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The major reason we juice at home is to avoid drinking pasteurized juice from the store. For someone new to juicing, though, you might be wondering how long does fresh juice last? This post will answer all the questions concerning the shelf life of the juice, including storage locations and containers.
I’m also going to explain how to extend the fresh juice shelf life and the factors that affect the time certain juices can last.
But first, let’s answer the big question, how long does fresh juice last?
Fresh juice can be stored for up to 24 to 72 hours at most but for the most effective health benefits, you should drink it within 20 minutes.
The difference in the hours to last is brought about by the following reasons.
- Type of juicer used
- Fruits and vegetables used to juice
- Oxidation levels
- Storage method
Although it is possible to store fresh juice for a while, keeping it for a long makes it fairly useless since the vitamins and enzymes degrade over time, and lose their nutritional value.
What Is Oxidation?
Oxidation is the heat that is released by juicers or blenders while juicing which degrades the nutrients in the juice. In chemical terms, it’s when a molecule loses an electron.
When juice is exposed to the air, the proteins and amino acids react with oxygen which results in discoloration in fruits as well as the loss of nutrients.
What Affects Oxidation Levels?
There are several factors that affect your juice, as to whether it will have high or low oxidation.
Yes, you can increase the shelf life of juice by using organic and fresh produce because they contain higher levels of nutrients.
There has been a comparison of different juices as far as the time they can last but the truth is, all juices spoil almost the same. The most common homemade juices — orange juice, carrot juice, lemon juice beetroot, berries juice, etc — should be consumed immediately or within 24 hours for the best flavor and nutrition.
Type Of Juicer Used
In this case, there are two types of common juicers in the market — centrifugal and masticating juicers (i.e. cold press/slow juicers).
The type of juicer affects the oxidation level in the juice with the two juicers having different rates of oxidation.
Masticating juicers (also called a “cold press juicer” or a “slow juicer”) are better for juicing because their method produces low oxidation. These juicers turn at a slow speed and extract higher amounts of juices from the same amount of ingredients.
Centrifugal juicers, on the other hand, run at high speeds (RPMs) to force the separation of the juice from the foods, causing high oxidation levels.
Juice from centrifugal juicers is recommended to be taken within 20 minutes before losing most of the nutrients.
Juicers like hydraulic and triturating juicers also produce low oxidation which is ideal for juicing nutritional juices.
To store the juice, it should be bottled and then put in the fridge or freezer. The material quality ensures more shelf life of the juice in the fridge.
Low quality plastic bottles cause rapid oxidation. Glass bottles are better for storing fresh juice and reducing oxidation levels.
Using quality Mason jars can help you to store your fresh juice for later drinking.
It is recommended to pour the juice immediately into the storage bottles and refrigerate instantly.
Fresh Juice Storage FAQ
How long does fresh juice last in the fridge?
If you prefer to store the juice in a fridge, you can expect it to last for 24 to 48 hours depending on the juicer used. Juice from centrifugal juicers has a short lifespan than juice fro cold press juicers.
How long does fresh juice last in a Mason jar?
Mason jars are better for storage of juice than plastic bottles because glass does not contain toxins like low quality plastics can. Juice is often acidic, which makes it much more likely to leach those potential toxins out of the plastic. Glass is not subject to this leaching like plastic can be.
Juice can last up to two days in a Mason jar or any other glass containers. This is because the Mason jar has a rubber seal to tighten the lid and keep out oxygen. You have to put the Mason jar inside the fridge to last longer.
How long does fresh juice last in the freezer?
This is another alternative that can prolong the shelf life of the juice. Placing fresh juice in a freezer immediately after juicing can last up to six months but some nutrients will be lost in the process.
Keeping the juice for 3 months is viable to enjoy the nutrients in the juice. You have to defrost the juice before storing it in the freezer.
If you have plenty of fruit and you don’t want them to go to waste, this is the perfect solution. Freezing the juice will extend the shelf life for you and still get to drink a healthy juice.
Do keep in mind that juice behaves like water and will expand in the freezer. Make sure when filling your storage containers to leave some extra space to let the juice expand without bursting the container. This is an important step, regardless of the material of the storage container.
How can you tell if fruit juice is bad, rotten, or spoiled?
You can just tell if the juice has gone bad by the strong, sour smell it produces or the change in color. The brown coloring in juice is a sign of degrading and it’s better to avoid drinking juice that has changed color.
All the different types of juice go bad with the same sorts of signs, and that why it’s strongly recommended to drink the juice immediately or within 24 hours. Then you know you won’t have to worry about whether it went bad, because so long as it was freshly made with fresh(er) fruits and veggies, you’ll know it’s safe!
How can I increase the shelf life of fresh juice?
There are a number of things you can try to extend the shelf life of your juice even longer. You already know that the storage container and storage method makes a difference, but what else can you do?
Vacuum Sealing [Home Method]
This method involves removing the air in the juice before pouring it into the storage bottles. Also, there is a new way of blending and juicing using a Vaccun blender to help your juice last long.
You can check out this video showing how to use one of these special vacuum blenders to seal your juice to extend freshness.
UV Treatment [Commercial Method]
Some commercial juice brands use this method to process juice and extend shelf life. The process does not produce heat which results in minimal changes in the nutritional quality of the juice.
This method is not done at home.
High-Pressure Processing (HPP) [Commercial Method]
The packaged juice is submerged in cold water and apply pressure of about 600MPA. The method eliminates spoilage organisms and pathogens to extend the juice shelf life.
Juice can last for up to 45 days under refrigerated storage.
This method is not done at home.
Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) [Commercial Method]
The method uses the permeabilizing of cell membranes of microorganisms to retain the freshness of the juice. It can increase the juice shelf life from 7 up to 20 days.
This method is not done at home.
How can I increase the shelf life of fresh juice – without a machine?
One little trick you might want to consider before you run out and purchase a fancy specialty blender is to change the juice recipe.
Adding natural citrus into your juice, in the form of oranges, lemons, limes, etc, will add citric acid to your juice which is a natural preservative. While it won’t extend the shelf life by much, you may get a couple of extra days out of your finished juice!
Should I make my juice a day in advance?
You can, since as you’ve learned it will safely last that long.
For the best nutritional presence, juice immediately before you want to drink it.
For the best nutritional presence if you can’t juice immediately before drinking it, be sure to store it in an airtight, glass jar, or glass bottle in a refrigerator and keep it there until consumption.
Is it better to drink fresh juice in the morning or at night?
You’re better off drinking the fresh juice in the morning due to the carbs in fresh juice.
Your body will absorb the carbs and nutrients better on an empty stomach and when your body is freshest itself (i.e. after a good night’s sleep). This will help your body get the maximum benefit out of all that fresh-squeezed goodness!
Is there anything I should NOT put in my fresh juice?
Some foods that you definitely do NOT want to juice include:
- pears, whole apples
- pineapple, coconut, avocado, banana
- broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.
- unpeeled citrus
These are not recommended due to seeds, toughness/lack of juice within the fruit, poor texture, and chemical components. For example, rhubarb leaves or too much of the sorbitol in pears can both cause digestive upset.
It has been said many times that the best way to fully benefit from fresh juice is to drink it immediately after juicing.
If you have to store the juice for later, then drinking it within 24 hours is recommended. Fresh juice will last between 24 hours and 72 hours depending on the juicer used.
Always remember to taste your stored juice before consuming the whole glass to determine if it’s still good.
Storage of juice for long periods results in loss of the beneficial nutrients which are the reason for juicing.