Although they are both similar, the difference between apple cider and apple juice is the treatment or filtration which is needed that changes the properties of the drink. Cider comes from raw apple juice which still retains sediment and coarse particles of pulp from the juice. To make a gallon of cider, almost one third of the bushel needs to be harvested.
To start the process of making cider, the apples must first be collected, washed and cut into slices before being mashed into a lumpy consistency, such as applesauce. Then the mashed up apples are laid out in cloth and set upon wooden racks. A large hydraulically operated press squeezes the layers of mashed apple and the juice then seeps through the cloth and into a refrigerated tank. Once the juice is collected, it is then called apple cider.
The difference between apple cider and apple juice is that the latter is filtered to remove any large particles of pulp and then pasteurized in order to enhance the shelf life. More filtering goes on and the juice is then vacuum sealed to allow it to be fresher for longer.
The difference between apple cider and apple juice flavor comes from the different types of apples used in the blending process. The different flavors bring different aromas and therefore taste to the apple drink. The manufacturers of apple cider spend a long time mixing different flavors of apples to give a good blend of tartness and sweetness to the drink. Cider then needs to be refrigerated constantly as it will perish if not. The shelf life of unfermented cider will last around two weeks, keeping its sweetness. Cider can even be frozen as long as the container has around 2 inches of space to allow for expansion.
Although good health cannot be guaranteed by a glass of apple cider per day, but the juice is a great source of iron and potassium. No sugar is added to pure apple cider and therefore a 6oz glass only contains around 87 calories. As with other fruit drinks, apple cider does not contain cholesterol, in fact it can even keep serum cholesterol levels to a minimum.