If you are into juicing, you should probably know that orange juice is quite popular as it brings freshness with tons of health benefits. However, in terms of shelf life, how long does orange juice last?
Well, the answer depends on factors that we will explore in this article. It will also provide you with some crucial insights on effectively storing orange juice.
The Signs of a Spoiled Orange Juice
Anything spoiled can be easily recognized, as the symptoms remain quite clear. It’s no different in the case of orange juice. Sometimes you may forget to take orange juice in time or as planned. So, when your juice exceeds the shelf life, then it starts to rot.
Here are pointers on spoiled orange juice –
Taste and Smell:
If your juice starts to smell funny, like sour or rancid, then it’s probably spoiled. Also, you may find your juice smell like alcohol or vinegar. Spoiled orange juice doesn’t have a refreshingly sweet and sour taste. Instead, you will find a bitter wine-like feel, and it doesn’t taste good.
The aspects of spoiled orange juice feature white and green mold often found on the top. As more time goes by, the more these molds or sediment start to appear.
So, if you see these happening to your orange juice, don’t ever think to drink them. As there are serious health issues that may occur if you drink rotted juice.
In terms of color, spoiled orange juice will show a dark or pale appearance instead of its original color. If you are storing your juice in a rigid container then bring it out and pour it into a glass to see the color-changing results clearly.
The package you are using to store orange juice can be swollen. Micro-organisms like molds, yeasts, and bacteria can generate gas as a by-product which results in a swelling package.
The Shelf Life of Orange Juice in Different Conditions
There are conditions that suggest different shelf life of various versions of orange juice. For example, freshly squeezed orange juice can last about two to three hours in normal conditions. Commercial orange juice (canned, or bottled) has a higher shelf life depending on its opened or unopened and storing conditions.
|Orange Juice Type
|2 to 3 days
|3 to 4 months
|Shelf-stable orange juice
|12 to 18 months
|Refrigerated orange juice
|2 to 3 hours
|7 to 14 days
|3 – 9 months
|Canned orange juice
Freshly squeezed orange juice has the shortest lifespan compared to store-bought ones. Once it starts to sit, micro-organisms like bacteria grow inside your juice to spoil it faster. Therefore, consume it as soon as possible to get the most nutritious value. However, if you want to store it in a refrigerator or freeze the juice, you can also do that for weeks to months.
Store-bought orange juice can be divided into two categories, refrigerated and shelf-stable. Refrigerated orange juice doesn’t make much difference from freshly squeezed juice in terms of shelf-life at room temperature. However, in a fridge, it can stay ok for 1 to 2 weeks straight.
Shelf-stable orange juice is not refrigerated and can stay well for 3 to 9 months (unopened) at room temperature. You can also refrigerate it for 8 to 10 days (opened) without any problem.
Orange juice is also stored in cans with suitable preservatives and additives. In other words, canned orange juice is pasteurized, which is a process that features heat to destroy harmful micro-organisms from affecting the juice before selling.
An unopened can of orange juice can last up to one year or more at suitable room temperature. Like other commercial orange juice, you can refrigerate opened cans for 8 to 10 days.
Here is an additional fact –
When you defrost orange juice, you can refrigerate it for another 2-3 days. However, thawed (microwave or cold water) orange juice is better to consume immediately. You may freeze the juice in little portions and defrost it as needed.
Best Strategies to Keep Your Orange Juice Nutritious For Longer
Many of us do not have the time to prepare fresh orange juice whenever we feel the urge. So, storing is a better option to save time. There are strategies you can follow to increase the shelf-life of your orange juice to some extent.
- Refrigerate freshly squeezed OJ immediately in an air-tight glass container. Try to feel it to the brim so there is no room for excess air in the container.
- Try freezing your juice if you want further Extention of the shelf-life by up to one year. However, in this process, you will get a lower nutrition level compared to freshly squeezed OJ.
- For store-bought orange juice, if it’s pasteurized, then keep it in a dark cool room or pantry until you have to use it.
- If you purchase refrigerated orange juice, immediately store it in the fridge to maintain its longer shelf life.
Freshly Squeezed, Bottled, or Canned Orange Juice? The Better Option
There are two ways you can get orange juice, Homemade freshly squeezed and store-bought. Now, which has the highest nutritional values?
Well, freshly squeezed orange juice doesn’t feature any preservatives. Therefore, its beneficial enzymes and nutrients don’t get destroyed in the pasteurization process.
Commercial orange juice is also packed with sugar leading to high blood pressure and weight gain.
However, freshly squeezed OJ can catch up to bacteria from the produce unless it goes through a pasteurization procedure. Therefore, consuming fresh juice is crucial to stay safe from harmful micro-organisms.
FAQ: How long Does Orange Juice Last?
How much orange juice is enough for a day?
The optimum level of OJ intake is 240 ml or 8 ounces per day. It’s ideal to consume whole oranges instead of juicing for better results.
Is there any drawback of orange juice?
Orange juice is high in calories and sugar. Therefore, an overdose of OJ can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and weight gain.
Is it Ok to heat your orange juice?
Heat kills most of the vitamins and nutrients. Also, heat can spoil your juice faster. Therefore, it’s suggested to keep the juice in a dark cold place.
In The End:
Orange juice is a great source of antioxidants and micronutrients like vitamin C. Fresh intake of OJ is best for your health if it’s free from harmful micro-organisms. So, proper utilization and consumption of OJ at the right time ensure the quality of your juice.
Keeping your juice free from microbial attacks is easy if you follow the right strategies that we have mentioned throughout this article. I Hope, that helped you to get an overall idea of this topic.