There are lots of benefits of drinking fresh juice. It’s the best natural way to meet your nutritional requirements and protect yourself from several contemporary diseases.
We recommend drinking fresh juice as soon as you make it to exploit its full nutritional value. But what if you prefer drinking it later? You’ll want to keep it as fresh as possible, right?
So, you’re now wondering, how long your fresh juice can last, eh? Of course, you can store it from 24 to 72 hours, but the honest answer is it depends. Many factors come into play, like your juice extraction method, your drink’s content, how you store it, etc.
Your juice will last anywhere from 4 to 5 days if you prepare it using a twin gear juicer, one day for anyone using centrifugal juicers, and 48 hours if you use a masticating juicer.
Also, keep in mind that some fresh juice can also last up to 72 hours, depending on its storage conditions.
With the right storage conditions, fresh juice in a mason jar can last for 72 hours, that is, if you use a masticating juicer. If you use a centrifugal juicer, it can last for a day.
We love that mason jars are a great alternative to plastic bottles and milk bottles that allow air to get into your juice and boost oxidation levels resulting in stale juice with low nutritional value. They’re also toxin-free and not prone to leaching, unlike plastic bottles.
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s essential to keep your juice as fresh as possible to exploit its full nutritional value if you’re making it ahead of time or saving it for later. To make that happen, you’ll want to use a good juicer and container for your drink to last for long.
Of course, you can use several ways to keep it fresh but, in this section, we will cover the main ones like minimizing air and oxidation, storing in a refrigerator, limiting opening and closing of your jars, and many more.
Oxidation is the greatest enemy of fresh juice. It begins immediately when you extract juice from your fruits and veggies.
What oxidation does is, it makes the cells decompose naturally, which makes your drink stale and whack. But the good thing is you can slow it down with measures like introducing citric acid, an antioxidant that combats oxidation.
Another great way to battle it is to fill your jars to the brim and close your lids tightly. Experts also recommend storing your juice in a vacuum-sealed glass container to lock out oxygen.
Also, remember that factors like your juicer type affect the oxidation process.
The high speed of rotation of centrifugal juicers increases the oxidation levels, so it’s best to drink your juice as soon as possible.
Masticating juicers offer slow rotations per minute (80-100), so their oxidation levels are lower. If you need a good one, you can check out Omega NC900HDC that offers 80 RPM, so your juice can last up to 72 hours.
But with a juice press, you’ll make juice slowly, so there’s little to no oxidation.
Storing juice in your fridge is as simple as it seems. You should get your mason jars ready, or use a tightly sealed container if you don’t have one. It’s even better if you buy a dark one to reduce oxygen exposure.
The next step is to add antioxidants like lime, citrus to reduce oxidation levels, then fill your juice up to the top to lock out oxygen out of the container. Depending on your juicing conditions, you should drink the juice within 24-48 hours if you store it in your fridge.
If you want to store it for up to 72 hours, you can freeze your juice. But remember to leave some space in your jar as liquids expand when frozen.
Experts also warn that if your juice stays in the fridge for more than 72 hours, it will lose nutrients, appear stale, and the bacterial growth can trigger stomach upsets.
You want to maximize the shelf life of your fresh juice, so it’s important to keep the storage jars airtight.
Every time you open your container, air rushes in, and oxidation begins. If your juice was supposed to last 72 hours and you open it multiple times a day, it won’t stay fresh for more than 48 hours.
Say you drink your juice three times daily; you should open and pour the drink in the least time possible.
Pasteurization is the most common way of extending the shelf life of your juice.
It involves heating the drink for a given time and temperature to kill the bacteria that make the drink spoil fast.
The most common type of pasteurization includes slow/low-temperature long time pasteurization, high-temperature short time/ flash pasteurization/ flash, and ultra-pasteurization/ ultra-high temperature (UHT), and we’ll discuss them in a few.
Slow pasteurization involves heating your fresh juice for 20 to 30 minutes up to 63 to 65 degrees before it cools. The only shortcoming of this method is it alters the taste and quality of juice.
With flash pasteurization, you’ll heat your juice between 80 to 95 degrees for 15 to 30 seconds. It’s among the best ways to keep your juice fresh as it results in little to no nutritional changes to your drink.
The last type is ultra-pasteurization, where processing companies condition juices to high temperatures of up to 138 degrees for some seconds. It’s used in several industrial areas like milk processing companies to keep milk fresh for up to 6 months.
Non-thermal processes involve all techniques that don’t use heat to eradicate microorganisms that spoil fresh juice.
It’s a great way to retain a high number of nutritional compounds in your drink as much as killing the bacteria.
The three main types of the non-thermal method include pulse electric field, UV treatment, and high-pressure processing.
Though pulse electric field can give your juice a metallic taste, it retains the nutritional quality of your juice. You can expect it to last up to 20 days if you store it in a refrigerator.
Some companies that don’t prefer to heat their drinks use UV lights. Like pulse electric field, UV treatment retains the nutritional quality of your juice. However, experts also don’t recommend using this method on juices with high turbidity.
The final non-thermal way to process food is high-pressure processing, which involves submerging the drinks in cold water before applying high pressure of up to 600 MPA. Juices that are preserved this way lasts for 30 to 45 days with refrigeration.
Everyone loves to drink fresh juice as soon as they make it but sometimes several things come in between, like work, duties, lifestyle, preferences, etc., that make you postpone the consumption date.
But at least now, you know the best ways to store your drink and even boost its shelf life so that it remains as fresh as possible.
Remember, the duration of your juice last will depend on the factors we’ve discussed above. You should stick to good practices.
Overall, the most important thing you should do is to factor in your juice preparation methods, conditions, and the containers you’ll use before storing your juice.
If you stick to everything we’ve mentioned here, you’ll be good at storing your juice at home.
Be sure to let us know how it goes!