Q: "I’ve just bought a new home juicer. Is fresh juice as good for you as fresh fruit? If I put the pulp back after I juice it, does that add the fibre that is removed during juicing? And once I’ve made it, how long can I keep it in the fridge?"
J. Taylor, NSW
A: A glass of juice is a healthy, fat-free, convenient way of getting the essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals from fruit and vegetables. But juicing removes fibre and concentrates the fruit’s natural sugars. Without fibre, which acts as a natural brake on consumption, it is easy to drink too much juice and therefore consume too much sugar and too many kilojoules.
Some juicers let you add back the pulp, but this is still not equivalent to whole fruit. Juicing exposes vitamins to light, heat and air, so that some – such as vitamin C and folate – degrade. Ideally, you should drink your juice on the day you make it.
Check your juicer manufacturer’s directions before storing juice. Refrigerating it for 24 hours is usually OK, but it depends on the type of juicer. A recent Choice magazine test found that apple juice from a centrifugal juicer (the most common variety) went brown after two days in the fridge, but juice from a screw juicer remained fresh."