Perplexed by all the claims made about juicers, such as "… preserves more nutrients, minerals and enzymes, yielding the best possible flavour" and "the world's best juicers"? To help you choose, we squeezed our way through more than 15kg each of oranges, apples, carrots, and mounds of green stuff, to assess the yield performance (how much juice they produced) and ease of use of 15 popular juicers. We also analysed the juice for key nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium and Vitamin C in orange, carrot and green juice.
Fast or slow?
First, what's the difference between a fast juicer and a slow juicer? Centrifugal or fast juicers are the most common and affordable type of juicer. They spin at high speeds to pulverise the fruit or vegetables, and use centrifugal force to separate the pulp from the juice (hence their name). They are noisy and fast, are more likely to have large chutes, and can be bulky.
Non-centrifugal or slow juicers can be auger (single gear), twin-gear, horizontal or vertical style. These are often called cold press juicers, but this term is also used to refer to a method of extracting oil from olives to produce extra virgin olive oil, so we'll just refer to them as slow juicers. These types slowly crush the fruit/vegetable and direct the juice and fruit out of two different chutes. They are quieter, take longer to juice, tend to have smaller, fiddlier parts, and smaller chutes. Some can also be used to make nut butters, milks, sorbets and ice-cream, and some can even mince meat.
How we test
We've changed our test method in response to how members tell us they use their juicers and what they expect from them. So results and scores can't be compared to past tests.
Nutritional yield We sent samples of carrot juice, orange juice and green juice from all the juicers – nine slow and six centrifugal juicers – to a lab to be analysed for minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium). Because vitamin C begins to oxidise (or degrade) as soon as it's extracted, we measured the vitamin C straight after juicing in the CHOICE labs.
Freshness test Fiona Mair, home economist from CHOICE's test kitchen, assesses apple juice after five minutes, 24 hours and 48 hours for colour, texture, consistency, and taste, to see which juicer type produced the more palatable juice after a couple of days.
Performance Fiona processes a kilogram each of carrots, apples and oranges, and a combination of English spinach, kiwi, pear, cucumber, celery and mint to make green juice. She evaluates each juicer's ability to juice foods of varying degrees of hardness and texture, and measures their yield and juicing time.
Ease of use She checks how easy is it is to 'feed' the juicer – this is affected by the size of the chute and how small the pieces have to be to be able to fit. Fiona checks the amount of feed pressure needed, if there's any splashing or leaking while juicing, and if juice drips out of the spout after processing. She also assesses the ease of assembling and disassembling the parts, and cleaning them, as well as the exterior of the unit.
Safety We check the risk that a hand (of varying sizes) will come into contact with the blades through the chute once assembled. This test isn't scored, but you'll find comments in the product profiles.
Brands and models tested
- Breville The Juice Fountain Compact BJE200
- Breville The Juice Fountain Max BJE410
- Philips HR1873/72
- Russell Hobbs RHJU85AU
- Sunbeam JE4800 Juice Drop
- Sunbeam JE5600 Double Sieve Juicer
- BioChef Atlas
- Breville The Juice Fountain Crush BJS600
- Healthstart Ceramic
- Hippocrates Plus 1305
- Hurom HG Elite
- Kuvings B6000 621CBS2
- Omega VRT352
- Oscar Neo DA1000
- Sunbeam JE9000 Cold Press Juicer
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