Do you have a lemon juice that has been left sitting in the kitchen cabinet for a while now? Did you just open the fridge and found a bottle of lemon juice? Before drinking, you should first ask yourself – is it still safe to drink the juice? You need to pay attention to the possible signs of spoilage and know if it has already expired or not.
So, does lemon juice expire? Is it a yes or a no? How do you know if it has already gone bad? Is there anything that you can do to make it last longer? All of your questions will be answered in the rest of this post.
Does Lemon Juice Expire
Yes, lemon juice has an expiration date. Whether the juice is prepared fresh at home or bought from a store and packed in cans or bottles, there will come a time that it will expire. Whether you keep it in the fridge or freezer, it will still most likely spoil.
When it comes to fresh lemon juice, it should be refrigerated quickly after squeezing. It is best to keep it inside the fridge for only two to four days. Because of the lack of preservatives that are used in fresh lemon juice, it will most likely spoil quickly.
If you want your fresh lemon juice to last longer, it would be best to keep it in the freezer. With this, it can be frozen for up to five months. Just make sure that it is packed properly and keep it away from raw meat. More of about its proper storage will be discussed later.
In the case of lemon juice that is packed, on the other hand, the expiration will depend on the date specified by the manufacturer. They are packaged properly, and hence, they are not prone to penetration of external elements that could speed up spoilage. This is also because they have preservatives. Generally, they can last up to one year.
How To Know If Lemon Juice Has Gone Bad
For packed lemon juice, the easiest way to know is through looking at the expiration or best before date stated by the manufacturer. After this date, while you can still consume lemon juice, its taste will be altered.
You should look at the appearance of the juice to know if it has already gone bad. If it has gone lighter or darker, this can be seen as an indication of spoilage. If there are bubbles on the top, do not drink the juice. Also, if the packaging has been damaged, do not also consume the juice.
There will also be changes in taste and smell of the lemon juice. There will be a distinct and foul odor that can be apparent. Also, when you sip it and if it no longer tastes like lemon, ditch the drink. It can taste bland or sour.
It is important to pay attention to the signs mentioned above because expired lemon juice can make you suffer from diarrhea, a form of food poisoning. The bacteria that has grown in the lemon juice can badly affect your stomach.
How To Store Lemon Juice
To prolong the shelf life of orange juice, attention should be given on the way it is stored. With this, especially for freshly-squeezed lemon juice, do not leave it in the pantry at room temperature. It should be kept away from direct heat.
The best way to store the juice is inside the fridge. Before keeping it inside, however, make sure to keep it in a container with tight seal. This will prevent air penetration and contaminants. If you intend to keep it for a longer span of time, you should consider keeping it in the freezer.
If you want your fresh lemon juice to last longer, you can consider adding preservatives. One of the oldest techniques that will work is the addition of cream of tartar in the lemon juice. Before keeping the juice in the container, drain it to get rid of the chunks of lemon and cream of tartar. Keep it in a bottle with cork or tight lid.
Freezing the lemon juice is another thing that you can do. There are several ways to do this. One of the easiest is to pour the juice in an ice tray and have it frozen. You can also keep it in freezer-safe bags. It should never be kept in a glass as it can end up being shattered. Plastic bottles should also be avoided as they can contain toxic chemicals.
Below is another short video showing a unique way to preserve lemon juice, making sure that it will last longer.
So, does lemon juice expire? By now, we hope that you already know the answer to this question. In a nutshell, here are some of the most important things discussed above.
- Fresh lemon juice will most likely last only for 2 to 4 days. It is fresh and has no preservatives, which makes shelf life short.
- In the case of packaged, store-bought lemon juice, on the other hand, they can last up to one year. They are sealed and have preservatives, which is why they last longer.
- Always check the appearance, taste, and smell of lemon juice to be sure that it is still safe to drink. Drinking lemon juice that has already gone bad can cause diarrhea and food poisoning.
- Proper storage is crucial for making lemon juice last longer. Keep it in a clean container with tight seal. You can also freeze it for longer shelf life. Alternatively, you can add preservatives like cream of tartar.
- Drink lemon juice as soon as possible, especially if it is fresh. This will allow you to enjoy its optimal freshness and flavor!