It’s easy to write off terms like ‘cold pressed’ as marketing terminology. After all, we live in an age where restaurants add meaningless terms like ‘pan-fried’ and ‘hand-selected’ to their scallops and cheese boards all the time. Why should ‘cold pressed’ be any different?
But ‘cold pressed,’ when referring to juice, is very different, and this article will explain what does cold pressed means and how it works.
So let’s start with the ‘pressed’ part.
As it suggests, it means that the juice has been extracted from the fruits and vegetables by using a lot of pressure. Imagine a selection of fruits and vegetables being held between a carpenter’s vise, and then turning that handle. And not stopping until every last drop of juice comes out. That’s what pressing does.
Although ‘pressed’ may feel like a new method, it’s been around for thousands of years, most notably to extract the extra virgin olive oil from olives.
The reason why pressing is all the rage with juicing at the moment. Is because it presents several benefits that other juicing methods cannot offer. A study conducted by The Huffington Post showed that. Pressing produces more juice pound for pound than centrifugal or rotary juicing methods. This means your fruits and vegetables go further, and that eases the strain on your wallet.
Beyond that, there is a time and hassle saving. More delicate produce such as kiwis, berries, kale, and wheatgrass can all be pressed at the same time. As more dense and fibrous things like apples and carrots.
With a centrifugal juicer, soft fruits and leafy vegetables must be extracted on a slower speed for the best results. While harder produce like those carrots and apples, we were talking about demand higher speeds. You have to juice twice.
Ok, I get it, but why does it need to be ‘cold’?
Temperature fluctuation in the process of juice extraction can cause reductions in vitamin, enzyme, phytonutrient content, as well as other beneficial stuff. You want all those wonderful things to be in your glass of juice. So by keeping the ingredients cold while you press them, you keep those health benefits in your glass of juice.
Centrifugal or rotary juicers use blades to pulverize fruits and vegetables into tiny pieces while spinning at very high speed. The spin action, much like a washing machine spin cycle, allows the juice to pour out into your glass while a fine mesh sieve traps the pulp.
Sure, you still end up with a glass of juice. But the metal blades spinning at such high speeds generate heat that accelerates the oxidation of your ingredients. And this kills off vitamins, enzymes and even good bacteria according to a health expert, and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Mercola.
The process of pasteurization also inflicts great temperature fluctuations on raw ingredients, amounting to much the same loss of benefits to your juice.
So when your juice is ‘cold pressed’ that means that the ingredients have been kept cold to keep all those nutrients locked into them, and then subjected to high pressure so that all the goodness releases directly into your glass.
So cold pressed is the juice I should be asking for?
Absolutely. Juice has become a very ambiguous word, and in today’s world, it can mean a lot of different products that are produced using a lot of different methods. Cold-pressed juice by definition is juice that is created using the methods described in this article, and that makes all the difference.
If you’re someone that struggles to find time to eat, let alone eat your recommended daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, then cold pressed juicing is something you want to get into.
Right now, it’s hard to think of a better way to combine a nutritionally optimal meal or snack in such a time efficient way. This explains why you’ve probably seen more than one Juice bar pop up in your local area in recent times.
And don’t think that cold-pressed juicing is the reserve of juice bars. There are machines available today that can give you all the benefits of cold pressed juice easily and conveniently in your home.
There has never been a more important time to be discerning. After all, as the saying goes; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And one way of offsetting future health issues is to pay very close attention to what you put into your body today.
Under Pressure: The Evolution of Cold-Pressing
Even if it feels like all the rage right now, cold-pressing is not new. It’s a time-tested process. We’ve been taking fresh produce and compressing it into nutrient-dense juices and oils for centuries.
Think wine, olive oil, and cider, for example. It’s a method that goes back to the ancient Egyptians and quite frankly hasn’t changed much over the millennia. Here, we’ll trace the evolution of cold-pressing.
The wine press goes way back. Historians and archeologists unearthed 6,000-year old wine from an Armenian cave in 2011. The technical term for feet stomping—which was probably the technique du jour—is called “treading.”
Rumor has it that the Greeks accompanied foot treading with the flute (as if jogging on grapes wasn’t already entertaining enough). Some still tread, but it’s more of a novelty than anything.
In the past few hundred years, pressing became mechanized with the basket press. A gentler mainstay in the grape-pressing continuum that yielded some of the most impressive Champagnes and French Burgundies possible.
This then led to bladder pressing at the turn of the 20th century, and finally to the tank press, which favors higher volume operations and reduces exposure to air and oxygen.
Beyond grape pressing, olive oil pressing starting around 2500 B.C. by the Romans and the Greeks. Not to be outdone, the English have been pressing for centuries, too. Julius Caesar witnessed cider making by the Celts in 55 B.C.
In the U.S., the colonists were pressing apples into cider to keep the English tradition alive. Back then, horses were used to power the ram press, but now a mechanical arm does that.
In simple terms “Cold pressed” means that it does nothing other than press the raw plants into nutrient-dense, easy drinking form.