Advertisement
Advertisement

Panasonic MJ-L500 review

David Ludlow
22 Jul 2016
Panasonic MJ-L500 hero
Advertisement

With excellent quality juice that's amazingly fresh and better than the pre-bottled stuff, the Panasonic MJ-L500 is for juice lovers

Blenders, such as the Nutribullet, might be all the rage at the moment, but if you prefer the smooth taste of just fruit juice, you need a different type of device that will separate the liquid from the pulp, such as the Panasonic MJ-L500. This compact and slim device is a slow juicer, which doesn’t mean it’ll take an age to create juice, but that it uses a macerating action to crush the fruit and extract the juice at just 45rpm. Compared to a centrifugal juicer, which spins a blade at high speed, a slow juicer is capable of extracting more juice, preserving more vitamins and without adding heat into the mix, resulting a purer and fresher taste.

Design and build quality

Panasonic’s done a great job making this juicer super slim, so it won’t take up much more counter space than a regular pint glass. And, both the juice jug, which can take up to 400ML of juice, and the waste bin for used pulp stack inside each other, so you can keep them neatly out of the way when they’re not in use.

Assembly is pretty straightforward, thanks to the simple-to-follow manual with its exploded diagram, showing you where everything goes. Everything’s dishwasher safe, too, bar the plastic lid and food pusher on top; still, it means that the parts that get really dirty can be thoroughly washed with ease. You may need to give them a little rinse and brush (there's one provided) to get the worst of the left-over pulp, but it's a quick enough job.

Panasonic MJ-L500 juicer hole

Making juice

Making juice couldn’t be simpler: you just stick the pulp connector under the output spout, the jug under the juice spout, turn the juicer on and then push your fruit in via the feeder tube on top, pressing down with the food pusher if you need to. The MJ-L500 then crushes the fruit, sending the juice through a filter and out of one spout, while the dried, compressed pulp is fed out of the other spout into. Should anything get stuck, there's a reverse mode to push fruit back out.

The design is pretty clever, with the output spout having a rubber plug that you can pop in to prevent any drips spilling onto your counter, while you’re pouring your drink. My one minor complaint is that the feeder tube is a little slim, so I had to slice up my fruit a little more to feed it into the juicer, but not to the point where it was overly annoying. Fruit preparation, in general, is pretty easy: fruits with thin skins, such as apples, can just be sliced; thicker-skinned fruits, such as oranges, need to be peeled; berries can largely be dropped in whole, or just cut in half.

Panasonic MJ-L500 juice plug

From the texture and feel of the used pulp, it’s clear that the MJ-L500 does an excellent job of extracting the maximum amount of juice. From just two oranges, I managed to get around 200ml of juice.

Panasonic MJ-L500 pulp extraction

Taste from the orange juice was excellent: it was clean, fresh and contained all the bursting flavour you’d expect from freshly-pressed juice. And, thanks to the method of extraction, the juice doesn’t separate quickly, either. Next, I moved onto apples, where two apples also delivered 200ml of juice. This time round, there was a good deal of foam on top of the jug, but it was easy enough to pour carefully to discard this, or you could pour through a strainer instead. Taste, again, was excellent, with the sweetness of the apples that I chose immediately coming through.

Orange juiceApple juice
Panasonic MJ-L500 orange juice
Panasonic MJ-L500 apple juice

Adding half a punnet of strawberries in with a couple of apples also produced good results, with the balance of the fruits working well together. Of course, this juicer can handle a huge variety of leaves, too. I tested by using apple, cucumber and mint. As there’s not a lot of juice in mint, it makes sense to thread in mint leaves in-between bigger bits of fruit to help infuse it. At the end, I had an incredibly smooth drink, with the component flavours of apple, mint and cucumber all individually present.

Apple and strawberryApple, cucumber and mint
Panasonic MJ-L500 apple and strawberry
Panasonic MJ-L500 mint and cucumber

Frozen desserts

One of the MJ-L500’s tricks is that it can deal with frozen fruit, thanks to its bundled frozen attachment. The manual recommends waiting until you can push a fork tine easily into the centre of the fruit, which will mean around 20m of defrosting time at room temperature. I found that my frozen fruit (mango in this case) tended to come out in one long block, which required breaking up with a fork and then remoulding with a spoon to make it look more presentable. 

Using frozen fruit you get no separation of juice from the pulp, so the full texture and pulp of your chosen fruit are there. It lacks some of the subtlety and melt-in-the-mouth consistency of a proper sorbet and isn’t a mode that I’d personally use very often, but you’ve got the option if you want something different.

Conclusion

Its compact body and near-on-perfect juice extraction make the Panasonic MJ-L500 perfect for any juice lovers, who want a cleaner and smoother experience than a blender can give. Ably handling all of the fruit I fed into it, it’s also a great device for people that want to experiment with flavours. And, being able to handle frozen fruit is a neat trick, although it’ll be a matter of preference as to how much you like the results.

Read more

Reviews