Some definitions you need to know …….
Extracted out of an article called “Apple Cider - The Essence of Fall” by Amy Topel who is an instructor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University and food columnist for thegreenguide.com
Apple cider terminology can be a bit confusing—the term historically referred to a mildly alcoholic beverage produced when apples were ground and pressed and the resulting liquid was allowed to ferment. Fermented apple cider is now called hard cider.
Today, in the U.S., apple cider refers to the unfermented and unfiltered liquid produced by pressing apples. The apples are picked (apples that have fallen off a tree are never used, they can contain dangerous bacteria and toxins), ground into a pulp, and pressed to yield cider. The cider retains a small amount of apple pulp resulting in an opaque liquid with a rosy brown color resulting from the oxidation (browning) of the apple pulp.
Apple juice is a translucent golden liquid made from apple cider that has been filtered to remove all traces of apple pulp. (Apple juice that has been watered down, or contains added sugar, must by law, be labelled as an apple drink or an apple juice beverage.) Apple juice has a far less complex flavour than apple cider and is also less nutritious. Unfiltered cider contains higher amounts of polyphenols (natural antioxidants that protect us from cancer) than commercially bottled apple juice. A recent study comparing apple cider to apple juice shows that apple cider's higher pectin content may have a greater protective effect against colon cancer.
While cider sold at fruit stands is not always pasteurized, most apple cider sold in stores is, that is, heated to 160 degrees F or treated with UV light to kill any pathogens. Un-pasteurized cider can be risky for pregnant women, small children and those with a compromised immune system. While pasteurization renders apple cider safer to drink, and increases its shelf life, the process can alter the flavour of the cider slightly. The process destroys enzymes, and inhibits oxidation so pasteurized apple cider has less distinct flavour. Cider that will be used for cooking will almost always be heated about 160 degrees F, so using un-pasteurized cider for cooking is of less concern as long as it is stored and refrigerated properly and used before the end of its shelf life.
Petrofka Bridge Orchard uses a heavy duty grinder to produce the mash and a 20 ton press to extract the golden juice. It is stored in food-approved 45 gallon drums before being pasteurized and bottled in two litre containers.
What is the difference between Apple Juice and Apple Cider?
Apple juice and apple cider are both fruit beverages made from apples, but there is a difference between the two. Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. It takes about one third of a bushel to make a gallon of cider.
To make cider, apples are washed, cut and ground into a mash that is the consistency of applesauce. Layers of mash are wrapped in cloth, and put into wooded racks. A hydraulic press squeezes the layers, and the juice flows into refrigerated tanks. This juice is bottled as apple cider.
Apple juice is juice that has been filtered to remove solids and pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer. Vacuum sealing and additional filtering extend the shelf life of the juice.
The flavour of cider depends on the blending of juice from different apple varieties. The term "flavour" refers to the palatability of a distinct apple juice flavour and the aroma that is typical of properly processed apple juice. Cider makers are most particular about concocting a blend that will create the desired flavour and produce the perfect balance between sweetness and tartness.
Cider needs constant refrigeration because it is perishable. It will stay sweet and unfermented for up to two weeks. Cider can also be frozen, but be sure to pour off an inch or two from the container for expansion during freezing.
Although a glass of cider a day cannot guarantee good health, the sweet juice is a good source of potassium and iron. Apple cider is pure and natural with no sugar added. A 6 ounce glass has only 87 calories. Apple cider, like other juices, fruits and vegetables contains no cholesterol. Pectin, contained in apple cider, has been shown to keep serum cholesterol levels down.
Is Cider Pasteurized or UV Treated?
The pasteurization process involves heating the freshly pressed cider to 160 degrees for a few seconds. The high temperature kills bacteria that might be there. The cider is then immediately cooled to prevent it from getting a "cooked" taste. This process is the same process used to pasteurize milk. When done properly, pasteurization does not affect the flavour of the cider. Consumer tests have indicated that people cannot tell the difference between the flavour of pasteurized and un-pasteurized cider. Also, the nutritional value does not change. Some people simply prefer to drink fresh cider without any heat treatment or added preservatives.
UV treatment is a non-thermal process that meets FDA guidelines to obtain a 5- log reduction of pertinent pathogens. This is equivalent to 99.999% safe. The UV or Ultra Violet treatment has the cider pass by an ultraviolet light which kills harmful bacteria. This process is called non-thermal because it does not heat up the cider. It is FDA approved and an equally safe alternative to heat pasteurization.
The New York Apple Association recommends drinking only pasteurized or UV treated fresh apple cider. This is to ensure that all consumers both young and old are protected against possible illness. Approximately 95% of the volume of cider currently produced in New York State is either pasteurized or UV treated.