A juicer may seem like a novelty item people only use a few times before they lose it in a cupboard somewhere, but if everyone knew how much better homemade juice really is juicers would be given way more counter space.Here’s why you should try making your own juice, if only so you can taste the difference.Orange Juice & ‘Flavor Packs’
Let’s take orange juice as an example. Much hay has been made in the news about how orange juice is manufactured by large juice companies. In most cases it does come from oranges, but then it’s pasteurized and deoxygenated, a process the Florida Department of Citrus says removes
“orange aroma, orange oil … the peel and pulp …”Manufacturers then reintroduce the zest via “flavor packs” that give orange juice its uniform, homogenized taste. The process serves many purposes, but mainly ensures that orange juice companies can sell you orange juice that tastes the same all year every year, forever.To be clear, this doesn’t make manufactured orange juice bad, per se
, but you’d be right to wonder whether it tastes the same as natural OJ. The big brands that engineer their juice flavors are not always concerned with replicating nature; sometimes it’s more about appealing to prevailing customer tastes that don’t prefer natural flavor.Other Major Juice Groups
So, are all juices processed the same way as orange juice? Well, yes and no. The Food and Drug Administration requires that almost all commercial juice products be pasteurized, which means that all store-bought juices have been superheated to kill bacteria.This definitely has an impact on the flavor profile and can also zap some of the nutrients out of juice. So, there is that. As for the whole deoxygenation process, it may be a preservation technique specific to OJ, but it may also be a moot point following pasteurization.Homemade Juice Benefits
You don’t have to be a “juicer” to get the most out of juicer
. Making your own juice is a great idea if you spend any kind of money on juice at the store because it’s healthy, tasty and sometimes even less expensive. It’s admittedly not as convenient, but it’s not hard to see the value in the extra effort.Plus, you’ll find out pretty quickly that you can juice all kinds of stuff. Homemade OJ is great, but wait ‘til you try pineapple-watermelon juice on ice. Unreal.