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Steam Juicer vs "live" juice  RSS feed

 
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Hello everyone,

My wife signed us up for permies awhile back and we have been (to her credit, she has been researching permaculture before she even knew it had a name) reading and watching and well I am sure most likely similar stories to the rest of you.

First question that hopefully someone has some information on. While researching solar food dehydrators, I found a blog article on steam juicers and thus found myself researching steam juicers. Found a decent stainless one and was just looking for a view comparison models when I stumbled across this:

http://www.discountjuicers.com/steamjuicer.html

This deflated my enthusiasm for ordering one a little and I was wondering if this has been addressed or if it falls under pure marketing ... I guess adding BS to marketing would be a little redundant. I have seen where bacteria can live in far greater and lower temperatures than we ever imagined life could exist so perhaps the above info is a bit outdated.

Anyone have any experience or information on the nutrient differences between "live" fresh squeezed vs. steamed juice?

Thank you and what an awesome community!

 
Posts: 1945
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I think need to bear in mind what your purpose is when juicing. If you are planning on freezing juice for longer term storage then the steam juicer will probably give you a longer lasting product. If fresh juice to drink immediately is what you are after then there is not much between them.

There may be some loss of enzyme activity - but no more than cooking your fruit would do (eg a fruit pie, jam etc...) so this is no worse than most other methods of fruit preservation.

If you are really worried about loss of enzyme activity ( personally I'm sceptical about this assertion - what enzymes? What 'activity' are they supposed to do? How is this beneficial for health? The human digestive system makes it's own set of carefully evolved and effective digestive enzymes - what are these unspecified enzymes supposed to contribute? That article has a lot of technical sounding assertions, but not backed up by any authoritative links to science journal articles) then you should be just eating your fruit raw and unprocessed anyway.

My bigger concern would be if steaming changes the flavour. I don't know that it necessarily would.

I'm planting lots more berry bushes this years in the future will need a way to preserve them. I haven't yet tried them in the dehydrator, but if that doesn't work then freezing juice might be a way forward.
 
Posts: 398
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Obviously it's a biased comparison by a site that wants you to buy theirs. How about we add in "kills e-coli" as a benefit of the steam juicer to balance some of their scare tactics...

I use a steam juicer quite a lot for apple, pear, grape, and cherry. The handiest thing for me is that I can directly fill into a clean glass bottle with lid (old juice or ice tea bottles) and get a good seal when the juice cools. We drink this through the year (often after putting it into a soda bottle and carbonating it up!)
The other thing I like is that the leftover apples after juicing can go through a food mill to make a great low-sweetness apple sauce!

If you're processing for preservation of fruit juices, I would go with the steam juicer..
 
pollinator
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I found a good video introduction of a steam juicer. Mainly it is used when preservation is a desired solution so when there is an abundance it is a good solution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6ad7X8T9rY
 
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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I have followed John and his Youtube and web site for some time. He is not a scientist, but he does go a GREAT amount of research and comparison before he presents his findings.

Biased so you will buy his stuff? That is malarkee. He could sell steam juicers if he wanted to, but he chooses not to because he would not use them himself. That is not bias, that is standing behind what you believe in and know is right.

FACT: cooking DOES destroy some of the nutritional value of food. So the choice is this:

If you want immediate consumption the the cold process is better.
If you want to make preserves then either one will work just fine.

I still think the cold processor would be the best choice since you still have to do the hot canning process to bottle it. Why cook it twice and waste all of that energy in the process?
 
Posts: 80
Location: Zone 8, Western Oregon
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A study done by the University of Illinois in 1997 showed minimal nutrient loss in canned foods vs. fresh. So while the website you read seems to be accurate about the enzyme loss (all of what he said seemed to me to be common knowledge), if you aren't worried about enzymes, I don't think you should be too concerned. The major vitamins seem to be largely retained when canning, and you definitely want to destroy enzymes if you plan to preserve your juice.

http://www.pickyourown.org/PYO.php?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fnutrican.fshn.uiuc.edu/findings.html

That being said, I would argue that in general, enzymes are largely deficient in modern diets, and anything you can do on a daily basis to retain (by not pasteurizing) or restore (by culturing) enzyme/beneficial bacterial activity in your food is probably a good idea. We were once told that the enzymes in milk were unimportant, and that it didn't matter whether we pasteurized it or not, and I think that myth has been largely disproven. So, as others said, if you're going to preserve an excess of fruit/veggies at harvest time, steam juicing seems reasonable. If you're planning to juice fruits and veggies daily as some kind of "health drink," enzyme activity might be more important to you. But then you'll want to read up about whether you should be cooking your greens first, and whether they contain excessive quantities of oxalic acid - the trendy green juices drunk regularly may not be as innocent as they seem.

Do keep in mind that although bacteria have been found to survive at extreme temperatures/pressures, the bacteria in our food are NOT those particular bacteria.

And Eric Thompson, I appreciate your skepticism of marketing ploys, but if there is e-coli on your fruits and veggies that needs to be killed, I think you've got bigger problems than enzyme loss!
 
Steven Feil
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If minerals are destroyed by heat then so are many, if not most vitamins. I know for sure that vitamin c is destroyed by heat.
 
Dayna Williams
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Location: Zone 8, Western Oregon
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Steven Feil wrote:If minerals are destroyed by heat then so are many, if not most vitamins. I know for sure that vitamin c is destroyed by heat.



That's what I've always thought too (about Vitamin C). The study stated that "although some vitamin C is lost during the heat treatment, much of it dissolves in the cooking liquid and can be recovered by using the liquid in soups and sauces." Although enzymes are definitely destroyed, it seems that some important minerals, like sodium, potassium, and calcium, are unharmed. I don't know, I'm no expert - that's just what I gleaned from the study.
 
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Location: BC Canada Zone 5&6
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Steven Feil wrote:
FACT: cooking DOES destroy some of the nutritional value of food. So the choice is this:

If you want immediate consumption the cold process is better.
If you want to make preserves then either one will work just fine.

I still think the cold processor would be the best choice since you still have to do the hot canning process to bottle it. Why cook it twice and waste all of that energy in the process?



Yesterday, I was at a friend's place using the steam juicer. The juice comes out very hot. So she makes sure her jars and lids are sterilized and very hot as well. She said as long as you have hot product with a hot jar and lids they will seal and be good for storage.

Her process: She releases the juice into a hot sterilized canning jar, fill to the desired height, usually 1/2 inch from the top, then put on a hot sterilized lid. screw on hand tight. Then she turns it upside down for about 10 minutes. Then upside right. Let stand for 12-24 hours to cool and seal. She says she has never had a jar not seal and she has never had a jar go bad.

Personally, I know cold pressed taste absolutely amazing and can not compare with steam juice or any other cooked or even canned juice. I know I have tried 3 different processes. I personally use a fruit press and freeze my fruit. Thing is unless a person has a small press or juicer and a lot of freezer space which is not always available living off grid then one is best canning. If one is going to can then I think the steam idea saves a lot of time. The one downfall is running a propane or electric stove while you juice versus a fruit press or other juicer uses a minimal power. Then you are left with a canning process but I believe it would take less time and power then running a juicer. Canning only takes 10 min plus time to get to a boil. 
 
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Not a fan of steam juicer because I prefer to drink fresh juices immediately. I sometimes use my Nutribullet for making fruit/veggie smoothies.
 
pollinator
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I use a steam juicer but the end product is the key. I can juice strawberries then add sugar and boil it down to a syrup. The heat will happen regardless of how its juiced, so it makes no difference. Same with jellies.

Using it for making wine makes sense. The sanitizing of the juice allows full control of the yeast used, without other ickies getting in. You get less pulp which has to be strained out.

As far as juice for the sake of juice. Sure, use something that wont heat it up.

If you steam grapes for juice, but still eat some grapes raw, how much enzymes are you really losing. Then flip it around. If you are juicing grapes rather than eating the whole grape, what are you missing that the whole grape has?

The fact that you are including fresh fruits in your diet vs bottled sugary alternatives from the grocery store already puts you so much ahead of the game. Your beating preservatives, throw away plastics, etc. Keep doing it.
 
pollinator
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I can't drink juice, I'm diabetic. So I like the steam juicer so I can process large amounts of fruit, like elderberries, then reduce the juice, if need be, and freeze in ice cube trays to add to things.
 
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