Why Raw?

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 majority of their produce using the same cold pressing method (some companies do add cheap fruit pulps and purees too). However, it’s what happens after the juicing process that determines if it's processed or not. A true raw company will juice, bottle and sell whereas HPP juice goes through another step which extends the shelf life.


Juice companies that use High Pressure Processing typically send their juices away to be processed 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 pressure is up to 10 times greater than the pressure at the bottom of the ocean. This essentially makes the juice more commercially ready as it kills various micro-organisms which means the juice has a longer shelf life. This makes it easier for businesses as they aren't racing against short sell-by dates. A standard raw juice lasts 4 days but HPP juice lasts up to 30-45 days.


Some studies claim vitamin and mineral levels are only slightly altered by the process but it is important to note that most studies were done right after the process. Nutrients in raw juice break down after 4 days so it's highly likely the same goes for a 45 day old juice. It is also suspected that 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 of the 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. Marketing of HPP juice in general is a little sketchy. Some companies like to word their labels as if HPP is just another step of cold-pressing and now phrases like 'cold-pressured' are popping up, which just seems like a sneaky way to confuse customers.


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 some people prefer the taste of beer or coffee to most green juices anyway. What we mean is if you’re a green juice person, we know what you’ll prefer.


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. It also gives our industry visibility on a commercial scale and makes the product look less of a 'niche'. What we are questioning is whether it can really be called 'raw'. HPP tends to be quietly mentioned (it's sometimes worded in a way that makes it difficult to understand) 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. It's safe to say if you have made the decision to fork out your hard earned cash on a juice cleanse or juice subscription and the choice is there between truly raw and HPP - only one option makes sense!
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.