Since eating healthy has become a priority for Italian consumers, the market for products used for processing fruit and vegetables has grown considerably. There is therefore no shortage of examinations and comparisons between different products and preparation methods.
One of the questions that are most easily found, in this context, is that which sees the so-called cold extractors and centrifuges opposed.
Extractor or centrifuge, then?
How Do Extractors and Centrifuges Work?
Let’s first see the difference between juice extractor and centrifuge, starting from their respective operation. Both tools are created for the preparation of fruit and vegetable juices, and in both cases, the juice is obtained by separating the solid part from the liquid and “juicy” part of the food in question. But how do they work?
In the centrifuge the blades rotate at high speed (from 6 thousand to 18 thousand revolutions per minute), literally destroying the plant cells present in the food.
The centrifugal force then separates the solid part from the liquid part, which is pushed towards a filter and then outside the centrifuge. In this way, a clear juice is obtained, in some cases aqueous, which however retains most of the nutritional properties sought.
In the case of the extractor, the separation of the juice from the rest of the food takes place through an auger. It is a sort of screw that slowly crushes and squeezes food: the slower speed, compared to that of the centrifuge, allows you to keep fibers and nutrients intact. The extract obtained, for the same reason, may present fibers and residues of pulp and peel.
The Differences Between Extractor and Centrifuge
The fundamental difference between the two appliances is precisely given by the different functioning.
While the centrifuge separates the fibers from the juicy content thanks to the fast rotation of the blades, the cold extractor performs an action similar to chewing. In fact, the auger rotates slowly and does not tear or separate the fiber from the food, which allows the nutritional properties of fruit and vegetables to remain unaltered.
The slowness of the process also makes it possible to avoid oxidation processes due to overheating which, on the other hand, can take a long time following prolonged use of a centrifuge.
One of the essential elements in choosing the appliance that best suits your needs is certainly how it works. But let’s also see what practical needs can lead to an informed choice between the two tools examined.
What Foods are They Suitable for?
Although they can be used for the same purposes, centrifuges and juice extractors have peculiar differences, which therefore indicate different uses and results. Let’s look briefly at some examples:
- The centrifuge is suitable for hard and soft fruits, but not for those with a stone or the presence of seeds. Tomatoes and cheeses cannot be processed inside a centrifuge, as they would risk compromising the machine.
- The extractor can be used for all types of fruit and vegetables, be they hard or soft, but also for small and seeded fruits, for tomato purée, for milk-based creams.
Foods with a low percentage of water, such as avocado, banana, or figs non they are suitable to be treated neither in the centrifuge nor in the extractor.
It is good to keep in mind then that while in the centrifuge you can insert coarsely cut or whole foods, the extractor provides for food preparation. The fruit and vegetables must be cut first, and only then can the juice and fiber be extracted.
As for the results, with the centrifuge, we will have a particularly liquid and crystalline juice, often frothy. Generally, higher quantities of juice are obtained from the extractor, and these are denser juices that can be kept for up to two days. The extractor is therefore certainly more efficient, in terms of consumption, but requires a more careful preliminary preparation of food.
What Criteria to Consider When Choosing?If we are undecided about which tool best suits our needs, and we still don’t know how to choose between extractor or centrifuge, there are several factors to keep in mind:
- usage: as seen above, the centrifuge can be suitable for those who want an orange juice every day, but not for those who intend to “blend” berries or tomatoes;
- the speed: an extractor takes an average of three minutes to produce 200 cl of juice; a centrifuge does it in about a minute and a half… which is why the latter is absolutely recommended in case you need quick preparations.
- the volume: centrifuges are on average much more practical and manageable than extractors; in fact, they develop in height and easily find a place in the kitchens of the house. The extractors, whether they are single clocea or double horizontal shaft, require a much larger footprint.
- the price: due to the different technical characteristics, extractors are more expensive than centrifuges. If the prices for a centrifuge range from 30 to 150 euros on average, for extractors we are talking about a price range that varies between 100 and 400 euros.
- the maintenance: It is good to consider, before purchasing, also the composition of the appliance, the number of components, and how to clean it, which often turns out to be the most delicate aspect of this type of instrument. What, to be understood, could lead to disaffection for their use.
- the impact: in addition to the dimensions, it may be useful to consider the difference in the acoustic impact of the two appliances. While a juicer tends to be as noisy as a traditional blender, the juice extractor is a silent tool… therefore also suitable for those who want to eat while others sleep!
On the other hand, the opinions of those who believe that the beneficial properties of food change significantly from one tool to another should not be considered, as they have been denied by numerous studies.
There are no significant differences between a centrifuged juice and an extracted one, in terms of the concentration of nutrients such as vitamins, magnesium, and carotenoids.
Which One to Choose?
Once the difference between extractor and centrifuge has been considered, and the slight difference in the result, the criteria according to which it is advisable to choose one or the other must therefore be analyzed.
As always, a lot will depend on the intended use of the instrument; but they will have a decisive impact – we have seen – elements such as the space available and the budget to be allocated to the purchase.
In general, these are appliances that allow you to blend almost all vegetables without losing their nutritional qualities and taste. It is only necessary to understand which type of process and tool to trust, it being understood that drinking good juice every day is a habit that is worth acquiring!