Extracting juice from fruits has long been necessary either for producing drinks or for cooking. Juicers are a good example of the continuing use of traditional models alongside more sophisticated electric versions that have been introduced in response to the changing tastes of modern consumers.

Traditional citrus juicers of beech wood that are simply reamers to be placed into the fruit and twisted are still sold today, as are juicers with dome-shape reamers over which the halved fruit is twisted. Initially made of glass, the dome-shaped juicers were also made of aluminum and are now produced in plastic. One of the most stylish of these is the Italian Kartell lemon squeezer designed by Gino Colombini in 1958. Produced in low-density polyethylene it features a sharply fretted pivot inside a container onto which the halved lemon is placed. This is covered by a ribbed cap that is turned to pulp the lemon juice down channels in the pivot into the container. Electric versions operate in similar ways.Wooden or cast-iron hinged presses for lemon and limes were also popular for the first half of the century.Wooden models, usually of beech, often had glazed ceramic bowls. There are also aluminum hinged presses with inverted domed reamers.

Lever-operated juicers and presses were developed in the United States for professional use in restaurants, bars, and diners. The domestic versions of the 1950s, such as the Juice-O-Mat by the Rival Company, were available in sprayed aluminum or stainless steel.

Electric blenders were developed by the American Stephen Poplawski who had patented a commercial drink mixer in 1916. The Greene Manufacturing Company produced blenders based on this in 1932. Two successful models from the 1940s are the Osterizer by Oster Manufacturing Company (now part of Sunbeam) and the Blendor by Waring Corporation. These blenders (known in the United Kingdom as liquidisers) had a glass jug with a lid and cutting blades in the base, operated by an electric motor. Blenders are essentially simple appliances, and the main changes in them have been the addition of extra speeds. The arrival of the food processor meant that the blender became an inexpensive commodity. Recent changes have been the introduction of high-powered “pro-style” models capable of chipping ice without liquid and more dominant bases with electronic touch pad controls. The main manufacturers are Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Kenwood, KitchenAid, Krups, Moulinex, Oster, Philips, and Sunbeam.

The 1980s saw the introduction of smaller hand-held blenders capable of blending foods and liquids in a cup or small container. One of the earliest lines was introduced by Braun, which remains a leader in this market. Hand blenders are especially popular for making baby food.

Cultural trends in healthy eating have led to an increase in fresh fruit consumption and the promotion of premium juices produced only from fresh fruit. Manufacturers such as Kenwood, Braun, Sunbeam, Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, and Breville have responded with improved electric countertop juice extractors designed to produce fruit juices directly into an internal jug in seconds for the domestic market. A simpler appliance designed to produce just enough juice for flavoring is the Lemon Mate, a small plastic device that turns a single lemon into a small jug by topping and tailing it with a screw-in reamer and a base to keep it upright.

Despite their efficiency, the most influential juicer of the late twentieth century was a reworking of the traditional hand-held juicer by the French designer Philippe Starck. His cast aluminum Juicy Salif lemon squeezer of 1990 for Alessi placed the reamer on three legs, which allowed it to be placed over a glass. The lemon juice flowed down the reamer to a point and then into the glass below. Available in either a polished or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) nonstick coating, it quickly became a “must-have” item for the fashionable kitchen.