In 1493, Christopher Columbus was the first person to bring citrus fruit to the United States. It is believed that Ponce de Leon, an early Spanish explorer, planted the first orange trees in Florida during the mid-1500s. Today, the 9-billion dollar citrus industry is an integral part of the State of Florida.
In the mid-1910s, California experienced an overproduction of oranges. The growers started juicing the oranges in California and later most of the juice in the United States was produced in Florida. More than 80 percent of citrus production in America is for orange juice. Brazil and Florida produce around 85 percent of the global market’s orange juice. Almost 90 percent of Florida’s production is consumed in America. More than 80 percent of all citrus fruit productions worldwide is for making orange juice.
When was the first citrus juicer invented? In 1945, the automatic citrus juicer was the first of its kind and it was mainly used in hotels and restaurants in New York City. Mulligan Associates Incorporated was the national distributor of fresh orange juice for many years. With time, the popularity of juicers increased tremendously.
History of the Citrus Juicer
Before citrus juicers were discovered, fruits and vegetables were crushed or pressed to extract the juice. Juices made from limes and oranges were used in Ayurvedic medicine in India as early as about 3000 years ago. The Dead Sea scrolls also mentioned the juicing of figs and pomegranates. It is believed these parchments are the first documented evidence of juicing fruit and date back to approximately 150 B.C.
In the early 20th century, Dr. Norman Walker introduced the first mechanical juicer to the world. The Norwalk, a hydraulic press juicer, squeezed the juice out of citrus fruit. The machine was heavy and difficult to work with. In the mid-1950s, another machine, the Champion juicer, entered the market. The high speed of the turning rod generated too much heat and destroyed the juice’s nutrients and live enzymes.
In 1960, the Food and Drug Administration was concerned about companies labeling commercial orange juice as “fresh” with so much water and sugar being added to them. Many companies portrayed their products as freshly squeezed and in the late 1960s, orange juice was not only available in cans, but also in cartons.
Alissa Hamilton points out in her book Squeezed that convenience foods, such as commercial orange juice, contained many additives to aid in preserving food and drinks, however people did not think too much about it.
Fresh Citrus Juice is Better
In the early 1980s, health became more of an issue, and people realized non-pasteurized, fresh orange juice is better. A Korean man, who was known only as Mr. Kim, invented the first twin-gear juicer in 1993. He called this machine the Green Power. The machine’s method was based on the mortar and pestle principle and did not destroy any nutrients of the fruit.
Most people nowadays prefer making their own fresh citrus juice. Oranges are available 12 months of the year. From October through June the primary orange varieties in Florida are Valencia, Pineapple, Navel, Hamlin and Ambersweet. Most orange juice is produced in Florida, while citrus for consumption as fresh fruits are grown in Texas, California and Arizona.
Grapefruit varieties, such as Flame, Ruby Red, Marsh, Duncan and Thompson are harvested from September through June. California offers wonderfully sweet navel oranges between December and April and also produces lemons, Valencia, clementine, tangerines and grapefruit.
Oranges are well-known for their vitamins and minerals. The fruit provides vitamin C, calcium, iron, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, manganese, copper and selenium.
When Was the First Citrus Juicer Invented?
Since the first automatic citrus juicer was invented in 1945, the appliance changed a lot to what is available on the market today. Currently, there are many different kinds of juicers available on the market. There are citrus, masticating and centrifugal juicers.
Masticating juicers grind fruit between two gears. Centrifugal appliances have one blade for shredding the fruit. Most citrus juicers do not slice, cut or grind, but rather spin reamers into the fruit.
Citrus juicers all have one thing in common and that is to extract the juice from the fruit. The three types of appliances available for this function are manual, electric and the press juicer.
Hand operated or manual citrus juicers are typically either reamers or presses. Press juicers can be classified into two categories, namely heavy-duty citrus presses and small hand squeezers. A reamer is a simple device and easy to use. The orange is cut in half and rotated against a ribbed cone. The citrus press squeezes the liquid from the fruit.
For juicing large amounts of citrus fruits, a more powerful press juicer or electric appliance could be more appropriate. Commercial orange juicers are designed for effective juice extraction and are usually made of stainless steel with rubber feet. They can handle hundreds of citrus fruits daily with hardly any effort at all.
Before citrus juicers were invented, fruits and vegetables were crushed or pressed to extract the juice. When was the first citrus juicer invented? In 1945, the automatic citrus juicer was the first of its kind.
Since the first automatic citrus juicer was designed, the appliance changed a lot to what is available on the market today. Currently, there are different types of citrus juicers for small or large amounts of fruits. Health became more of an issue and now people prefer making their own orange juice.