For most of us, the discoloration of homemade fruit juices can seem strange. What we, however, need to bear in mind is that packaged and store-bought juices have added factors that prevent the color change and equally maintain the flavor.
If you wish to get the same outcome when making fresh orange juice at home, there are some simple tips you can use. How long does orange juice last? This question is dependent on the technique you use though it won’t last as long as the boxed variety.
Using cold oranges to juice
The heating of enzymes causes the browning of your orange juice. When the temperature is low, the enzyme activity drastically reduces, making the liquid last longer in the fridge.
Before you juice the oranges, keep them in a refrigerator slightly above freezing point. If you freeze it, you’ll have to thaw it before juicing and the taste of the orange will be significantly compromised.
Tip: Do not chill subtropical fruits such as bananas, strawberries, avocados and mangos because it reduces the quality.
How long can orange juice sit out?
Homemade orange juice
For homemade orange juice, it sits out for a few hours to a day. If you’re taking a trip and you don’t have a box cooler or a place to keep it chilled, semi-freeze the drink a day before and let it thaw as the day goes by.
When it’s warm, it lasts a shorter time - if you made it in the morning, by late afternoon, you might notice discoloration or an off taste.
Store bought orange juice
As long as it's unopened, store-bought orange juice can last more than a year even in your pantry. That’s because of the added preservatives. You may ask how long is orange juice good for after opening it; the answer is a few days, at most a week. However, it should be sealed and refrigerated.
If you purchase your juice from the refrigerated section, then it's likely that it has little to no preservatives and should be consumed a few days after opening.
Note: Store-bought products come with a ‘best by’ date and instructions on how to store after opening. It also gives you the number of days it stays good for.
How to make your juice last long
Eliminate pulp: Leaving pump in the freshly squeezed homemade juice could be another reason why it does not last long. Straining out the pulp means that the enzymes in the juice won’t have anything to react with.
Water: Diluting the juice will also prove beneficial. Though most of us prefer making juice with little to no water, adding water will slow down the enzymatic reaction that brings about the brown color.
Vacuum sealing: Oxygen is what causes the discoloration of fruits and their juices. Using a vacuum sealer will keep your juice fresher for longer.
Natural preservatives: If you want it to last even longer, consider adding natural preservatives. These include honey, or ascorbic acid, malic acid, or citric acid. To retain the flavor for longer, consider adding fresh juice from a different batch or an essential oil like alpha-tocopherol, a Vitamin E.
How long does homemade juice last in fridge?
Freshly squeezed juice will last in the fridge for two to three days. How long does fresh orange juice last altogether? If you want it for much longer, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it.
Once solid, put them in a zip lock bag and leave it in the freezer. That way, it'll last for up to four months. It works if oranges go out of season and you still want to enjoy some during this period. You can also use them to flavor your water or other beverages.
How long does orange juice last? Well, the answer to this question depends on your juicing technique and how you store the fresh juice after. Once the liquid interacts with air, it goes bad pretty fast, but there are measures to keep it longer.
Your best shot at enjoying the juice for longer is by adding preservatives and refrigeration. Most of all, your eyes, taste buds and sense of smell are ultimately the best tools to know if your juice has gone bad.