Understanding Shelf Life of Cold-Pressed Juice

Understanding shelf life of cold pressed juice

Understanding Shelf Life of Cold-Pressed Juice

When speaking to clients, we get a lot of questions about shelf life. We try not to give a definite answer because the truth is it depends on a lot of factors and it’s very complicated.  In this post I will attempt to explain the basics of what affects shelf life in raw cold-pressed juice. [Disclaimer: by “shelf life” we are referring to color and taste and make no claims of health or safety. Laws and regulations about shelf life can vary by region, so make sure to follow government guidance in your area. Our website terms of use are posted here.]

 

Using Good Produce

Starting with fresh, clean produce is the most important factor in making sure you are serving juice that will last a few days in a refrigerator. If you use rotting produce or produce that has been cut far in advance, it will have already started to oxidize and will greatly reduce shelf life. Make sure you are buying produce from a trusted source, and that you follow health department regulations about cleaning the produce. 

 

Temperature Abuse

You must keep the entire juicing process cold. The FDA recommends at or below 41° F (5° C). If you have a refrigerated kitchen that is ideal, but if not, make sure your produce goes from the refrigerator and is made into juice as quickly as possible, and placed back into the refrigerator. You can also use a blast chiller to bring the product down to correct temperature quickly. If you are delivering the cold-pressed juice, you need to keep it at the correct temperature throughout the entire supply chain. Keeping the product cold will improve color, taste, and extend shelf life.

 

Acidity

Juice with a low PH (high acidity) will generally last longer than juice with high PH. For example, lemon juice (which has a low PH) will have a much longer shelf life than carrot juice. You should generally try adding acidic juice to your recipes when possible to improve the shelf life. Have you ever wondered why so many cold-press recipes contain lemon? Now you know! Here is a list of various fruits and veggies and their acidity: http://www.pickyourown.org/ph_of_foods.htm.

 

The Equipment

True cold-press is a two step process: grind the produce into a pulp, and then press the pulp in a filter bag to extract the juice. A real press will create clean, naturally filtered juice that has a much longer shelf life than juice made on other types of juicers. Lots of juicer technologies claim to be cold-pressed when in fact they are not a press at all. Slow juicers, auger juicers, masticating juicers, and centrifugal juicers do not have a pressing element and create juice that has a lot of solids in it and oxidizes and separates very quickly, often in a matter of a few hours. 

 

Preservation Methods

In cold-pressed juice, the most common form of preservation is called HPP, High Pressure Processing. This is a process in which the plastic bottles of juice are sent through a high pressure chamber, with the purpose of killing bacteria and extending shelf life. This process can extend the shelf life by about 30 days on some varieties of juice, but not all. Read more about HPP.

 

Ok, so what is the shelf life of cold-pressed juice?

Following all of the above guidelines, you should probably be able to get 3-5 days of shelf life from your raw juice, but it can be as low as zero days if any of the above guidelines aren’t followed or other factors cause the juice to go bad.

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About The Author

I’ve been around juicing all my life. My Dad built his first hydraulic juice press in 1976 and founded the company Goodnature Products, Inc. I have incredible memories of having “cider parties” when we would invite all the people in our rural neighborhood over to make apple juice. To this day, when I taste apple juice made on a Goodnature press, a rush of nostalgia runs through my body.

I pride myself on guiding our clients into the world of cold-pressed juice and showing them how much fun this industry can be. I love talking business, technology, and marketing.

Follow me on twitter @cwjuice

21 Responses

  1. I like this wonderful article its amazing for me as a starter who’s just beginning. Thanks a lot.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for the great comments. I have a question. What about the oh of water? We know water is generally neutral, but alkaline water is the next health him if. Can the water make the body more alkaline or no?
      Thank you.

      Reply

      1. Sure, if the water is alkaline it can definitely have an affect on the body.

        Reply

  2. Great article – thanks for sharing. One question… Isn’t one of the benefits of green juice that it is highly alkaline? With that being the case, wouldn’t adding a lemon or lime (to preserve shelf-life) increase the juice’s acidity and thus take away some of the benefit? Is this simply a “trade-off” of storing juice? Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Great question, Balancing the pH of your body is one of many benefits adding cold press green juice to your diet. We have reached out to a few nutritionists and have asked the same question. Lemon being added to juice sparingly will actually help support your organs and break down processed food offerings, Even having your kidney produce more alkaline to balance your bodies pH. One even referred to it as an internal toothbrush for your system.

      Reply

  3. Great article. I thought I knew the answer to this question, but am now questioning myself. Can you define shelf life? Do you mean how long the bottle is “on the shelf” (i.e. in the refrigerator unopened), or do you mean length of time in the fridge after it’s been opened?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi Melissa, good question! We mean how long it will last in a refrigerator before being opened.

      Reply

  4. Hi,
    Very usefularticle.does adding refined sugar to cold pressed juice decrease the shelf life?
    If so can you give me other sweetener options

    Reply

    1. Vena, I’m not sure if adding sugar decreases shelf life since people don’t usually add sugar to cold-pressed juice, it is quite sweet if you use some nice natural fruit like apple. If you must add sweetener, you could look at adding honey or agave syrup since it is more natural.

      Reply

  5. Hi Charlie,
    Very useful. Thank you! I own a cold press juice store in Madrid (Spain). All our ingredients are raw, organic, excellent quality. We love juicing! We work with 3-4 day shelf life. After Reading your article, is there any recipe that you have tried, and would recommend to have a 5 day shelf life? this is for me to try personally, not for the shop. If you ever come to Madrid, please let me know, we would love to show you OX Organice Experience, and hear you opinion. Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Tine, you will have to experiment with your specific recipes. Produce and juice varies a lot depending on the region and season etc. you should try adding more citrus (lemon / orange) and see if the shelf life increases. I may be in Spain later this year i would love to stop by!

      Reply

  6. One question, Is HPP necessary for even 3-4 days shelf life?

    Also what should be the refrigerator temperature to keep the juice for than a day.

    My fresh juice starts to smell and taste bitter after 24hr.

    Reply

    1. If your juice is going bad within one day I would guess you are either not keeping it cold, using bad produce, or you are using a centrifugal or “slow” juicer. Any of these issues will cause a short shelf life. Using a real juice press like the X1, you will normally get 3-4 days shelf life without using HPP or any other preservation methods. The juice should be kept at lower than 45 degrees.

      Reply

  7. Hey,

    After pressing the juice how do you get the pectin (and their benefits) through the filters?

    Reply

    1. Some of the pectin makes it through the bags, but not all of it. I’m not sure exactly how much.

      Reply

  8. Thanks for the info. This is off the subject a bit, but I have a meeting in the early morning with the Health Dept. so I’m hoping I get a solution before then.. The health dept. that I am having to “work” with (I wish it was “play”) is saying that I mustn’t bottle the juice otherwise I’ll need to register with the state, even though I will only be selling the juice out of my store front (juice bar). They suggested I use plastic cups. No thanks. Apologies for being off the subject.

    Reply

    1. any suggestions on wording from me to them, or information to allow me to bottle without registering?

      Reply

  9. Hi Charlie I would like to know how much shelf life do you think in a combination of a probiotic drink and lemon juice with water? Thank you so much!

    Reply

    1. What type of probiotic drink? Whats in it?

      Reply

  10. hi, i live in nigeria in the very hot north east and intend on starting a ginger juice business starting small and building up. ginger juice is quite popular but production and supply is fairly inconsistent and eratic, and at most times the ginger goes off very quickly due to the heat. i intend to increase shelf life etc. all my recipes have a high element of acidity but want to increase shelf life even more by pasteurising, however upon reading a lot of articles now pasteurizing is putting me off. can i heat treat the juices in the bottles by steaming?
    i have extensive catering experience, and am still furthering my education in food , i own a farm and want to start producing my own cheese and charcueterie and fruit juices any advise.
    thanks richard

    Reply

    1. If you use steam, that is still heating the juice, which is pasteurization. If you don’t want to use heat you can look into if there are any HPP facilities near you that will process your juice for you.

      Reply

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