Raw Juice Safety

September 28, 2010

Note: To avoid confusion on this blog post, remember that Europeans think of cider as being a fermented apple drink, and it is only due to Prohibition in the United States that the term morphed to mean “cloudy, unfiltered apple juice.” When I say cider in this post, I mean the alcoholic version.

One extreme word of caution about using the apple press to make raw apple juice for consumption is that it is possible to get sick on the juice as there are potentially the deadly germs and bacteria such as potentially salmonella, E. coli, cryptosporidiosis in it, and Patulin if moldy apples are used. These same deadly germs and bacteria die during fermentation with the exception of Patulin, so there are no worries about getting sick from cider if good apples are used, but the germs and bacteria are alive and well in raw apple juice unless it is treated. This is main reason cider, wine, and beer were so much safer to drink though the ages than water, often because water was polluted with sewage, and alcoholic beverages kept longer than milk did. And remember, apple juice would have naturally started fermenting on its own.

Up until 1996, it was common practice for orchards to pick up fallen fruit, called windfalls or drops, and sell them for eating. These fruit would have been very ripe if they fell off the tree, and therefore have good flavor. However, the ground is not a clean place, and there is usually fecal matter from birds, wild animals, dogs, and sometimes animal manure is used as fertilizer. The fecal matter can carry salmonella and E. coli, and in 1996, people became sick from raw apple juice contaminated with E. coli.



As I had mentioned, the E. coli die when apple juice is fermented into cider. To drink raw apple juice, it has to be treated via pasteurization to kill these harmful bugs. So while it is tempting, please limit how much raw juice you drink straight from the press so that you do not get sick, and really seriously consider not giving it to children.

If you are going to consume it raw, only use fruit in which you would eat, so throw out any moldy apple, which are the Patulin carriers. Next, try to keep things as clean as possible, which will actually help prevent the apple cider fermentation from becoming infected with vinegar causing bacteria and other off taste creating infections. These infections are safe to consume, but taste horrible. If pressing only for fresh juice and not for fermentation, do not use windfalls or dropped apples off of the ground. I suggest you wash the apples and press parts with cold water, and rewash an apple should it fall on the ground after the initial washing. Of course, the best thing to do is to pasteurize the juice before drinking it, which means you need to heat it to a temperature of 160⁰. From there, you should keep the juice refridgerated so that airborn bacteria do not start growing in warm juice.


3 Responses to “Raw Juice Safety”

  1. […] home and crushed and pressed it unto about 6.5 gallons of juice. I kept out the odd half gallon for fresh drinking, keeping it in the refrigerator. I realized drinking it fresh that it was inferior juice to the […]

  2. […] stem, so it is likely to be squeezed off the tree in the first windstorm? The United States, due to E. Coli outbreaks on dropped fruit, does not permit the use of dropped fruit for anything, even though there is enough evidence that […]

  3. I see your post is very nice, and I like it. I am also happy about your article. I like it. My prayers may you grow healthier and better

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