The big squeezy

Home juicers: Spinners, pulpers, classic or hi-tech ... how to transform fruit and veg into state-of-the-art health drinks.

Juicers are the latest must-have for the kitchen, although whether this is a manifestation of a move to cleaner, healthier living or just the modern, faddish equivalent of the Soda Stream is unclear.

Juicers come in two main types. The cheaper, more consumer-oriented models use the centrifugal method which grates up the fruit and vegetables and then forces the juice out with a spinning action. The disadvantage with this method is that it doesn't extract very efficiently, and the result is a watery liquid which is lower in nutrients.

A masticating juicer can produce as much as two to three times as much juice and nutrients as a centrifugal juicer. It breaks up the plant and then forces the pulp through a gridded cone. This results in a stronger flavour and, it has been claimed, filters out any toxic residues left from certain pesticides, etc. But then surely you're using organic produce anyway?

1. Porkert juicer This cheap and cheerful manual version, manufactured in the Czech Republic, works like a mincer. It takes much longer compared with the motorised models, but it does produce a decent quality juice, and works especially well on wheatgrass and herbs. It's tin-plated so you need to watch out for rusting. pounds 59.95. Available by mail order from Planet Organic on 0171-221 7171.

2. Champion juicer One of the best-selling masticating juicers. Like most extractors it can make sorbets, ice cream and salsa as well as run-of-the-mill fruit and veg juice. It's easy to use and clean, and there is a grain mill attachment available if you're into making your own flour. pounds 299 (including recipe book). Available from the Wholistic Research Company on 01954 781 074.

3. DeLonghi KC280 Robodiet juicer A centrifugal model suited to the occasional user rather than the hardcore juice freak. It is user-friendly and comes apart for easy cleaning. The juice is collected in a removable container. pounds 30. For stockists, call DeLonghi on 0800 626 496.

4. Philips Juice & Co A suitable first juicer for anyone who wants to make juice without the major capital outlay. This is in fact an extractor and a blender in one, so if you get tired of all that healthy juice and sorbet you can go back to making banana smoothies. pounds 50. For stockists, call Philips on 0181-689 2166.

5. Green Life juice extractor Award-winning juicer from Korea which uses bio-ceramic magnets which ionize the minerals in the juice, delaying oxidation and deterioration of quality. In other words, it packs in even more nutrients. pounds 399. Available by mail order from Savant Distribution on 0113 230 1993.

6. Angel juicer Top-of-the-range juicer for the real enthusiast or anyone who wants to run their own juice bar. It has an all-metal construction and you can manually adjust the gear settings. Will juice up anything, even pine needles. pounds 499. Available by mail order from Savant Distribution on 0113 230 1993.

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