Over recent months I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of green juices I see in shops and supermarkets. As someone who has transformed their own health through juicing and helped people across the world to learn more about the power of drinking vegetables, you might think I would get excited by this, but not all juices are created equally.
I have a question for you, would you eat a 21-day-old sandwich? When I recently asked this in a poll on Facebook, 100% of the respondents said ‘no’. Yet there is technology being used to process sandwich fillings to give them a 21-day shelf life and it is also being used on green juice.
The first time I saw a bottle of green juice in a supermarket with the words ‘cold pressed’ on it I had a huge smile on my face, until I looked more closely at the bottle. See, a cold pressed juice made fresh at home is typically good for about 3 days. The juice in the supermarket fridge had a use by date giving it a shelf life of 3 weeks. So how can this be?
There is method of processing foods, known as High Pressure Processing (HPP) that Deli 24, a company claiming to be the first UK contract processing facility to offer it, describe as a cold ‘pasteurisation’ system.
HPP can extend product shelf life for up to 45 days and involves enclosing the packaged food or juice in a vessel filled with water and applying intense pressure (up to 87000 psi) to it. This has been shown to kill pathogenic bacteria, yet unlike heat pasteurisation it is claimed that the process has minimal effect on the nutritional attributes of foods and drinks, unlike thermal processes.
However, in the 2012 book Advances in Food Processing Technologies it states, “High pressure can modify the microstructure of fruits. Changes in the fruit structure usually result from damage in the cell structure.”
Common sense tells me that a process which kills all the bad stuff is likely to affect the good stuff too. And the processing is not the only thing to be aware of.
Best practice when juicing for health or weight loss is to focus on juices that highly vegetable based. Typical guidance is 80% vegetable and 20% fruit. So how do some of these bottled offerings compare?
Well here are just 5 examples of juices available in major UK supermarkets:
• Waitrose Apple, Kale & Lime Juice is over 85% fruit
• Innocent Easy Greens is 79% apple juice
• Savse Super Green is over 65% fruit
• Tesco Vegtastic is over 60% fruit
• B.fresh #greenwarrior is 36.5% fruit
Thanks to Natural Juice Junkie for this juicy post.