There is no denying that lemon juice is one of the most refreshing beverages in our time. The reasons for that are plenty, such as the refreshing taste and the energizing sour taste that never fails to give a boost to anyone on a hot sunny day. Being a fan of lemon juice means that you buy a lot of it. So, why not buy plenty of packs on sale?
It seems like one of the smartest ideas to ever come to you. You bought plenty of packs from the market, you watch all of them at once in your home, and a question strikes you: Does lemon juice go bad? and here you are in this article. Read along and you will know your answer shortly.
(Credit: Hanny Naibaho)
Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?
The answer to that is a sure yes, lemon juice does go bad. but the real question lies in when does it go bad.
It depends massively on the type of juice you have, and the period at which the juice is fresh can vary massively between brands, but the reality is that it eventually does go bad.
How Long Does Lemon Juice Last?
The right answer for this is not a number, but rather a really short and convenient “it depends on the juice itself” will suffice way better.
The problem with lemon juice is that many companies can add preservatives that can prolong the shelf life. Others add so little preservatives and thus the shelf life is not nearly as long, and freshly made juice seems to be the shortest of the bunch.
(Credit: Toa Heftiba)
let’s start with some averages:
Homemade lemon juice
The reason for it being the shortest shelf life of all is because there are no preservatives in it. and this makes it short-lived for around a few days. That’s in case you have stored it properly and have made sure it’s safe from contamination.
Commerical Lemon Juice
Things can get a little bit tricky in here. This is because it varies massively depending on the brand. Some brands add tons of preservatives that make that lemon juice last for ages on the shelves. Others are more careful and add just enough to keep it till it’s sold on the shelves.
In this case, the best by date is your best bet. You can try to check it and see how long the juice can last, and we can give an estimate of around a few months that it could last unopened, some companies like Lemon Perfect are advertising an entire year of shelf life. So, it really depends on the brand.
Once opened, the shelf life goes down dramatically, but is still dependant on the amount of the preservatives in your bottle. The shelf life can drop to a month or two after opening if it’s loaded, and if it’s not, few days are the max for organic fresh lemon juice.
|Bottled (Unopened)||3 – 6 months|
|Bottled (Opened)||6 – 12 months|
|Store-bought fresh||4 – 5 days|
|Freshly squeezed||2 – 3 days|
How To Store Lemon Juice?
Now that we know how long lemon juice can last, how can we expand this and make it longer? Well, the answer is in storage.
Proper storage is essential for the longevity of your lemon juice, and if you want to know how to store your juice in a way that keeps it fresh the longest, follow these simple steps.
(Credit: Nery Montenegro)
First of all, vitamin C is not the best at holding on for a long time. This is why using old lemon juice won’t give you the expected amount of vitamins if that’s what you are aiming for.
If you freshly made some lemon juice, and want to store it, then you should know it’s quite similar to lime juice. The fridge is your friend and a good seal is a smart idea.
If you happen to have some juice you bought from the store, then it’s safe to store it in the pantry if it is unopened yet. However, you should make sure that you are keeping it away from the direct sunlight and heat from the kitchen appliances.
How To Tell If Lemon Juice Has Gone Bad?
You did it all, you bought the package, you kept it in the pantry, and as usual, you forgot about it. You find it past the expiry date, but it was stored well, now what? Did it go bad?
The answer isn’t as obvious as you might think, as the signs of spoilage are plenty but you surely don’t want to use a really horrible lemon juice for your recipe, right?
(Credit: Izabela Rutkowski)
Here are the obvious signs of lemon juice going bad:
The more you leave the juice out, the more it will darken in color. Of course, darkening of color is not a good sign, and once you see black dots in the juice you can be sure it has spoiled already and must be discarded as soon as possible.
Also, if you noticed contaminations in the juice, it’s better to discard it to be safe than sorry.
Lemon juice is sour, no denying that fact, but what you don’t know is that it shouldn’t be extremely sour. If you take a whiff of your juice and find it too sour, perhaps the spoiling started already and you are better off finding a new juice.
If both of the signs above aren’t there, you can try taking a small taste test to see if you can trust that juice. Bad lemon juice can be confusing, some juice becomes flat and tasteless, others develop a super sour taste that’s disturbing to taste. Take your chance and give it a try, and if it seems off, then it is truly off.
It’s a weird factor, but even if none of the signs above are obvious, you should be on the look for juice past its time.
Homemade lemon juice is the most important one, as it can go bad quite rapidly, and 7 days are enough to throw it away completely to stay on the safe side.
However, it takes one day at room temperature for me to throw away freshly squeezed lemon juice. Room temperature is a dangerous zone for bacteria and mold to grow in, and a full-day is more than enough to make the freshest of juice go bad.
IT is a beautiful and refreshing summer drink and can fit plenty of recipes. This is why knowing if it goes bad or not can be a lifesaver. and understanding how to store it as well as how to check if it has spoiled or not can be quite handy in some situations. If you have any questions you would like to answer, feel free to ask them in the comments below and we will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!