Lemon juice is a very popular drink mostly consumed in small amounts. With its fresh scent and pale color, it is often added to meals, even plain water to add extra zest and liveliness. Consuming lemon juice in moderation has a lot of health benefits such as kidney stones prevention, sore throat remedy, as well as support weight loss.
If you have fresh lemon juice in your fridge, you might ask yourself this very question: How long does lemon juice last? If you want to find out the answer, you have to read on. I will be providing you some vital information about its shelf life, how to properly store it and the signs to determine if the lemon juice you have has already gone bad.
How Long Does Lemon Juice Last?
Before we begin the discussions, you should know that shelf lives of lemon juice would depend on its preparation: freshly squeezed or bottled. As bottled lemon juice already contains preservatives, its shelf life will be a lot longer compared to freshly squeezed lemon juice.
As we all know, freshly squeezed lemon juice delivers the best taste possible. It does not contain preservatives and you will able to enjoy it as if it came straight from the source, which is the lemon. For its shelf life, the lemon juice’s flavor should be fine for a 2 to 4 days and its flavor will gradually decrease after that.
Lemon juice is acidic but freshly squeezed lemon juice does not have any preservatives in it. It should be fine for at least a week, maybe even one and a half. However, if you wish to preserve it for a longer time, you should use preservatives or you can freeze it. Freezing it is advisable if you are on a weight loss program, as it can last up for 3 to 5 months.
Bottled lemon juice contains preservatives that greatly affect the shelf life of the juice. It can be stored for a longer period of time and will still stay fine. Somewhere in the bottle, you will be able to find a best consumed by date. It should be noted, however, that this information does not necessarily mean that the juice will go rancid after that date.
It is only a statement made by the lemon juice’s manufacturer that the quality and taste of the juice will gradually decrease after the said date. The date usually declares a that the bottled juice is good for only a few months but it should be fine for a year. If the lemon juice is still unopened, it can be stored in your pantry and refrigerating it is not needed.
After being opened, however, lemon juice should last for up to 6 months if kept inside the refrigerator. If you would like to further extend the lemon juice’s shelf life, you may try freezing it and it will be good for another 3 to 5 months. It is important that you know that distinction between these two types, as their shelf lives differ.
If you want to know how to preserve lemon juice, here’s a video you can watch:
How Do You Properly Store Lemon Juice?
Properly storing lemon juice also depends on the two types of juice mentioned above, as well as its condition, if opened or unopened. If you are storing the lemon juice in the refrigerator, you have to make sure that it is in a tightly sealed and tinted bottle. As discussed, further extending its shelf life will require you to freeze it.
One downside of freezing the bottle of lemon juice is the thawing. If you need your lemon juice, it would require thawing the entire bottle. As we all know, the repeat process of thawing of any food item will not be good for one’s health. An alternative would be freezing lemon juice using ice cube trays and freezer bags.
The solution enables you to thaw lemon juice in manageable quantities, which can be useful for you if you only need a small amount for your weight loss program. Storing lemon juice properly is very important and is conveniently easy. It is also vital especially if you do not want to waste a glass of fresh lemon juice.
How Do You Tell If The Lemon Juice Is Already Bad?
There are a lot of easy and simple ways on how to determine if the lemon juice you have stored has already gone rancid. The first thing you have to keep in mind is that it should be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer unless it’s a bottled lemon juice and it is still unopened.
Bacterial growth is pretty fast if you leave your lemon juice at room temperature, especially if it does not contain any preservatives. You should remember that if a bottle of lemon juice left outside, you are not totally convinced that it is still fine. This is the reason why you have to perform a series of simple tests to check if it is still consumable.
You should look for any alterations in the color of the lemon juice to check if it is still good for consumption. If it appears strange or darker, you have to throw it away. You can also smell it and if it gives off an unpleasant odor, you have to discard it. Lastly, if you perform a taste test and if it no longer has the citrus taste, throw it away.
How long does lemon juice last? According to the discussions above, it will depend on factors such as its preparation and how it is stored. To summarize, here are some of the important points discussed above:
- The shelf life of lemon juice will depend on its preparation and storage. Freshly squeezed lemon juice will not last as long as bottled ones because of the lack of preservatives. To add, opened bottles of lemon juice will not last as long as unopened ones.
- Opened or freshly squeezed lemon juice should always be stored in the refrigerator. Freezing it can also be an option if you want to further extend its shelf life.
- If the lemon juice appears darker, smells odd, or no longer has a citrus taste, you have to throw it away.