Does orange juice go bad? (+3 ways to tell)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Does orange juice go bad?” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand, like how to maintain the freshness of orange juice by different preservation methods that aids in prolonging the shelf life of orange juice.

How long does orange juice last?

Fresh homemade orange juice does not last for long. However, Pasteurized orange juice lasts in between 5- 7 days at refrigeration temperature as they contain some amount of preservatives and acidity regulators that aids enhancing its shelf life. 

Orange juice is highly susceptible to spoilage. Some factors that critically affect the spoilage of orange juice are:

·         Juice pH: Orange juice has acidic pH which acts as a barricade for most of the microorganisms, but foodborne pathogens survive the acidic environment.

·         Water activity: Orange juice has high water activity which supports the growth of acid-tolerant bacteria, yeast and moulds.

·         Availability of nutrients: Water concentration and presence of sugars are ideal conditions for the growth of certain microflora that can survive the harshness or acidic pH.

·      Oxidation-reduction potential: Orange juice contains a good number of antioxidants and other compounds that are prone to oxidation degradation.  

3 different ways to tell if your orange juice has gone bad.

By the punch of the day, orange juice deteriorates its quality. Besides its unpleasant taste and odour, it is not safe to consume the spoiled orange juice- it can cause severe health concerns such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps on consumption.

 So, here we are discussing different ways and signs that help you to identify the expiration of orange juice:

  • Sharp pungent sour smell or fizzy texture indicates that juice has been fermented. 
  • The darkening of colour and the presence of dark spots show the microbial growth of molds and yeast. 
  • If a container in which orange juice is placed seems like puffed or bulged it is also a sign of microbial spoilage of the product. 

Changes during Storage of Orange Juices

Orange juice is rich with vitamin C and carotenoids, these compounds are liable to oxidative changes either aerobic or anaerobic degradation. 

The other noticeable change in orange juice during storage is the darkening- colour change, which is due to the presence of brown coloured compounds formed in the response of chemical reaction known as Maillard Reaction.

These changes and loss of nutritional value of orange juice can be prevented by keeping it at recommended storage temperature and using appropriate packaging material to minimize the availability of oxygen.

Microbiological aspect 

The major reason behind the spoilage of orange juice is yeast and molds, orange juice is acidic and has low pH, which is quite favourable for the proliferation of yeast and moulds. This potentially can initiate the fermentation process in the orange juice. 

Microbial spoilage can be prevented by thermal processing and other techniques.

How to extend the shelf life of orange juice?

Storage temperature is the limiting factor for the shelf life of orange juice. The shelf life of the natural fresh orange juices stored at room temperature, refrigeration and freezing temperature could be extended for almost 1, 6 and more than 21 days, respectively. 

Beyond this time limit quality can be compromised and its odour and chemical changes might be unacceptable.

Does orange juice need to be refrigerated?

Freshly squeezed orange juice should be drunk for its nutritional value and fresh taste. The commercial packed orange juice has been pasteurized and contains preservatives to prolong its shelf life, but once the pack is opened it should be stored at refrigeration temperature and at this temperature it may last long for a few days.

Frozen orange juice

The shelf life of Orange juice can be further extended by freezing it. Freezing has its pros and cons, it might deteriorate the quality of juice but stored for the long term by extending its shelf life. The frozen orange juice may last up to several months if stored properly. Best way to defrost the frozen juice is by refrigerating it, but if you thaw it by microwaving or putting in lukewarm water try to consume it immediately. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Does orange juice go bad?” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand, like how to maintain the freshness of orange juice by different preservation methods that aids in prolonging the shelf life of orange juice.

References

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijfs/2014/408085/

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-orange-juice-go-bad/#:~:text=Orange%20juice%20sold%20in%20the,for%20up%20to%207%20days

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