Apple Cider vs. Apple Juice

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Difference between Apple Cider and Apple Juice

In this era where massive competition is being witnessed in the beverage industry, one controversy which doesn't seem to die is which is the better one- apple cider or the apple juice? There are both critics and voracious supporters for them and the obvious common thread binding them together is their origin from a humble apple! What makes the debate even more interesting is that the entire process of extraction, production and packaging is so eerily similar and yet the differences between them are quite vast.

Let us try to briefly examine what exactly they commonly share and where their differences lie.

Apple Cider
Apple Juice

Mode of Production

Both Apple cider and Apple Juice are produced from apples {Obviously}! But during the production period it is Apple Cider that is formed first. When it is filtered, pasteurized and then packed it becomes apple juice. Generally the unfermented freshly expressed apple juice is known as Sweet Cider, while its fermented cousin is known as Hard Cider. Apple cider is made of a blend of many different varieties of apples, mashed together and the juice extracted by hard pressing them.


Apple juice is a more purified form of apple Cider. Apple cider is tangier and consists of freshly ground coarse particles in them, while apple juice is sweeter, clearer and a much filtered version of apple cider. Basically both of them are non-alcoholic beverages, but as we would see later, apple cider has the tendency to turn into an alcoholic beverage!


This is where the major difference lies. Apple Juice is a pasteurized form of Apple Cider. Apple cider when left untouched for about a week begins to undergo fermentation due to the natural yeast present in the apple itself. Thus, basically the non-alcoholic beverage becomes alcoholic within a week. This process does not occur in apple juice as it is pasteurized which destroys the yeast and prevents fermentation.

Risk of Infection

In the late 90's there was an outbreak of E.Coli infection in unpasteurized Apple Cider, following which the US FDA got involved and introduced the HACCP controls in early 2000 and heat pasteurization became mandatory. But the connoisseurs of Apple Cider still believe that the unpasteurized version of Apple Cider is the real one. Since apple juice undergoes several series of processes of filtration and pasteurization including vacuum packing, the risk of infection is almost negligible!

Similarities and Differences

So, after going through the material we have we can come at the following conclusions

  • Apple Cider & Apple Juice are quite similar to each other
  • Apple Cider is an unpasteurized and unfiltered counterpart of Apple Juice
  • Apple Cider is tangy, while Apple Juice is sweeter
  • There is a definite chance of infection following consumption oh homemade Apple Cider

Well, of course the final choice of which beverage must be taken depends on our respective taste buds! So the next time you take a bite from that delicious apple in your hand, don't forget that the humble apple has several controversies of its own!

Which taste are you most fond of?
  • Apple Cider
  • Apple Juice

comments 3 Comments

  • Elrond . 3+ yrs. ago

I would like someone to clairfy a few points on apple juice vs. apple cider. Are we talking about a fermentation process similar to grapes and wine? The apple juice is just the extract from the apple pulp...right?

Then if you let the sugars in the apple juice ferment and be eaten by bacteria and the sugars are then converted to alcohol...right. If the fermentation process is allowed to continue isn't vinegar produced? Apple cider doesn't contain alcohol, does it? I think vinegar is the product of the alcohol being further converted to acid. Someone out there should know this stuff.

  • Delores . 3+ yrs. ago

If the FDA mandated pasteurization of apple cider, why do you nevertheless list a conclusion that "Apple Cider is an unpasteurized and unfiltered counterpart of Apple Juice" in the next paragraph?

  • Bennie . 3+ yrs. ago

When you think of apple cider, you probably think of fall. A warm sweet glass full of apples and spice that warms the body on a cool fall day and this delicious drink is where this miracle tonic gets its start. It begins life as apples that are pulverized to make cider. This cider is then combined with yeast which turns the sugars in the cider into alcohol.

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