There’s nothing quite like having a cold glass of apple juice after a hot summer day. Apple juice can be a healthier substitute for sodas. How does its shelf life hold up?
Apple Juice does spoil over time just like any other juice. Fresh juice lasts 3-5 days if left outside, but canned juice can last 9 months on the shelf. Refrigerating extends its shelf life to 7-10 days. Freezing fresh juice will extend its shelf life to 4-6 months and 1-2 years for bottled juice. Juices are especially sensitive to light and heat and thus improper storing will spoil the juice quicker than usual. Their shelf life depends on the original packaging apple juice is sold in. There are several sure signs of knowing if apple juice has gone bad.
If you’re curious about the shelf life of apple juice and which method allows it to remain fresh the longest, read on.
Does Apple Juice Go Bad? How Long Does Apple Juice Last?
The shelf life of apple juice depends on: how it’s packaged and whether it’s fresh, or juice concentrate.
How Long Does Apple Juice Last Outside?
Fresh, unpasteurized: Freshly pressed apple juice will only last 3-5 days. It does not have preservatives and should be consumed shortly after purchase.
Canned: Canned apple juice can last up to 9 months if kept away from sunlight and in a cool place.
Bottled, Concentrate: Bottled apple juice can last 3-6 months after the “Best By” date if it remains closed. The quality will depend on how well the juice is kept away from light and heat.
How Long Does Apple Juice Last In The Fridge?
Fresh, unpasteurized: Fresh apple juice does not have a long fridge life, lasting 5-7 day at most. Fresh juice should be drunk within 1-3 days of purchasing to ensure best quality.
Pasteurized: Pasteurized apple juice can last between 7-10 days, a few more days longer than fresh apple juice. Canned apple juice also has less of a chance of making you sick if you consume it when it’s stated to go bad.
Bottled, Concentrate: Bottled apple juice will last from 2-3 when refrigerated. Bottled Apple Juice contains preservatives and will last much longer.
How Long Does Apple Juice Last In The Freezer?
Fresh, unpasteurized: Fresh apple juice can be frozen to last for 4-6 months but must be stored in the freezer within 3-5 days of purchase.
Canned, pasteurized: Pasteurized apple juice will last from 1-2 years once it’s been opened. Canned apple juice should be placed into an airtight container.
Bottled, Concentrate: Bottled apple juice will last 12-18 months if kept properly stored. Take care to not use the original packaging and transfer it into an airtight container.
Apple juice will spoil if not stored properly and there’s a risk that it will make you sick if consumed once it has turned bad.
Does This Juice Taste Funny To You?
Apple juice begins to ferment when it’s starting to spoil. Knowing what signs to look out for will help you gauge whether you have spoiled apple juice.
Aroma: The sweet smell of apple juice is recognizable to anyone who’s eaten fresh apples. If the smell is rancid or pungent, it means it has turned bad and should be thrown out.
Presence of bubbles: Serve a glass and check for small air bubbles. If you see them forming around the sides of the glass, it means oxidation has begun. T
Color: Fresh apple juice is clear and bright yellow. Any signs of cloudiness or opaqueness mean it has begun fermentation.
Taste: Take a small sip. If it’s sweet and tangy, it’s still fresh. Even if it’s not as sweet, it can still be safe to drink. You want to watch out for bitterness of any kind. If it tastes like wine or beer, then fermentation has started.
Bloated bottle: If you see that the bottle has expanded and opening the bottle releases gas and a “pop,” immediately discard it.
Presence of mold: Mold is the enemy of virtually all liquids. Any sign of mold either in the juice or inside the bottle is a sure sign that the juice is rancid.
How Do I Store Apple Juice?
It depends on the type of apple juice you have and whether it’s fresh, pasteurized, or concentrated.
Apple Juice from Concentrate: Apple juice concentrate has preservatives that allow it to be stored in a cool place for up to 9 months. Store it away from heat and light in a pantry or cupboard. Once open, it should be refrigerated or frozen.
Fresh or Homemade Juice: Fresh juice must be refrigerated, whether it’s been opened or not. Since there are no preservatives, the juice will spoil much quicker than commercially sold juice.
Canned Apple Juice: Canned apple juice should be stored in a cool, dark place. If opened, it must be refrigerated or frozen to remain safe to consume.
Can I Freeze Apple Juice?
Yes, freezing apple juice is recommended if you wish to store apple juice past 3-6 months. The high sugar found in apple juice will allow it to remain fresh after thawing and will deteriorate slowly. Keep in mind that pasteurized apple juice will last much longer than fresh juice
How Do I Freeze Apple Juice?
If you opt to freeze apple juice, you must transfer the juice from its original container to an airtight container to prevent oxygen from spoiling the juice. Also, you should serve at least a full serving of apple juice before you store it in the fridge. The high water content of the juice will expand in the freezer if kept in its original container and might explode. Leaving 2 inches of space between the juice and the mouth of the container is an effective way to prevent an apple juice disaster.
How Do I Thaw Apple Juice?
Make sure that you’ve poured the juice from its original container into an airtight container.
Place the frozen juice on the counter or refrigerator and allow several hours to thaw. A faster way is to submerge into a bowl of cold tap water for 10-15 minutes. Do not use hot water as the temperature change might crack the container.
Apple Juice FAQ’s
My apple juice has started to spoil. Is there any way to salvage it? Yes, you can boil apple juice into syrup. Simmer the apple juice and stir frequently until more than half of the liquid has evaporated. The syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.
I have apple juice past its expiration date. Is it safe to drink? It depends on whether it’s fresh or pasteurized. Fresh apple juice should not be drunk past the expiration date. It may only last a couple of days after the date. Bottled juice can still be good between 3-6 months after the “Best By” date.
To sum up, apple juice is best consumed fresh but can last a long time in the freezer if stored properly. Always remember to check for signs of spoiling before drinking apple juice you suspect has spoiled. When in doubt, throw it out.