Orange juice is a healthy drink rich in vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, and folic acid. Besides, you can make it yourself to refresh you and boost your immune system.
If you enjoy it regularly, you will probably want to enjoy it as long as possible. Therefore, you may wonder, does orange juice go bad and how long does orange juice last.
Does Orange Juice Go Bad?
Nowadays, you can choose from plenty of orange juice brands and kinds, including canned, sugar-free, freshly squeezed, and 100% fruit juice. Unfortunately, all of these products have a relatively short shelf life, and any orange juice can go bad if you don’t store it properly or use it a couple of days after opening.
That also goes if you take oranges and squeeze them into homemade orange juice. The advantage of a homemade product is the absence of any additives and preservatives. Unfortunately, that means it is prone to bacteria development, and it will spoil quicker than commercially produced juice.
How Long Does Orange Juice Last?
The orange juice lasting period depends on the type of product you buy, the place where you store it, and whether the package is opened or not. Commercially produced juices come with a use-by date, which gives a good recommendation on a timeline.
So, you can store canned and unrefrigerated orange juice long after the expiration date if you don’t open them. Once opening the packaging, you should keep it in the fridge for about seven days.
How Long Does Orange Juice Last (Chart)
Orange juice type
|Unopened refrigerated||Unsafe||1 to 2 weeks|
3 to 6 months
|3 to 6 months||Not recommended||3 to 6 months|
|Open refrigerated||Unsafe||7 to 10 days|
3 to 6 months
|Unsafe||7 to 10 days||3 to 6 months|
|Canned||Up to one year||Up to 7 days|
|Unsafe||2 to 3 days|
3 to 6 months
If you prefer drinking homemade juice, never store it in a pantry. Leaving freshly squeezed juice at room temperature can result in spoilage after only a couple of hours. It will stay fresh for two to three days in the refrigerator.
6 Tips to Tell if Orange Juice Has Gone Bad
The orange juice is most delicious when you squeeze it fresh or open the new package, but its quality will degrade over time. If you don’t use the opened juice in a week, it will probably go bad. Here are six indicators your juice is no longer drinkable:
- Bloated pack – If you notice the swollen orange packaging, that means some gas has accumulated inside. Be sure that juice has spoiled so that you can throw it away without further testing.
- Smell – The fresh orange aroma is easily recognizable. If you pour the juice in a glass and sense a rancid, rotten, or vinegar smell, don’t drink it.
- Sediment – You can expect some sediment in thick, mushy orange juice brands with a high percentage of fruit. However, lumps appearance in a clear drink is an indicator that the liquid has spoiled.
- Color – The bright yellow shade of orange juice is well-known. If it suddenly turns pale or becomes darker than usual, it is undoubtedly spoiled.
- Mold – If you store the orange juice for too long, white or green mold can develop on the surface. Such a drink is potentially dangerous to health. In most cases, fungi and mold growth come along with an unpleasant, pungent odor.
- Taste – Finally, pour the juice and take a sip if everything else seems fine. If you taste a different flavor than the day before, don’t consume the rest of it. A sour orange juice has a rancid, bitter aroma.
3 Tips to Store Orange Juice
If you tend to buy a large amount of orange juice, it is vital to store it adequately to avoid wasting money. I will list here three ways to extend juice shelf-life.
The only orange juices you can store in your kitchen cabinet or pantry are pasteurized or canned ones since they are shelf-stable due to the presence of additives. Still, you need to choose a dark and dry spot for this purpose. Once you open the orange juice, you should always place it in a refrigerator.
If you buy a glass bottle with orange juice, it is necessary to protect it from any light or temperature fluctuations. Place it on the bottom shelf, near the floor, where the temperature is lowest, and make sure the bottle is tightly sealed.
Always store opened or homemade orange juice in a refrigerator. The shorter the juice is out of the fridge, the longer it will last. Besides, avoid placing an opened container in the refrigerator door. The frequent temperature fluctuation can spoil the juice quickly.
Make sure to tightly seal the lid before placing the orange juice in the fridge. Otherwise, it can pick up other food odors.
If you make orange juice, always buy fresh oranges and wash them under a warm water stream. It is necessary to clean the bottles before you pour the juice, as well. The most practical way is to use a glass bottle to see if the beverage inside has changed.
While some people put open juice cans in the fridge, maybe it is smarter to transfer the drink to another container. Otherwise, a chemical reaction will occur between the can and the juice due to the high presence of acid. That results in contaminating your drink and changing its flavor.
It is undoubtedly better to freeze orange juice than to throw away leftovers. However, choose only BPA-free containers since bisphenol A increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Other than bottles, you can use ice cube trays to freeze orange juice. Add these cubes to cocktails, sangria, and lemonade, or use them for cooking. Many chicken recipes call for orange juice so that you can put the frozen cubes directly in a pot.
Remember, if you keep the juice for more than six months in a freezer, it won’t have any nutrition value left. Write down the date of freezing on the container to make sure you use the juice before the expiration date.
Once you decide to thaw the orange juice, transfer it to a clean container and stir it from time to time. Otherwise, the solid fruit parts may separate from the liquid, causing the bitter, unusual taste even though the juice is not spoiled.
Keep in mind that water thaws faster than the fruit particles in orange juice. So, never drink it too quickly after taking it out of the freezer but leave it a couple of hours in the fridge before consumption.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice?
Orange juice is a drink that freezes easily and quickly because it contains a lot of water. You can keep it in a freezer for between three and six months. However, it will degrade and lose most of the vitamins and minerals if you store it longer.
If you want to freeze this product, you should know that the liquid expands at a low temperature. So, the original package will bloat and probably burst. It is better to transfer the juice to another airtight container and leave some space on the top to avoid this problem.
Once you decide to thaw the orange juice, put a frozen bottle in the refrigerator overnight and spend it in the next two to three days. You can also defrost it in a microwave or container with cold water. Always use it that same day. Otherwise, it can go bad and probably cause you some digestive problems.
Thawed juice can slightly change its texture and flavor. The reason is the fruit particles that often defrost unevenly. Shaking the bottle or stirring the juice thoroughly before drinking will solve this inconvenience.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Orange Juice
Drinking expired juice can seriously harm your health. Once the expiration date passes, the orange juice you keep in a fridge starts to degrade. The fermentation process turns sugars into alcohol, and mold, pathogenic microorganisms, and bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, will develop in the product.
Not only can expired orange juice upset your stomach, but it can also lead to food poisoning with symptoms that include diarrhea, vomiting, and high fever. You will probably need medical care, depending on the amount of juice you have drunk in such a case.
Keep in mind that orange juice can’t replace actual fruit even though it is not spoiled. Many juices contain heaps of unhealthy sugars that increase the risk of diabetes, heart problems, or kidney dysfunction.
Orange juice is a healthy drink that you can consume daily to boost your health. However, it will last max ten days after opening it, and further drinking will make you sick. Once you notice signs of spoiling, throw the juice away to prevent health issues.