Will the real raw juice please stand up? November 10 2015

If you drink cold-pressed juice on a regular basis you might already be aware of the difference between HPP and truly raw, cold pressed juice. If you’re not and don’t understand how juice found in supermarkets can have a shelf life of up to a month, while claiming to be raw, let us explain!

Raw means unpasteurised which essentially means unheated. Raw juice lasts up to four days. Juice that has been High Pressure Processed (HPP) has not been treated using standard heat pasteurisation so technically, it is raw. Although it’s raw by definition, it isn't fresh, because fresh juice doesn't last longer than four days. These companies can still say it’s ‘cold-pressed’ because they are juicing the produce using the same cold pressing method, but it’s what happens after that determines if this matters or not.

SO WHAT IS HPP?

Juice companies that use high pressure processing send their juices away because the equipment is too large and expensive for most companies to buy themselves. Juice has to be in flexible plastic bottles and it is loaded into a high pressure chamber that is filled with a pressure transmitting fluid. The juice is subjected to up to 15 minutes of elevated pressure from the ice cold liquid that surrounds the bottles. This essentially makes the juice more commercially ready as it kills various micro-organisms which means the juice has a longer time to sell. This makes it easier for businesses as they aren't racing against sell by dates. In the future we plan to sell from retail units of our own so figuring out how to make it last longer isn't really a concern for us. Our concern is that the juices taste the best and have the most health benefits.

Photo courtesy of The Raw Juice Alliance

 

WHY IS IT NOT IDEAL?

Some studies claim vitamin and mineral levels are only slightly altered by the process. Although it’s suspected the process alters healthful enzymes and good bacteria and any remaining may not survive after four days. High pressure processing targets bad bacteria to make the juice more ‘safe’ but in doing so kills much good bacteria also. When we start to alter and process the natural states of foods and juices, it obviously isn’t the ideal way to consume them. We all know fresh is best. By definition, fresh food means foods that aren’t processed or last longer than it would take for it to naturally decompose. So whether HPP companies can really claim to be selling a fresh product is another concern.

FLAVOUR FLAVVV

Taste is obviously totally subjective. However if you’ve tasted real fresh raw juice vs. HPP juice you will know yourself there is no comparison. It just makes sense that the older product won’t taste as good. Some foods get better with age but unfortunately fruit and vegetable juice isn’t included on that list! I’m sure a lot of people prefer the taste of beer and fizzy cola to most green juices. What we mean is if you’re a green juice person, we know what you’ll prefer.

BENEFITS OF HPP

We’re not going to be completely bias and say this type of juice doesn't have a place in the market. Of course it does. If you’re desperate for your green juice hit and can’t get a hold of/make your own real raw juice then it’s definitely better than nothing. Say you’re going camping or travelling and need something that lasts more than four days, of course it’s useful. It’s not like it’s completely void of anything good and you’ll probably never find a HPP juice company adding sugar or flavourings. It is not evil and it is 100% better than the majority of syrupy, flavour enhanced ‘fresh’ juices on supermarket shelves. What we are questioning is whether it can really be called raw. HPP tends to be quietly mentioned on the bottles of these companies but you’ll still hear the companies touting the benefits of raw juice, which they have essentially snubbed by using this process.

There are obviously a billion and one more important things in the world… but we just wanted to put this out there so customers can decide whether it’s deceptive or not for such products to be marketed this way.