Orange juice is a powerhouse of vitamins and other healthy nutrients, packed in a refreshing and delicious drink. Orange juice is a great source of vitamins C and A, as well as magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in folic acid and flavonoids, and has a range of health benefits. Varieties with pulp even contain an added boost of fiber. Whether freshly squeezed or packaged, it is a healthy additive to your day.

Halved oranges

Image used under Creative Commons from Caitlin Regan

How to Store Orange Juice?

Store bought packaged orange juice should be kept according to the manufacturers instructions. Even while unopened, most require refrigeration. More rarely, an orange juice may be shelf stable and can be kept in a pantry. Refrigerated types of orange juice typically expire within a week or two of purchase, while shelf stable ones may last months.

Shelf Life

All packaged will have a “best before” date printed on them. This is the date that the juice should be safe until, if left unopened and stored properly. Even if still sealed, orange juice should not be consumed after this date. Be sure to check the label and follow all storage directions carefully.

Once opened, the juice must be kept in the fridge and will keep for 5-7 days. For best life, store your juice in its original container or another airtight pitcher and do not allow to sit at room temperature.

Fresh squeezed orange juice contains no preservatives, and spoils much more rapidly. Ensure hands are washed before handling and squeezing oranges and avoid contact with the rim or pouring spout of your pitcher. This will help prevent the introduction of bacteria that would spoil your juice faster. Once squeezed, chill your orange juice immediately. Always store your fresh juice in a container with a tight seal and keep refrigerated at all times. Freshly squeezed orange juice typically lasts for 2-4 days if handled properly.

Image used under Creative Commons from whologwhy

How to Tell if Orange Juice Has Gone Bad?

Be sure to pour a glass and inspect your orange juice before drinking, and discard any juice you believe may be off. Fresh juice should have a clean, tangy-sweet scent. Never drink orange juice that has an unpleasant, rotten, sour, or woody odor. Fermented and spoiled juice may also smell like vinegar or wine and the container holding it pay fill with air and puff out. Fruit juice that has developed any mold or growth is not safe and must be discarded immediately. Orange juice should be an consistent liquid texture -unless with pulp- and any that displays thickening, texture changes or discoloration is surely spoiled and not fit for consumption.

These food safety tips should help you store your juice, keeping it fresh. Whether fresh squeezed or packaged, orange juice can be safely consumed at home and is a taste of delicious liquid gold.