Many individuals promote the health benefits of natural products that are not processed in any way. There is even a diet called the raw food diet that promotes this type of lifestyle. When it includes unpasteurized juice there is a large reason for concern though, because of the risk of food borne illness that can occur. This risk is present whether the product is apple cider, grape versions, or another type of product in this category.
When fruits that will be juiced are grown they naturally come into contact with wildlife. In addition the individuals who pick or harvest the crops may not always use the accepted methods, including proper hand washing techniques and bacteria control. Animals also deposit waste products on the ground that may contaminate any items that have fallen.
When the crop is pressed and turned into juice it is washed, but this process can not eliminate all of the potential organisms that may be present. If the end product is not pasteurized then these live germs can cause sickness in humans, and at times the illness can lead to serious injury or even death.
Apple cider is usually the biggest culprit when an outbreak occurs of food borne illness from unpasteurized beverages. This is due to the fact that this juice is made from fallen fruit to begin with, and these foods have been on the ground with waste products that are teeming with microorganisms.
The heat used for the pasteurizing process will destroy some of the nutrients in the liquid, but it also kills off any bacteria or other germs that may be contaminating the product as well. The risks of drinking unpasteurized products is very high. This is especially true with the elderly, small children, anyone who does not have normal immune system function, and pregnant women. These populations can not fight off an illness as effectively.