Everyone dreads the ominous sniff test of orange juice that has been refrigerated for a while. Even worse is the large gulp of what you believe to be fresh orange juice, which is vinegar.
I want to impart some of my knowledge regarding the perishability of orange juice. I will explain the shelf life of orange juice, the best way to store it, and how to determine if it’s still safe to drink – without tasting it! But before we get into specifics.
Orange juice from a carton will last 7-10 days in the refrigerator; fresh orange juice made with a citrus press, masticating juicer, or by hand will last 2-3 days, 24-48 hours; and orange juice made with a centrifugal juicer will last only one day, 24 hours.
Freshly Squeezed vs. Store Bought Orange JuiceStore-Bought
There can be a significant difference between freshly squeezed orange juice made at home and store-bought orange juice, such as Tropicana or Minute Maid.
Because store-bought orange juice contains more preservatives, it typically lasts longer than freshly squeezed orange juice. However, you know that freshly squeezed orange juice you make at home is healthy and contains no unwanted additives.
Therefore, homemade orange juice is the healthiest option available.
How long is the shelf life of freshly squeezed orange juice?
The best time to consume freshly squeezed orange juice is the day it was made. That is when it is most delicious and fresh.
If you make your orange juice with a citrus press, it should last approximately three days if refrigerated. If you used a centrifugal juicer (the one with the spinning blade) instead of a citrus press, the juice will likely only last 24 hours or, at most, two days. This is because heating the fruit during juicing can reduce its shelf life.
It would help if you also considered the freshness of the oranges you are juicing. The juice will only last for a short time if the fruits begin to rot when you squeeze them.
I recommend storing orange juice in the refrigerator for two to three days if you can’t consume it on the day, you make it. And don’t overdo it; drinking too much orange juice is unhealthy.
Check out my article on whether drinking orange juice with or without pulp is healthier.
How long will store-bought orange juice remain fresh?
Unopened bottles of orange juice purchased from the store have a shelf life of up to a year. That’s insane!
If you examine the expiration date and use-by date on your orange juice, it will typically be a year in the future, but it will indicate that you should consume it within a few days once it has been opened.
Once opened, store-bought orange juice should typically be consumed within a week or two. However, this varies by brand. This, however, can vary based on factors such as how long you left the product sealed after purchasing it, whether you refrigerated it, etc. Therefore, consider two weeks a guideline!
How To Determine If Orange Juice Has Gone Bad
It is usually relatively easy to discern when orange juice has reached the end of its shelf life. However, we’ve compiled some tips you can use to prevent orange juice from ever becoming spoiled.
You Can See Floating Within It.
Mold is one of the most reliable indicators that your orange juice is no longer fresh. When orange juice spoils, spores proliferate within the liquid and the container. If your bottle is transparent, you can see the particles floating in the liquid. These may contain potentially dangerous bacteria and should not be consumed.
If your orange juice comes in a carton and you cannot see inside, shake it with the lid on and pour it into a glass. You can detect any unwelcome additions if you scrutinize the area.
If you are examining it closely for signs of green mold, you should also read the color. If your orange juice has any discoloration, it is likely no longer drinkable.
Orange juice has a distinct, refreshing aroma that most of us adore. This can be used to determine whether your juice is still fresh.
Examine the aroma of your juice. If it smells acidic, like vinegar, it is either sour orange juice or a close substitute. You should avoid the area if you cannot detect the fresh citrus scent.
It Tastes Awful
You can rely on your taste buds to determine if orange juice has exceeded its expiration date. Hopefully, you will have tried the first two options and avoided this one.
If your fresh orange juice doesn’t taste right, it’s probably not! However, what happens if you consume orange juice that has gone bad?
What Happens If Orange Juice Is Past Its Expiration Date?
This varies based on the circumstances. It depends on how far the orange juice is past its expiration date and how it was stored.
If your orange juice is only one or two days past its expiration date, you should be fine – don’t consume too much!
However, suppose your orange juice is past its prime, and you consume a significant amount before realizing your mistake. In that case, you will likely experience food poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Standard food safety rules apply to orange juice, so while drinking expired orange juice is not fatally harmful, it is highly unpleasant; therefore, precautions should be taken to avoid the health risk.
How Should You Best Store Orange Juice?
Knowing how long orange juice will last is helpful, but you must also know how to store it properly! We’ve gathered everything you need to know, regardless of your orange juice requirements.
Maintain It In The Refrigerator
This is obvious, but I will say it anyway. Like most fruit juices, orange juice has a longer shelf life when refrigerated as opposed to at room temperature.
If you live in a warm climate or there is a lot of sunlight on a particular day, try to keep your orange juice out of the refrigerator for as little time as possible. Heat will accelerate spoilage.
Use Clean Bottles
If you are juicing your oranges, be sure to store the juice in a good juice bottle. Additionally, you should thoroughly clean it between uses to ensure nothing is left behind, as this will cause your orange juice to spoil more quickly and reduce its shelf life.
I prefer glass bottles. They keep any type of fruit juice cool and durable; the fewer scratches on the bottle, the fewer places orange juice can become trapped. Glass is beneficial for food storage in general.
If you prefer a plastic container, choose one BPA-free, as these are better for your health, especially if you reuse them.
Bottled orange juice is safe orange juice.
Use Tins Stored in Cool Place
If you have long-lasting orange juice in cans or cartons, store them in a cool, dark location, such as a kitchen cabinet, out of direct sunlight. Even if they are unopened, they will spoil if exposed to excessive heat.
Before placing the orange juice in the refrigerator, be sure to pour it into a different airtight container (one of the ones listed above would be ideal) once it has been opened.
Avoid storing cans in the refrigerator! These containers may leach tin and iron, leaving a strange taste in the rest of your refrigerated foods. This is unhealthy, so keep cans in the pantry.
Suggestions To Make Orange Juice Last Longer
I mentioned a few tips earlier in the article, but I’ve compiled them all here to ensure that your orange juice stays fresh for as long as possible.
Use Fresh Oranges
If you’re juicing your oranges, which I recommend because they have a higher nutritional value and are essential if you’re seeking Vitamin C, use oranges that are as fresh as possible. Keep oranges in the refrigerator before juicing them. This may make the process more difficult if you manually extract the juice, but an electric citrus press will simplify it.
Using cold oranges instead of those at room temperature is advantageous because it maintains a low temperature throughout the entire juicing process, reducing the likelihood that harmful bacteria will grow while you juice your fruit.
Once you have obtained orange juice, refrigerate it in a clean container. When using it, only remove it from the refrigerator for as long as necessary, as this will prolong its freshness. And choose glass containers to help save the planet.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice?
Yes! This can be very helpful if you have many fresh oranges that you cannot juice and consume all at once.
Orange juice that has been frozen will remain fresh for approximately 3 to 6 months, but it will lose some of its nutrients, including Vitamin C, over time. Nonetheless, it will taste delicious. I use ice cube trays to freeze orange juice.
Conclusions Regarding How Long Does Orange Juice Last
That brings you up to date on orange juice’s shelf life. These general guidelines apply to all juices, not just orange juice. Orange juice is best stored in an airtight, tightly sealed container. However, frozen orange juice can last much longer if necessary.
It would help if you avoided bad orange juice to prevent health problems. And when in doubt, discard it.
There are various varieties of orange juice. The shelf life of freshly squeezed orange juice is only a few days, whereas pasteurized orange juice can last for months if unopened and up to seven days if opened. Orange juice concentrate has the potential to last for years. However, always check the expiration date. Correctly storing orange juice will reduce your waste.
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