Making fresh juice is a great way to get more vitamins into your diet. But how do you store it so that it tastes as fresh as when it was made?
There are a lot of things that can affect the taste and quality of your juice, but luckily there are a few tricks to help you store it for longer.
The average amount of time for the juice to last is around four days. But a lot of factors come into play when determining the shelf life of fresh juice. These factors include the type of fruit and vegetable used, temperature, enzymatic activity, and more.
The first thing you should keep in mind is not to let your juice come into contact with air when storing. This means using an airtight container or covering the container with plastic wrap. If you want your juice to last longer, try using some of these tips:
6 Fresh Juice Storage Techniques You Should Know
If you want to prepare your juice now but drink it later, you can follow the below tips to help you store the juice, and keep its nutrients intact:
1. Remove The Pulp By Filtration:
The pulp can contribute to your juice getting bad. When you use a centrifugal juicer or the traditional juicer, some pulp will remain in the juice. There's nothing wrong with pulp being in the juice, but removing it will make your juice stay fresh a little longer.
The pulp contains some trace elements that can cause juice browning. So before you store your juice, use a fine strainer to remove the pulp. Just place the strainer on top of the storage container and pour the juice through it.
2. Use Natural Preservatives:
Using a preservative is perhaps the best way to make your juice last for several days. But to ensure your juice stays healthy, avoid using artificial preservatives. You can use natural preservatives like citric acid or honey.
Honey prolongs the freshness of juice and also delays pigment changes, microbial development, and quality loss. In one study, it was found that 10% dilute honey can extend the shelf life of vegetables and fruits.
Citric acid is another good option. It lowers the pH level of the juice, thereby reducing the rate at which browning enzymes work. It also lowers the rate of oxidation, thus making the juice stay fresh longer. However, it is worth noting that these preservatives may slightly change the taste of your juice.
3. Use Airtight And Vacuum-sealed Containers:
One thing that makes fruit juice go bad quickly is the presence of air (oxygen). Storing your juice in an airtight or vacuum-sealed container protects it from oxidation. If you don't have such a container, you can fill the container up to the lid to eliminate all air from the storage container. Ensure the container cap's bottom isn't flat so it doesn't store any air when closed. Another option is to store your juice in a mason jar.
4. Use An Opaque Or Dark Container:
You might not know it, but light affects your juice. Light causes what's referred to as photo-degradation, a process in which food gets spoilt because of exposure to light. Certain wavelengths in light energy, like the UV rays affect objects differently.
Exposing your juice to light will degrade its chemical and physical composition quite rapidly, causing loss of flavor, loss of nutrients, and discoloration. That explains why it's advisable to choose dark or opaque bottles for your juice storage.
Once you transfer the juice into a storage container, the next step is to refrigerate it. Low temperatures lower the rate of molecular movements hence reducing the rate of chemical reactions. By refrigerating your juice, you'll help to preserve its nutrients and slow down decomposition so it can retain its freshness for longer.
6. Using A Slow Juicer:
Juicers have their unique rotations per minute (RPM). If you want your juice to last for several days, use a slow juicer to prepare it. The trick here is that a juicer with a low RPM doesn't generate much heat. Heat is usually associated with higher rates of decomposition. So, by using a juicer with low RPM, what you are doing is to prevent the oxidation of your juice.
How Long Does Fresh Juice Last In A Mason Jar?
Storing juice in a mason jar is better than storing it in a plastic bottle. This is because glass doesn't contain toxins as plastic does. It is worth noting that juice is normally acidic, so it can easily leach toxins from plastics.
Glass, on the other hand, isn't subject to leaching. Juice can stay fresh in a mason jar for between two to three days. This is because this jar has a rubber seal that keeps oxygen at bay. Make sure you fill the jar to the brim to eliminate any air in it.
How Long Does Fresh Juice Last In The Fridge?
Refrigerating your juice is necessary if you don't want to drink it as soon as you prepare it. If you don't refrigerate, it will take only about four hours before disintegrating.
Refrigerating your juice can add 24 hours or more to its shelf life. However, other factors will come into play. For example, the RPM of the juicer you used, the container in which the juice is stored, whether you added a preservative, and whether or not you removed the pulp.
If you take other measures to extend the shelf life of your juice before putting it into a fridge, then it may stay fresh longer, even for 24 more hours.
Extending the shelf life of your juice is necessary if you are planning to use it in the future. Maybe you have invited some guests, and you won't have enough time to prepare the juice.
Using the above tips can ensure you provide your guests with fresh juice, even if they come three to four days later. Just make sure the containers you use are all clean to prevent contamination by bacteria.