How much pressure is too much for cold pressed juice?

Dale Wettlaufer

Cold Press Juicer – How Much Pressure is Too Much?

This is a guest post by Dale Wettlaufer, the founder of Goodnature, and the inventor of the commercial cold press juicer.

Some of the things that nature has taught us about making the best tasting juice:

  1. Don’t squeeze too hard
  2. Don’t squeeze too fast

Although the natural tendency in a busy kitchen is to get things done as fast as possible, we have to resist the temptation to do #1 and #2 above. Here is why: The ideal method is to ease the juice out at the lowest pressure possible. True “juice” is held in the vacuoles which are like big bags of juice inside most plant cells. Generally speaking, if you cut the walls cleanly the juice will drain out under gravity with almost no help from a press.

In the making of wine, where there are more aficionados and experts than any other field I know of, the first, or “free run” juice is the most sought after, and used for the expensive wine that will carry the label of the maker. Most wine presses used today are careful not to use more than 30 psi (pounds per square inch) on the crushed grape mass. They have learned that bitter “notes” and bitter tannin flavors from the skins and seeds can intrude when the pressures get higher. They most often press slowly being careful not to exceed 30 psi. This takes longer than a fast, hard squeeze, but these winemakers are after quality more than quantity or speed.

Similarly, we have learned over time to not squeeze too hard either, and the last 40 years in the juice press business we have been adjusting our machines to reach the perfect pressures and speeds. If we squeeze too fast, the finely ground particles will turn into mush and squeeze through the press bags like gravy, making the juice murky. If we take our time the juice will be crystal clear.

Oils from the seeds and skins will be squeezed out if we press too hard, and the juice will be inferior. As proof of this fact, note that the Goodnature X-1 press (the foundation of many juice companies today), is capable of much higher hydraulic pressures, but we set it at the factory  at a reduced pressure of 1800 psi in each cylinder, which translates to about 40 psi on the produce. We set the machine at this pressure simply because it makes the best tasting juice. You just don’t need more pressure than that. If we went with thicker bag layers and turned up the pressure we could produce more juice per hour but you might not want to drink it.

Take it easy man!  That’s what nature has taught us. We listened.

– Dale




A big fan of juicing and just purchased a Norwalk 290 then came across your site. Love the tutorial videos, blog posts and information. Now I don't have a commercial business for juicing but if I did, Goodnature would be my machine of choice! I did, however, just buy the compostable bags which I will use with my juicer. Thanks! Tom

Nov 28, 2017
Charlie Wettlaufer
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Thanks for compliments Tom! If you ever get into the business let us know. about the bags–I don't think they will work with a norwalk. They will probably break. Our juicer supports the bags on all sides so it doesn't break. The norwalk only supports the top and bottom.

Nov 30, 2017
Sidhant Khanna

Please also mention what should be the pressing speed

May 26, 2017
Charlie Wettlaufer
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Slow is always good. Pressing too quickly can cause some issues, since it doesn't leave enough time for the juice to drain from the produce.

Jun 6, 2017
involves foods

I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

Jan 7, 2015
Aisling Harrington

Hi I'm looking into purchasing the x1 fir commercial use. I have s few questions first. I will be making organic vegetable and fruit drinks. I will be offering a 3 day cleanse. If juices are made the morning of the cleanse, what % of nutrients, enzymes are remaining in the juice on day 2 and day 3, if any? Thanking you Aisling

Dec 11, 2014
Charlie Wettlaufer
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Hi Aisling, good question and unfortunately I don't have a very good answer. It depends on how carefully the juice has been produced and stored. If you use fresh produce in a cold room for juicing, and you immediately bottle the juice and keep it in a refrigerated environment, the juice will have a longer shelf life compared to a product that has been produced or stored at warmer temperatures. I don't have any exact data on the amount or percentage of nutrients in the juice as time goes on.

Dec 12, 2014
Lee Lewis

Good information… thank you. What do believe to be the amount of time one should hold the pressure at 40 p.s.i. to get maximum yield? One documentary I watched indicated 15 minutes.

Dec 8, 2014
Charlie Wettlaufer
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Lee, If you have the time, 15 min is great. I have heard of one company pressing as slow as a 30 min cycle. In general commercial applications we recommend a 4 to 5 min press cycle on the X1. The dripping of juice should slow almost to a stop. You can then open the press, stir the cake and press again for an extra 3-5% of juice. You can usually press much faster on the 2nd press since the cake is already fairly dry.

Dec 9, 2014
Katie's Coldpress

Very helpful, thank you!! I love my X-1 Coldpress. 😄

Dec 6, 2014
Polly Gaza

How does this unit compare to the commercial angel unit?

Dec 6, 2014
Charlie Wettlaufer
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Hi Polly, The Angel juicer is a different type of juicer. There is no hydraulic press or filter bag, so the product comes out slightly different, with more solids or pulp in the liquid. A true cold press juicer is a two step process, grinding and pressing. If you read through the Gerson Therapy book, it is described very specifically in the juicing section. Cold pressed juice has a longer shelf life, and most people think it tastes better than off other types of juicers. If you are looking for a smaller juicer like the Angel, I would recommend the Norwalk instead to achieve a true cold pressed juice product. However, if you are using the machine for commercial applications than the X1 would be better.

Dec 6, 2014

I enjoyed this blog post, thanks for sharing! -Zack Roaming in the Raw Asheville, NC

Dec 5, 2014