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To "ZAP" or not to "ZAP"

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Today while looking for a juicer one of the local sales people asked me if I "zap" my citrus before juicing them.

I have never heard of doing this before. He claims that I will get "far more juice" if i put the fruit in the microwave for a 10 seconds prior to juicing. Do any of you know if he is full of it or if this indeed somehow makes any difference.

I cant imagine why it would miraculously create more juice or somehow cause more to be released.

Thanks for any imput.

Pam
post #2 of 15
There are several tricks for maximizing the flow of juice from citrus fruits.

First, have the fruit at room temperature. If the fruit is cold the cell walls are more dense, and are less willing to let go.

Next, rolling the fruit under the palm of your hand promotes juice flow. What I imagine happens is that you rupture some of the cell walls, and the juice flows better.

And then there is zapping. Works ok for just a handful of fruit (you're supposed to do each one for about 15 seconds), but could be a PITA if you're doing a lot.

Each of these does, indeed, work, but I'm not sure of the science behind them.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 15
I have heard from more than one source that microwaving destroys some nutrients, specifically some vitamins. So if the reason for juicing is to promote health, I would probably not zap the produce prior to juicing. You can achieve the same result simply by immersing the fruits in warm [not scalding hot] water for a couple of minutes. They need to be washed first anyway, so kill two birds with one stone.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #4 of 15
I've heard that before too. I've also heard that soaking them in hot water for a few minutes before you slice it works well too.
post #5 of 15
I've tried it both ways (zapping and simply warming in hot water) and found the water method combined with rolling the fruit before cutting gets the most juice. Having said that, I will also admit that the reason I tried the water method was because I accidently hit 1 minute instead of 10 seconds on my microwave and blew up a lemon. Oops. :)
post #6 of 15
[QUOTE=..... because I accidently hit 1 minute instead of 10 seconds on my microwave and blew up a lemon. Oops. :)[/QUOTE]


BWAHAHAHAAA....thats good stuff.:lol:
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
wow thanks everyone.

I have always rolled them around a bit and also made sure my fruit was at room temp, but I had never heard of using the microwave.

Learn something everyday I guess.
post #8 of 15
Always works for me.
Also, freezing, then thawing them works well. I do this when Meyer lemons are available-buy a lot and store them in the freezer. Then, when I need some, just pull them out and thaw them at room temp and squeeze.
Very juicy!
post #9 of 15
This is a great idea! I have been zesting, juicing then freezing lemons, but never thought of just popping them directly into the freezer for later use...what a time-saver! Thanks!
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #10 of 15
All cooking methods destroy vitamins and nutrients to some degree. I don't know that microwaving is any better or worse from that standpoint, but I would doubt that a 10 second zap in the microwave would do any harm to the nutritional value of the citrus.
post #11 of 15
Before freezing them, cut in half put cut side down in plastic bag. This makes it easier later as after freezing they get soft and are hard to cut, they squish all over the place. Also while defrosting they throw out some juice into the bag so no waste.:D
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Some great advise and wisdom....I knew I could count on you all to know what was right.

Thank you
post #13 of 15
Quite a few of the FN chefs demonstrate and recommend the zap method - usually 15 seconds. I do it with both lemons and limes.

And I, too, once blew up a lemon with careless button-pressing. :D

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #14 of 15
In the book "What Einstein told his Cook" they experimented with different methods, finding that rolling or microwaving produced pretty much the same amount of juice but rolling then microwaving created significantly more. Something to do with it breaking the cells down first.
post #15 of 15
Rolling works for me....must break down the cell walls and encourages them to give up their juice.

Freezing would work in the same way I imagine- if you have the time to bag up, freeze, then defrost. But yes, very good for when there's a glut of fruit on the market (or your tree). Only if you have spare freezer space. Same as when you freeze meat - the cell walls get broken down -fish is a good example. It usually comes out pretty much dripping once it's thawed.

Haven't tried nuking them but have heard of it often. I can't imagine nutrients would be lost - surely they are all held inside. But I wouldn't like the mess after blowing one up :)

Rolling is immediate, fast, easy and most definitely works for me.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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