Fruits and Vegetables

Benefits of Vacuum Blending

Blenders have long been a standard piece of kitchen equipment. They were originally used mostly for making milk shakes of all types. Newer blenders are being made much more powerful than the original ones, so they can break down more dense items such as hard fruits and vegetables and even frozen foods and ice cubes. More recently, the vacuum blender was developed and is steadily gaining popularity. The beauty of vacuum blenders is that they can be used either as a traditional blender or with the vacuum feature. People have become increasingly more interested in health, wellness, and nutrition. As a result, smoothies are now the trend over milk shakes because various fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens can be combined to make healthful drinks. These drinks can be consumed in assorted ways, including being meals in themselves, desserts, and snacks. With more people drinking smoothies on a regular basis, people are realizing that vacuum blending has its advantages when making these healthful drinks. With vacuum blending, air is sucked out of the blender jar before items are processed. There are advantages to this step, including the following:

* Maximized nutrients. It’s well-known that we cannot survive without oxygen. However, exposure to oxygen is often what causes food to lose its freshness and get stale or spoil. Oxidation is what causes apples, bananas, and avocados to turn brown when cut or peeled. When we use a typical high speed blender, oxygen reacts with the ingredients during the blending process, degrading the nutritional value of the food. Some nutrients, especially Vitamins C, A, and E are easily degraded by exposure to air. With a vacuum blender, air (and, of course oxygen) is removed from the blender jar before the food is blended. This prevents oxygen from interacting with the food and its nutrients as it is being blended, maintaining the nutritional value of the ingredients. Therefore, vacuum blended smoothies (and other foods as well) are potentially more nutritious than those prepared in a traditional blender.

* Preserved antioxidants. In a 2021 (48:271-277) issue of the Journal of Plant Biotechnology, researchers compared the effects of vacuum blending and traditional blending on the overall quality and antioxidant properties of apple juice and blueberry juice. The juice was tested after being blended for dissolved oxygen and it was found that over 80% (83% in the apple juice and 86% in the blueberry juice) of the dissolved oxygen had been removed. Comparisons of antioxidant activity between vacuum and traditional blending were made 3, 6, and 12 hours after blending. Antioxidants were well preserved with the vacuum blending with little change in antioxidant activity, whereas significantly more loss occurred with traditional blending. Their comparison confirmed that vacuum blending was associated with superior quality maintenance and antioxidant properties when compared with traditional blending.

* Preserved flavor. With oxygen being removed before food is blended, the food maintains its freshness for a longer period of time. Because of this, vacuum blended food will taste better than when the same food is traditionally blended. The longer the food is stored, the greater the flavor difference will be realized.

* Better texture. Vacuum blended smoothies have a creamy, smooth texture with little, if any foam. Traditional blenders usually cannot achieve such a smooth texture, leaving small bits of food throughout the mixture. Also, they often create a foam on the top of blended food, which is simply the result of mixed-in air.

* No separation over time. Traditionally blended smoothies tend to separate, leaving a watery layer on the bottom of the storage jar in a relatively short amount of time. Vacuum blended smoothies do not separate, leaving the blended food intact until needed.

* Preserved colors. Because oxygen is removed before processing in a vacuum blender, foods that can discolor when exposed to oxygen, such as apples, bananas, and avocados, will not turn brown after being blended. When such foods are processed in a traditional blender, the mixture will tend to turn somewhat brown as the contents interact with the oxygen that was blended with them.

* Extended storage time. Because ingredients are blended in a vacuum, preventing the interaction with oxygen which causes deterioration, smoothies can be made further in advance than with traditional blending. Furthermore, when sealing smoothies in mason jars with a vacuum sealer, by removing air from the jar before storage, the quality of the food can be preserved even longer. This frees up kitchen time, allowing people to batch prepare for a period of time, rather than blending each day.

* Other options. Not only can you make delicious and smooth smoothies with a vacuum blender, but you can also prepare baby food, blended soup, pesto, spreads, tomato sauce and other sauces, pâtés, cake mixes, ice cream, salad dressings, and more.

If you are considering investing in a high-speed blender and are serious about preserving nutrients in your food, it may be wise to consider choosing a high-speed vacuum blender.


About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

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