All it takes is a skimming of the reviews for any juicer to learn how fickle the juicing community is. Dig a little deeper and you’ll learn that a juicing war is being waged. Loyalists to the two most popular juicer types — centrifugal and cold-press (also called masticating) — will juice to their deaths over the supposed pros and cons of their preferred juicing mechanisms.
With the release of the Juice Fountain Cold (in regular or XL sizes) by Australian kitchen appliance maker Breville, claim to have made a centrifugal juicer that does what cold-presses have long held above their opposition as an unattainable goal: to produce “cold,” ready-to-drink juice. But before we get there, a few notes on the difference between centrifugal and cold-press juicers.
How Do Centrifugal Juicers Work?
The most popular type of juicer on the market, centrifugal juicers employ fast-spinning blades pressed against a mesh sieve to dice up fruit and vegetable to render juice. They work quickly, but the speed traditionally has come at a cost: the friction created by the blade lets off heat, thus increasing the temperature of the juice. Though not considered a barrier to overall taste, the heat is thought to eliminate healthy enzymes. It also results in warm-ish, not-immediately-drinkable juice. To some, this is antithetical to the centrifugal juicers main draw — if it works quickly but its juice isn’t ready to drink quickly, why use it?
How Do Cold-Press Juicers Work?
The cold-press juicer works by way of produce being run into a slowly spinning auger (like a larger version of a wine corkscrew) that chews and presses it against a mesh surface, avoiding effective friction build-up and excess foam-generation. In other words, the juice is ready to drink the instant it slides out of the juicer, there will very likely be more juice, but you may have to wait marginally longer to make it.
The Juice Fountain Cold utilizes a proprietary “Cold Spin Technology” that alleges to keep your juice chilly no matter how fast the blade spins. There’s no explanation of the technology’s inner-workings apart from a brief sentence in the product’s description: “The Cold Spin Technology™ allows juice to flow up and through the stainless steel cutting disc surrounded by an Italian-made mesh filter to ensure an insignificant temperature increase, less than 2°F.” A Breville representative told me the Juice Fountain Cold juicers are the only centrifugal juicers they’re aware of that employ an elevated juicing system that dispenses directly into the jug (we didn’t find any either).
To test the efficacy of the Juice Fountain Cold’s claims, I compared it (we tested using the XL model) against the Hurom H-AA cold-press, a popular premium masticating juicer from South Korea. After about an hour of throwing back variations of apple, carrot, kale, spinach, raspberry and orange juice, the Breville seemed to execute its advertised goal. The juice’s temperature wasn’t noticeably different from the cold-press, and there was certainly no slow-down in juice-time either; the Breville will juice as quickly as you can feed into it, whereas the Hurom took about a minute or two to get the job completely done, depending on what was running through it.
If you’ve ever juiced, you know cleaning is the real reason there isn’t a juicer in every kitchen — this is another area the Breville scores some points. It’s made of fewer, larger pieces that are easier to run water through with a tiny cleaning brush (included with most juicers). After juicing pounds of fruits and veggies it took me all of two minutes to clean up.
The Hurom did, however, differentiate itself in other areas of efficiency. When inputting the same ingredients into each juicer, the Hurom yielded a higher volume of juice across the produce spectrum, roughly 25 to 30 percent more per batch, and nearly 75 percent more when juicing greens exclusively. The Hurom also generated less foam and pulp in each instance.
Though Breville’s Juice Fountain Cold does not keep pace with its cold-pressing opposite in total juice-output, it does do what it promised — make juice fast and keep it cold in the process. The Aussie company’s new juicer may mark a small but significant gain made for centrifugal juicers. Or it may mark yet another angle for reviewers on Amazon to bicker over. Only time will tell.