When covering the best consumer and professional blenders around, you don’t expect too many big changes in new models – the basic blender components tend to stay the same. But a new feature has sprung up in the blender market called “vacuum blending” and this trend deserves a closer look, because it really could change how you blend smoothies.
Vacuum blending refers to a blender that creates a particularly tight seal when creating smoothies, allowing users to activate a vacuum pump accessory (either hand pumped or electric, with some models including both options). The vacuum pump removes air from the blended mix, and then you pour it into a glass and drink as usual.
Why do this in the first place? Proponents of vacuum blending claim it brings several advantages to the table:
- It reduces oxidation: When you remove air bubbles from a smoothie, you are also removing oxygen particles. Oxygen can cause oxidation (the process that produces rust, helps clean stains from your carpet, and exists everywhere across nature). The draw behind this is that fresh fruit and vegetables tend to start oxidizing quickly, turning brown. People don’t generally like their fruit and veggies turning brown. Removing the air from the blender helps slow this process down.
- It increases nutrition: Here, proponents say that oxidation makes smoothies less healthy by destroying antioxidants. This ground is shaky: It’s not entirely clear what specific antioxidants this addresses, what benefits they offer humans, or how oxidation significantly reduces their number in smoothies.
- It makes your smoothie taste better: Compacting the ingredient more tightly and with less foam means a more powerful burst of flavor. That’s a good thing for tasty smoothies, and possibly not quite is good if you are juicing kale.
So, does any of this actually work?
Here’s the deal: People have done tests, and there is definitely a noticeable difference in the mixtures. Vacuumed mixtures are more concentrated and darker in color, so something really is happening here. The question is if this provides any real benefit.
From a taste perspective, it certainly seems to pack in extra flavor. From an oxidation perspective – well, how long does it take you to finish a smoothie? If you down it quickly within a few minutes, you won’t be noticing any difference. If you take your time and your smoothie tends to sit out for 10-15 minutes (or you want to store it for later), then you will probably notice a difference in oxidation levels.
Of course, all this is moot if you don’t use your blender for juicing fresh veggies and fruit. But if you do and you prefer to take your time and enjoy the taste, then you may want to look into a vacuum blender model to see if it improves the experience.