You’ve just had a bumper fruit harvest and are wondering what to do with the excess produce.
One question that might have crossed our mind is whether you can prepare juice in large amounts and freeze it for future use.
Is this possible, and will the juice retain its nutritional value? Well, the good news is that you can freeze your juice,
In one study, it was found that orange juice can lose up to 24% of its vitamin C after being frozen for 24 months.
So, what might concern you is how long you are planning to keep the juice and how much vitamins and minerals will remain in it by the time you decide to consume it.
How Long Does Juice Last In The Freezer?
If you’ve decided to prepare juice on a large scale then freeze it, your next question would be how long would the juice stay fresh while in the freezer.
According to the study mentioned above, the orange juice stayed in the freezer for 24 months and lost 20% of vitamin C. Hopefully, you are not planning to keep your juice for that long.
However, even if you are planning to keep your juice in the freezer longer, it will still retain some of its nutritional value.
Freezing your juice will make it last for between three to six months without losing much of its nutritional value. The fact is, the longer the juice takes, the more minerals and vitamins it will lose.
Even after six months in the freezer, your juice will still have lots of nutrition, and it won’t get spoiled. The only thing that will happen is that the taste of your juice will change.
If you don’t mind the taste, you can drink your juice from the freezer after freezing it for up to six months.
How Long Does Juice Last When Not Frozen?
How long a juice will last if not frozen depends on the juice in question. If you use a centrifugal juicer to prepare your juice, then it won’t last long. It will get spoiled just after 24 hours.
When you use a masticating juicer to prepare your juicer, then it can last for between two to three days before going bad.
Remember that the slow juicing process makes the juice last longer because it lowers the oxidation rate of the juice. Juicers with higher RPM transmit heat to the juice which makes them go bad quickly.
Another factor that will determine how long your juice can take without freezing is the container you keep it in.
If you keep it in an airtight and clean bottle, it may take longer before going bad than when you keep it in a dirty bottle and allow air to get into contact with it. Air (oxygen) oxidizes the juice, making it go bad quickly.
If you want your juice to stay fresh for long, keep it in a dark or opaque bottle to protect your juice against sunlight.
4 Tips To Store Fresh Juice For Later
The best way to consume your juice is just right after preparing it. But if that’s not possible, you’ll have no option to store it and use it later.
The key to storing your juice is to ensure the nutrients are preserved as much as possible. Here are some tips that can help you achieve this:
1. Use preservatives:
Preservatives have been used for years to keep food items fresh for an extended duration. However, not all preservatives are safe. Some are toxic to the body and may lead to liver damage.
So if you want to add a preservative to your juice, it’s advisable to use natural preservatives such as honey and citric acid.
Honey, at 10% concentration, is a very effective preservative for fruits and vegetables. It delays microbial development, quality loss, and change in pigmentation.
Citric acid is known to lower the pH level of substances, hence making it difficult for browning enzymes to operate.
It also helps in the mitigation of the oxidation process, ensuring the juice doesn’t get spoilt immediately. Citric acid works better than honey, especially for those who don’t like the sweetness of honey.
2. Keeping The Juice In Airtight Containers:
One way of keeping your juice fresh for longer is to prevent it from getting into contact with air (oxygen).
Oxygen is known to trigger oxidative reactions that can make your juice disintegrate. That’s why you need to keep your juice in an airtight or vacuum-sealed container.
This ensures no air comes in to spoil the juice. You can also fill the juice container up to the lid to drive off all air from the container.
If you don’t have an airtight container, you can use a mason jar or a plastic container made from non-toxic materials.
3. Protect The Juice Against Light:
Sunlight produces UV rays that have different effects on different substances. In the case of foods, it leads to a process called photo-degradation, or the breakdown of food.
If you expose your juice to sunlight, its chemical and physical composition will change, causing loss of nutrients, discoloration, and loss of flavor.
For this reason, it’s advisable to keep your juice in a dark or opaque bottle. If you can’t get one, you can as well use a safe plastic container.
4. Put The Juice In A Refrigerator:
Once you’ve poured your juice into the right container, you can keep it in a refrigerator.
The low temperature in the refrigerators lowers the rate of chemical reactions in the juice, thus lowering the rate at which it gets spoiled.
A refrigerator can help your juice stay fresh for many days.
Even though it is advisable to drink your juice immediately after preparing it, this may not be possible at all times. A situation may arise requiring that you prepare juice in advance and serve it at a later date.
This is why it’s necessary to know the steps you can use to preserve the freshness of your juice. The above steps will work for you and ensure you and your guests enjoy fresh juice several days after its preparation.