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.

Charles 's profile image

About The Author

Instagram: @cwjuice

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.

51 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

  11. Hi, thanks for all the responses; very helpful. I live in Nigeria also but west. I run a budding hibiscus juice production biz using the regular boiling/steeping means of extraction with sodium benzoate as a preservative for a shelf life of 3weeks . Now am upgrading to cold pressed extraction due to the obvious health benefits. From my research the HPP seems to be a more valid method for preserving it for up to 4weeks which I would love to go with but affordability is on the high side and such equipments am not aware are available here yet. Is there a DIY method for cold pressed juice preservation for commercial quantity or can I locally manufacture with easily available materials an HPP machinery, that will give me the 3-4weeks preservation? Or can I settle for sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate? Thanks a lot. This is gonna be highly appreciated as I have stopped even my former means of extraction until I complete the cold pressed extract up to preservation right before I continue production.

    Reply

    1. Nne, unfortunately HPP is not possible as DYI as the equipment is huge, expensive and hard to maintain. I think you should consider just making raw juice. If you need the extended shelf life I would advise against using additives, as these go against the concept of cold-pressed juice. Using heat pasteurization is better than additives (in my opinion), although the juice will be lacking in some of the nutrition that raw juice contains, and shouldn’t be labeled as “cold-pressed.”

      Reply

      1. I’m surprise no one mentioned the emerging breakthrough in food processing with natural preservatives. These solutions extends the shelf life of cold pressed juices for natural & label conscious manufacturers without the health hazards of chemical preservatives. They also inhibits against mold.

        They are non-GMO, non-allergenic, gluten-free and dairy free.
        I think these solutions are worth experimenting for startup businesses that wish to make commercial success in cold pressed juice manufacturing and distribution and still boast of its naturalness.

        Reply

    2. Hi Nne.. glad to have found you here.. please I live in lagos and I’m also interested in starting a hibiscus sabdariffa extract drink (zobo) buisness.. please i would apreciate it if I could contact you to get a better understanding of the buisness.. Thank you for your understanding..

      Reply

      1. Adesola am based in Lagos, Nigeria. You can call me on 0803 471 5312. Let us talk.

        Reply

  12. Which brand off machine would you suggest using to make cold pressed juice

    Reply

    1. Goodnature!

      Reply

  13. in my country we do not have the hpp technology, which they think of irradiate the bottled juices so as not to pasteurize hot.

    thanks a lot.

    Reply

  14. Hi. Thank you for such great information.
    Can you tell me if it’s ok to freeze fresh pressed juice. Will it lose it’s nutritional value? Thanks

    Reply

    1. Freezing is generally considered OK, but I’m not too sure about the specifics. If you find anything out let us know!

      Reply

  15. I just recently had a bottle of carrot and orange juice from a grocery store today and it said it was unpasteurized. The date on the bottle said sell by the 29th and since it was the 26th i assumed that was okay however after drinking it, i realized it said it was prepared on the 22nd, is this safe since if it doesn’t go under HPP?

    Reply

    1. Did it have any other ingredients in it? raw carrot juice alone usually goes bad very quickly.

      If it’s been HPP’d, they can still say it’s unpasteurized, as HPP is considered a separate process and is not actually required to even be on the label. Many juice brands use HPP but don’t label it as such. I hate the fact that it happens, but it does.

      Reply

  16. Hi!
    I am using a cold press juicer every morning making veg juice and bringing it to work where I don’t have a fridge. By the time I drink the juice at lunch is it going rancid? It still tastes delicious until the end of the day…is it dangerous to drink left out of the fridge for that long?

    Much love!
    G

    Reply

    1. You should be careful about drinking raw juice that has been unrefrigerated for 3-4 hours or more. This is about how long it takes for harmful bacteria (like salmonella) to populate enough to make someone sick, even if only trace amounts are detectable in the original produce. If you’re using clean, safe produce it’s probably OK, but better to be on the same side and only drink juice that’s been kept cold. Be careful!

      Reply

  17. I just bought and drank a delicious glass bottle of cold pressed organic juice from 7-11. It as a 7 select brand and cost $2.99 for a 14 ounce bottle. A great value. Too good? The expiration date was 9/2019. About 17 months from today. How is this possible? It was cold pressed and on organic and stated it should be drunk with 3 days of opening. Was the expiration date for it being frozen? Really confused. Read more about this http://corp.7-eleven.com/corp-press-releases/01-08-2018-7-eleven-juices-up-vault-with-first-usda-organic-cold-pressed-offerings

    Is this a cheaper option than juicing at home?

    Reply

    1. The term “cold-press” is not regulated, and therefore anyone can claim their juice is cold-pressed. The 7-11 juice is hot-filled into the bottle. You can tell because of the pop-cap. The reason the cap on that bottles “pops” when you open it is because the liquid is put into the bottle hot, and when it cools it contracts and sucks the cap down.
      In other words, the juice is heated before it goes into the bottle and that’s why there is a long shelf life. I really hate that these brands are destroying the term cold-pressed.

      Reply

  18. I left my cold pressed Green juice out on the counter in a bottle overnight. Is it still okay to drink the next day or is it rotten at this point?

    Reply

    1. It’s not safe to drink raw juice that has been left at room temperature.

      Reply

  19. Hi Charlie,
    I would like your thoughts on storing freshly made juice in kegs and using a co2 system? So we can get a little more life out the juice? and what is your thoughts on storing juice in stainless steel? which is what I assume the innards of a keg is..Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
    Micah-Tonic Juicery

    Reply

    1. I actually just met someone doing this. He claims it extends the shelf life, but I can’t confirm 100% if that’s true. I think storing juice in stainless is totally fine, as all the tanks in juice factories are stainless.

      If you are attempting to actually sell kegs of juice, there are issues with the juice settling out. The kegs need to be shaken quite often. I don’t recommend this unless it’s a juice recipe that doesn’t settle. It usually is more common to sell teas and kombucha this way.

      Reply

      1. Thanks for your insight Charlie!

        Reply

        1. Any time!

          Reply

  20. Hi Charlie, I have been a working professional all my life but have this sudden zeal for entrepreneurship all of a sudden. I am smitten by the fresh juice business as it is healthy and we do not have organised suppliers in the neighborhoods. Only option is to buy frozen supplies of Tropicana (pepsico) or some such product. I want to look at setting up cold press facilities in the neighborhoods of Delhi. Of course the city sees 4 weathers and temperatures move from 5 ded celsious to 47 deg celsius in summers. I am not sure of what the costing is and how much juice can you get from one KG of citrus fruit like oranges. Can you guide me, firstly is neighborhood selling, via small facilities , packaged in glass bottles with soem branding is a good idea. If yes, what are critical things to plan first etc.

    Reply

    1. Anup- sorry to hear there is no fresh juice in your area. You can change that!

      To answer your questions:

      1) You can get about 600 ml of juice out of 1 kg or fruit and vegetable, but it varies depending on the variety. For example you can get much more out of cucumbers, but much less out of spinach.

      2) You can start small in your home with an X1 Mini, and make bottles of juice and deliver locally. This is a great way to start. You can advertise on facebook or via word of mouth. Once you grow big enough to move into a proper facility, you will already have the customers to support the extra cost.

      Reply

  21. But. I f the apple juice is fermented because it ha s be en Le ft in the fridge, is it bad? I tasted one cold pressed apple juice that I left in the fridge for a few weeks. It’s sweet but really good and quite fizzy

    Reply

    1. Definitely should not drink fizzy apple juice!

      Reply

  22. i have 4 kinds of cold pressed juices I use the X-1 what is the longest shelf life of a cold pressed juice please go to my resturant website happy+hale Durham Nc to see my juices thank you

    Reply

    1. Since all of your recipes have citrus in them, they should last at least 2-3 days if kept cold and following the advice in this article.

      Reply

  23. Great article!

    I got couple of questions:

    Do you recommend doing Gentle Pasteurization (also known as Flash Pasteurization) on cold press juices? How does HPP differ from it, in terms of not harming the healthy nutrients in the juices and making the shelf life longer?

    Does it really differ if you keep the juice in a glass bottle or plastic bottle in terms of taste and quality? (I know that on HPP glass bottles cannot be used).

    How much apple/carrot do you need to juice one liter? If you use cold presser?

    I would be very thankfull if you could provide me these information.

    Regards,

    David

    Reply

    1. David,

      Usually cold-pressed juiceries don’t like to use heat (flash pasteurization) as it is believed to cook the juice and kill some of the enzymes and nutrients.

      Glass vs plastic is an age-old debate, and many believe plastic to be harmful. I’m not a scientist so I can’t say for sure, but I try to drink from glass when possible.

      You need about 3-4 lbs of apples or carrots to make 1 liter of juice (depends on how juicy the produce is).

      Reply

Leave a response