Orange juice is a beverage best had with a healthy breakfast, or as a complement to a light snack. It’s healthy, rich in flavor, and refreshing.
Many people happily include orange juice in their daily diet, and for more benefits, some even go the length of juicing their own orange juice.
But orange juice, just like its solid state, does not last forever. All of the benefits of an orange deplete over time, along with its overall quality.
So, if you have been asking yourself the question ‘how long does orange juice last’, here are a few pointers on how long orange juice lasts before you should consider it bad.
How Long Does Orange Juice Stay Good?
The two different types of orange juice to discuss are carton orange juice and freshly squeezed orange juice. Not everyone can squeeze their own orange juice, and some commercial brands give very close to natural results, so they’re equally beneficial.
Store-Bought Fresh Orange Juice
For commercial orange juice that comes in cartons there is a much longer shelf life. Once opened and placed in the fridge, your orange juice can last for 7 to 10 days before it starts to go bad. If you freeze your orange juice, be sure to do it in a glass or plastic air-tight container, with a little space left for expansion. This will allow you to store the orange juice for 8 to 12 months!
Once you’ve thawed the orange juice, it can last in the fridge for around 3 to 5 days. If you heat it up to thaw it, then it should be consumed immediately.
Freshly Squeezed Homemade Fresh Orange Juice
If you squeeze your orange juice for completely fresh and natural results, you have to be prepared for a shorter shelf life. Freshly squeezed orange juice will last in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days before going bad. If you place it in the freezer (the same way you would do the commercial varieties) then it’ll last 3 to 4 months. Once you thaw it, it will last 2 to 3 more days in the fridge, unless you heat it up.
Read More: How much juice is in one orange?
What Happens When You Drink Out-of-Date Orange Juice?
First, it’s important to know what orange juice looks and smells like when it goes bad.
- There’s going to be an overwhelming smell similar to vinegar that’s sour and rotten.
- The orange juice itself is going to be darker in color than usual.
- There could even be visible mold on top of the juice if it’s been bad for long enough. This could happen because microorganisms have started growing in the juice, and the off gassing from this development could bloat the container.
What happens is yeast grows in the juice, fermenting it overtime. This transforms the sugar present in the orange juice to alcohol and carbon dioxide, once again bloating the container. Once the box, carton, or container has been opened and exposed to oxygen, the environment is ready to grow yeast, mold, and even bacteria.
Now, there can be physical effects of bad orange juice on you. None of them are very pleasant, and wonderful motivation to never risk drinking bad orange juice. Immediate side effects of drinking bad orange juice are vomiting and nausea, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
More serious side-effects include difficulty breathing, choking, and suffocation. You could develop a high fever and experience dizziness. In these situations, it’s best to lie down or go to a doctor for medical assistance. These side effects are extremely harmful to your health, serious or not, and not worth the risk, especially if you have a weak immune system or are pregnant.
Read More: 23 simple juice recipes
Benefits of Orange Juice, While It’s Still Good
Knowing all the negatives to orange juice that’s gone bad, it’s time to look into some benefits to orange juice, if you drink it while it’s still good and fresh.
There are many nutrients you can find inside of orange juice, all with their own contribution to your overall health.
- You can find vitamins C, E, and B9 in orange juice, folate, potassium, fibers, magnesium, and a limited number of proteins.
- There are also various antioxidants inside of oranges. Antioxidants are vital in the balanced battle against free radicals. They protect you from chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain types of cancer, and heart disease. The antioxidants present in oranges are flavonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid.
- The vitamin C inside of oranges acts as an antioxidant as well, improving many different aspects of your body, such as the immune system, bone formation, the speed at which your wounds heal, and overall gum health.
- The potassium inside of oranges can help generally as well. It regulates your blood pressure, prevents bone deterioration, and protects you from heart disease and potential strokes. Not only is your blood pressure monitored, but levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol are kept down, and HDL (good) cholesterol is increased. Your heart’s health is maintained and kept strong.
- Oranges have anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the intensity of your body’s natural defense mechanism. Too much inflammation could lead to heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome.
- You can also find fiber inside of orange juice which cleans your bowels while going through your digestive track. Most of it is absorbed by your bodily tissue, but everything else cleans through. It’s also because of fiber you don’t want to drink too much orange juice at once, otherwise you could suffer from diarrhea.
- Another part of your body that’ll thank you for drinking orange juice is your cardiovascular system. A combination of vitamin B9 and folate promote the circulation of blood, assisting the production of red blood cells.
- Vitamin C and E work together to help your skin cells regenerate overtime. This means a stronger armada of skin cells will heal quicker, reduce the visibility of spots, blackhead scars, and wrinkles. It’ll reduce sunburning when you go outside and promote a younger-looking appearance with anti-oxidants and citric acid’s anti-ageing effects. Your skin gets detoxed and cleansed of impurities.
How Long Does Orange Juice Last: Conclusion
Orange juice comes with an abundance of benefits you don’t want to miss out on. Orange juice is the easier way to get your fill of oranges, and it’s a delicious, refreshing beverage to have every day. So long as you’re having it while it’s still good and fresh, there should be no issues.
Make sure you check the expiration date on your carton in advance to know how long orange juice lasts. If you’re squeezing your own orange juice, then make as much as you’ll know you have to avoid wastage.
Read More: How long does watermelon last?