Yes, apple juice can go bad, especially if it's not handled or store properly. Store bought apple juice typically lasts 8-10 days if store properly.
Are you wondering if apple juice can go bad? Do you sometimes reach for a bottle of apple juice only to pause and ask ourselves if it's still safe to drink?
It's a valid question and in this article, we'll answer the questions: Does apple juice go bad? How long does it last? We'll also discuss how to store apple juice properly to make it last longer and stay fresher.
Can Apple Juice Go Bad?
If you gave in to the temptation of buying a whole gallon of apple juice just because it was on sale at the grocery store, you may not be able to finish it all before it starts to go bad.
Just like any other fresh juice, apple juice can go bad if you leave it for too long. The shelf life of the juice, however, really depends on a few factors to determine how long apple juice can last,
For instance, did you make the juice using a cold-pressed method or did you blend fresh apples in a liquidizer? Alternatively, did you purchase commercially processed apple juice that is either pasteurized or unpasteurized?
The Rule of Thumb for Storing Apple Juice
Now, when it comes to the right storage of store-bought apple juice, just store it in the way you found it in the store. If it was refrigerated, then refrigerate it.
If it's unrefrigerated, you can store it in the pantry for a few days as long as the container is sealed. And, if you got a frozen apple juice product, just keep it in the freezer until you're ready to use it. Easy, right?
Cold-pressed or homemade apple juice must be refrigerated.
Types of Apple Juice to Consider
Nowadays, you've got loads of choices when it comes to apple juice. You can grab canned, sugar-free, freshly squeezed, or cold-pressed. The only catch is that they all have different shelf lives. Also, if you don't keep them stored correctly or use them up within a couple of days, they can go bad pretty quickly.
This applies to cold-pressed or homemade juice even more. The good thing about making your own is that you don't have any yucky preservatives or additives, and a better taste and more nutrients are kept in tact. But unfortunately, that also means it's more likely to go bad faster than the store-bought kind.
The factors that determine how long your juice lasts are : the type of juice you purchase, where you keep it, and whether you've opened it. If you've bought a juice from the store, you can usually find a use-by date on the packaging, which will give you a good idea of how long it will stay fresh.
Cold-Pressed and Freshly Liquidized Apple Juice
Honestly, there's nothing quite like the taste of fresh-pressed or freshly squeezed apple juice. But, let's face it, the downside is that it doesn't last long. Once it's been sitting out for a while, bacteria start to grow, and it spoils faster than other types of apple juice.
If you pop it in the fridge, you've got about 2 to 3 days to enjoy it before it turns. But, if you leave it out at room temperature, you've only got a couple of hours before it goes bad. It's best to drink it up as soon as you can after pressing it. This shouldn't be a problem, especially if you opt for one of our delicious apple juice blends.
Boxed and Bottled Apple Juice
You've got two choices for apple juice options found in stores: refrigerated or unrefrigerated. Each has a different shelf life, so let's break it down.
Refrigerated apple juice needs to stay chilled, or it'll go bad quickly. Like fresh squeezed juice, it'll only last about two hours at room temperature. But if you keep it unopened in the fridge, it'll stay good for around 1 to 2 weeks. Once you open it, you've got about 8 to 9 days before it starts to turn.
On the other hand, unrefrigerated apple juice can last for 3 to 9 months if it's sealed properly. But once you crack that seal, you'll want to drink it up within 8 to 10 days and keep it in the fridge.
Canned Apple Juice
Have you ever thought about why canned apple juice lasts for so long? Well, it's all thanks to the special ingredients and preservatives that keep it from spoiling quickly. The juice is pasteurized, which means that it's heated up before being canned to kill off any harmful bacteria. While this leads to a longer shelf-life, it sadly can degrade the nutrients in apple juice and affect the taste, especially compared to cold-pressed.
The shelf life can vary depending on the brand, but generally, unopened cans or bottles can last up to a year if stored at room temperature. However, after a few months, the taste may not be as yummy as it was when you first bought it.
So, to get the best flavor, it's best to drink it within four months. Once opened, it's best to finish it within 8 to 10 days if you keep it in the fridge.
Concentrated Apple Juice
Apple juice concentrate is usually frozen to keep it fresh for a really long time. All the water is removed before it's compressed and canned or bottled.
If you don't crack it open, it can last very long time under stable conditions. But, if you do decide to thaw it out for a refreshing glass of apple juice, it'll only keep in the fridge for about a week. Keep in mind that once you thaw it, you can't refreeze it.
Signs of Spoilage
Would you be able to tell if your apple juice has gone bad? Well, one way to check is by giving it a sniff. If it smells sour or like beer or wine, it's definitely started fermenting, and you should toss it out.
Another clue is if you see small bubbles or the juice looks a bit cloudy, those are also signs of fermentation, and it's best not to drink it.
As time goes on, the color of the juice may also change and become darker, which is another indicator of spoilage. And if you see any mold growing in the juice, definitely steer clear of that one.
If you notice the bottle is swollen or the lid makes a popping sound when you open it, those are clear signs that the juice has gone bad, and you should get rid of it right away. Always be sure to check your apple juice before taking a sip.
In a Nutshell
Apple juice won't go bad if you keep it stored properly and use it before the recommended time. But let's face it, we all have those moments where we can't finish the whole carton in one go. A friendly reminder: the fresher the juice, the better the taste!