How Long Does Fresh Juice Last?
There’s a short answer to this common question: it depends. That’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but when it comes to storage, shelf life is really defined by what’s in your juice, how you extracted the juice, and how you store it. Fortunately, you can follow some easy strategies to extend your juice’s life while it’s in storage. Check out our article on The Best Way to Store Juice for more information. We’ve outlined a few suggestions below, along with an estimate of how much longer your juice will last if you follow good practices.
The Difference In Juicers
Centrifugal juicers are most commonly used for extraction, but they’re not always the best when it comes to shelf life. The process of extraction creates heat, which triggers the oxidation process (the cellular breakdown) in your juice. This harsh process will shorten your juice’s storage life to about 24 hours max. To extend the vitality of your juice, it’s best to use a cold press or slow-masticating juicer. The slower extraction process of these machines can extend juice freshness to about 72 hours. Of course, these times are contingent on properly storing your juice in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Fresh Juice Last In the Fridge?
It’s best to consume your fresh juice immediately after juicing it, but if you’re trying to save time in your busy schedule, refrigeration is crucial. A cup of fresh juice will only be stable for about four hours at room temperature before it begins to spoil. If you put it in the fridge, though, you can expect to extend its life to about 24 hours. As stated above, this also depends on your juicer. A centrifugal juicer will give you a shorter lifespan than a cold press juicer. To extend your juice’s fridge life, add lemon juice or other antioxidant-rich juices to fight off the oxidation process. Removing or eliminating air from the container will keep it fresher longer, as well.
How Long Does Fresh Juice Last In a Mason Jar?
For maximum freshness and to reduce toxins leaching from plastic, it’s best to store your juice in a glass container. A Mason jar is perfect for this, as the rubber seal around the lid will help keep out harmful oxygen. Fill your jar to the brim, as well, to eliminate trapped air. On average, you can expect an additional two days of shelf life if you store your juice in a Mason jar or other glass container.
Keeping It Fresh
Removing oxygen, adding citric acid, and refrigeration are all key to healthy shelf life for your juice. But as a rule, always taste your juice before consuming a whole glass. If the juice tastes spoiled or fermented, throw it out. To be safe, it’s best to consume your juice fresh, or within 24 hours of it being in the fridge. If you follow the above strategies, however, you can extend its freshness to about 72 hours total. Any more than this and your juice will lose most of its nutrients. Remember, when it comes to maximizing nutrition, freshness is key.
–> We’ve covered this in more detail in our post: How to keep your juice fresh & tasty.