As a fan of orange juice, have you ever wondered ‘does orange juice go bad’? One summer day you open the fridge and find that your orange juice has a rancid smell. I guess that you have experienced this at least once in your life. That’s why you are here with me today.
In this informative article, I will give you everything you need to know about the shelf life of orange juice, the signs that tell you it is no longer tasty, and how to store it properly so that it does not get spoiled when you do not expect it to be.
Let’s find out now!
Does Orange Juice Ever Go Bad?
Yes, it does. Like other juice, it goes bad after some time. It can last for at most 2 hours at room temperature, several days in the fridges, and several months in the freezer.
However, this is just a brief answer to the big question. Does the shelf life of orange juice depend on the different orange fruit varieties used? Or is it based on the types of orange juice, its quality, and the storage procedure.
As such, there is much more useful information waiting for you to explore below, especially if you want some storing tips to keep orange juice as long as possible.
Why Should You Drink Orange Juice?
Do you know that orange juice is not only tasty but also healthy? The thing people love most about it is that it is very good for the skin. However, besides that, orange juice has a lot more benefits to your health.
Vitamin C is not everything that orange juice has. It also contains magnesium and potassium, which can control blood pressure and may reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes (1).
Orange juice is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and carotenoids. These antioxidants are essential to your body. They are shown to have the ability to boost your overall health (2).
To boost the health benefits of orange juices, it’s not uncommon to pair this drink with some other ingredient such as oatmeals, fruits, and even milk. You’re not reading this wrong, there are various delicious recipes featuring milk and oranges that will provide you with plenty of health benefits.
How Long Can You Keep Orange Juice?
As you can see in the quick answer above, different types of orange juice have different shelf lives. This is because commercial orange juice such as bottled and frozen orange juice is added with additives that help it to last longer than freshly squeezed orange juice.
Some people think that as long as they choose the most suitable oranges for at-home juicing, their drink will enjoy a longer shelf-life. However, this is not entirely the case. As I’ve already pointed out, orange juice’s shelf-life depends on its type, not on the quality of the orange itself.
Check this table to learn about the shelf lives of different types of orange juice in the fridge.
|Freshly squeezed orange juice (Homemade orange juice)||2 hours||2 - 3 days||3-9 months|
|Unopened shelf-stable orange juice||3-9 months||Not necessary||3-9 months|
|Opened shelf-stable orange juice||2 hours||8-10 days||3-9 months|
|Opened refrigerated orange juice||2 hours||8-10 days||3-9 months|
|Unopened refrigerated orange juice||2 hours||1-2 week||3-9 months|
|Canned orange juice||1 year||1 week||3-9 months|
|Orange juice concentrate||Not recommended||1 week (once mixed with water for drinking)||Indefinitely|
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
This is absolutely the most delicious and natural type of orange juice. I am sure that you love it. However, you will not love its shelf life. Once it sits out, harmful bacteria start to grow and make it spoil faster than any other type of orange juice.
As I have mentioned, freshly squeezed orange juice does not last long. It can only be stored for at most 2 – 3 days in the fridge.
In addition, it doesn’t last long at room temperature. You can only leave it outside the fridge for 2 hours. This means you should drink it immediately after squeezing, or you can get inventive and use the juice to prepare some mouth-watering desserts from oranges for the whole family.
Bottled Orange Juice
There are two kinds of bottled orange juice, including refrigerated orange juice and unrefrigerated orange juice. They have different shelf lives.
Refrigerated orange juice does not last long at room temperature. Just like freshly squeezed orange juice, it only lasts for at most two hours unrefrigerated. Once you put them in the fridge, unopened orange juice will be safe within 8-9 days. The opened one will last for 1-2 weeks.
Unrefrigerated orange juice can be stored at room temperature for 3-9 months, given that it is unopened. When you open it, you can keep it in the fridge within 8-10 days.
Canned Orange Juice
Canned orange juice lasts much longer because they contain additives and preservatives, which prevent orange juice from getting spoiled rapidly. Canned orange juice is pasteurized orange juice, meaning it’s heated before being sold to kill any harmful bacteria.
The exact amount of time is dependent on each brand. In general, if you do not open the cans or the bottles and store them at room temperature, orange juice can last for at least 1 year. Once you open them, the orange juice can last for 8-10 days in the fridge.
However, after several months, the taste will not be as delicious as the beginning. Therefore, it is best to consume it within 4 months.
Orange Juice Concentrate
Orange juice concentrate lasts very long because all water is extracted before compressing and packaging. Therefore, it lasts very long. Unless you open it to drink, it will last forever.
Although orange juice concentrate often has an expiration date, it is not a definite indication of its shelf life. Instead, it means that the orange juice is best consumed within that amount of time.
Once orange juice concentrate is thawed to prepare for drinking, it can last for at most a week in the fridge. You should note that once you thaw frozen orange juice, you cannot freeze it again.
What Are The Signs Of Spoiled Orange Juice?
When orange juice goes bad, it has some symptoms that you can easily recognize. Recall this when you forget to drink orange juice as planned and want to check whether you can still save it. If it does not have any of these symptoms, you can still drink it.
You know how orange juice smells. It has a distinctive fresh smell. If your orange juice smells sour and rancid, it is probably spoiled. In addition, orange juice that smells like alcohol or vinegar must be discarded.
Orange juice has a sweet and sour taste, and it is very fruity. When you feel that it tastes bitter or tastes like wine, it is not safe to drink anymore. Trust yourself! If you feel that it does not taste good, it really does.
Appearance Of Mold
Look for mold in your orange juice. Some white and green mold often appears on the top, and more of them appear over time. This is the worst symptom. You must throw them away and get new fresh orange juice.
Change In Color
Orange juice has a beautiful light orange color. If it is darkened or pale, it is spoiled or about to be. Don’t drink it. In case you use canned orange juice and cannot see the color, pour it into a transparent glass, and examine its color.
Orange juice made from a lot of oranges might contain sediments at the bottom. However, whenever you see lumps in your drink, it is a sign that tells you that your orange juice is spoiled. You must discard it right away.
A swollen package is also a sign of spoilage. It means that the gas has appeared inside the package. Discard the orange juice right away!
This time-lapse illustration will give you a better understanding of the signs of spoiled orange juice, watch this video:
How To Store Orange Juice Properly?
Now, it’s time to take action. You can definitely make your orange juice last longer by taking a few steps. I have gathered all of the tips you need to store orange juice longer and better. Read on to discover them!
You can safely store orange juice in the fridge and the freezer, depending on how long you intend to store it. You should refrigerate or freeze orange juice as fast as possible.
Shelf-stable orange juice and canned orange juice can be stored safely at room temperature because they are always pasteurized before being sold. These types of orange juice can last for a year in the pantry.
Keep your orange juice away from the sunlight. It is best to place it somewhere dark and cool. Also, make sure that the cans and bottles are tightly sealed.
When you are sure that your orange juice is in its perfect state, then refrigerating it will be a very easy task.
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (Homemade Orange Juice)
Follow these 2 easy steps to store freshly squeezed orange juice in the fridge. This will extend the shelf-life of your orange juice without affecting its taste and texture. This way, you’ll be able to use the juice for dessert recipes, or as a substitute ingredient, such as alternatives for Cointreau.
#Step 1: Choose a container
You can use any containers that you have at your house, such as glasses, airtight containers, and mason jars. Whenever you use a glass, be sure to cover the grim with a plastic layer. Fill the container with juice as much as possible to prevent interaction with the air.
#Step 2: Pour in orange juice and refrigerate it
All you need to do next is pour orange juice into the container and put it in the refrigerator, and enjoy chilled fresh orange juice anytime between 2 – 3 days.
Avoid placing orange juice at the fridge door since the frequent change in temperature will make it spoil faster.
Canned And Bottled Orange Juice
Shelf-stable canned and bottled orange juice live well at room temperature. You can just leave the unopened can or bottle somewhere on the shelf without worrying about whether it is spoiled over time.
Once you open them, you have to refrigerate them as soon as possible.
Another thing to note is that if you buy the orange juice that has already been refrigerated, you have to put it into the fridge as soon as you get home.
The procedure for freezing orange juice is not so different from that of refrigerating orange juice. There are just some more notes.
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Freezing freshly squeezed orange juice cannot be easier with this guide.
#Step 1: Drain the pulp from the orange juice
You should note that freshly squeezed orange juice often has pulps inside it. However, it can be a problem when you freeze it because the pulps will fall to the bottom, creating an inconsistency in texture.
To avoid it, you should drain the orange juice before freezing it. This will help to separate the pulps from the juice.
#Step 2: Pour orange juice in the container
After draining, just pour orange juice in a container, a mason jar, or an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer. Do not freeze frozen orange juice that has been thawed.
Bottled and Canned Orange Juice
Freezing bottled and canned orange juice is easy and straightforward. However, you should pay attention to the following.
Orange juice expands when it is frozen. Therefore, you should leave some space on the top to prevent the bottle or can from bloating. To be more careful, you can transfer orange juice to a bigger container before freezing it.
All you need to do next is to put the container in the freezer. Feel free to thaw it anytime you want.
How To Thaw Frozen Orange Juice?
There are several ways that you can thaw frozen orange juice to make it ready to drink. The easy way is to move it from the freezer to the fridge. You should do this the night before since it takes 6-12 hours for the frozen orange juice to be completely thawed.
Another way is to use lukewarm water. Put the container or the can in a bowl of lukewarm water. You will also have to wait for a few hours.
The fastest way of thawing frozen orange juice is to put it in the microwave and choose the defrost option.
Up to the moment, you have probably mastered all of the information about the shelf life of orange juice. However, stay a bit longer! You may wonder about these questions when you think more about what to do with your orange juice. Read these to find the answers.
Now! You Are An Expert In Storing Orange Juice!
Does orange juice go bad? No, if you know to store it properly and use it in due time. Congratulations! You have made it to the orange juice storage master. I think you are ready to refrigerate orange juice now.
Whichever type of orange juice you want to drink, it is best to drink it as soon as possible. However, in many cases, you have no choice but to store it for later uses. Luckily, there are multiple ways to store it, depending on your plan of consuming them.
How long can you keep your orange juice fresh? Do you have any other useful tips to share? Feel free to express your opinions in the comment box.
- Healthline. 2021. 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Orange Juice. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/orange-juice-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3>
- livescience.com. 2021. Oranges: Nutrition, health benefits & risks. [online] Available at: <https://www.livescience.com/45057-oranges-nutrition-facts.html>