the juice was extracted.
Pestle and mortar fruit grinding was used by many cultures. Often, people added herbs and greens to enhance the taste of the delicious beverage even further. In Korea, the making of green juices was an important method for enhancing health and well-being.
Through the years, herbalists and traditional medicine practitioners were the ones that most commonly ground up different ingredients to make healthy beverages. In time however, things started changing. Juicing became a bit more accessible after the creation of the first juicer.
The First Juicer
The person credited with the creation of the first juicer is doctor Norman Walker. In 1936, Walker worked on and released a book called Raw Vegetable Juices. In addition, he launched the world’s first juicer alongside the book.
The Norwalk juicer is still made and available for purchase today. The very first Norwalk juicer squeezed and grated fruits and veggies, turning them into a fine pulp. The pulp was then transferred to a linen bag and the juice was extracted. A hydraulic press was used for the purpose. Even today, hydraulic press juicers are considered to be among the most effective in terms of making juice and maintaining its beneficial ingredients.
Today, Doctor Walker is considered one of the founding fathers of the juicing movement. It’s interesting to point out that Walker lived to the age of 99. Did juicing play any part in his longevity? It’s difficult to tell, but chances are that Walker’s invention did contribute to a much healthier lifestyle.
The Technology Evolves
The world’s first masticating juicer came into existence in 1954. It was called Champion and it featured rods turning at a speed of 4,000 rotations per minute. While the speed did ensure the rapid extraction of the liquid from the produce, it created a lot of friction and heat. As a result, many of the beneficial enzymes and nutrients in the juice were lost.
Inventors, however, didn’t give up. They focused on bringing down the speed of extraction and reducing the friction. Today’s masticating juicers are the descendants of those early appliances.
In 1993, the GreenPower twin-gear juicer was released on the market. It relied on the old pestle and mortar method used by traditional healers and members of ancient civilisations who made healing potions. The pressing of the ingredients at a slow speed prevented the oxidation of the juice, maintaining it highly beneficial.
Since the 1990s, juicers have become more popular and affordable. Many companies jumped on the bandwagon, developing a wide array of appliances. From centrifugal to heavy-duty hydraulic press juicers, the market started featuring it all.
The Future of Juicing
Needless to say, companies continue perfecting the design of their appliances in an attempt to make them more beneficial and more affordable. So, what does the future of juicing look like?
Cold press juicing systems for at-home use will probably become the staple in the world of healthy beverage making. In essence, we’ll go back to those early production methods but we will have machines that will simplify the task.
This is one of the main reasons why the cold press Norwalk juicer costs more than 2,000 US dollars today. Companies are working hard on making the technology more affordable and enabling every household to enjoy healthy and nutritionally-complete juices.
Currently, juices made at home have to be consumed immediately or within hours. Otherwise, the oxidation process will start and ruin the quality of the beverage. As cold press juicers and other innovative appliances become widespread, it will get easier to make juices that will last longer.
Finally, companies are looking for ways to reduce the food waste caused by juicing. Some pulp is left behind and this pulp is practically useless. Minimising the amount of pulp and making sure that it’s completely dry and free from juice is going to be one of the challenges of the future.