How long will fresh squeezed orange juice last?

Freshly squeezed orange juice is a delicious and nutritious beverage that many people enjoy as part of a healthy breakfast. However, because it lacks preservatives and has not been pasteurized, its shelf life is limited. So how long does fresh squeezed orange juice last in the fridge or freezer before it goes bad?

How Long Does Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Last at Room Temperature?

Freshly squeezed orange juice that has been left out at room temperature will only stay good for a very short period of time due to exposure to air and bacteria. Most food safety experts recommend drinking orange juice within about 3 hours of juicing if left out on the counter.

Here are some general guidelines for how long orange juice will last at room temperature:

  • 1-2 hours: Best quality
  • 3-4 hours: Drinkable, but flavor/texture declines
  • 5+ hours: Increased risk of bacterial growth – discard after this point

The exact amount of time depends on factors like the room’s temperature and exposure to sunlight. Warmer conditions will shorten the shelf life. Any fresh juice left out for longer than 4 hours should not be consumed.

How Long Does Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Last in the Refrigerator?

Refrigerating fresh orange juice greatly extends its shelf life. Properly stored in the fridge, it will maintain good quality and fresh taste for 3-4 days.

Here are the approximate timelines for orange juice stored in the refrigerator:

Time in Refrigerator Quality
1-2 days Best quality and fresh taste
3-5 days Good, slight flavor decline
5-7 days Acceptable, noticeable flavor/texture change
7-10 days Not recommended, oxidation and off-flavors

To extend the fridge life of fresh orange juice, be sure to store it in a tightly sealed container to limit exposure to air. Keep it as cold as possible by placing it toward the back rather than on the door. Some separation/settling of the pulp may occur during storage.

Does Orange Juice Go Bad?

Yes, fresh orange juice does eventually go bad if left in the fridge for too long. Signs that orange juice has gone bad and is no longer safe to drink include:

  • Appearance changes: Cloudiness, sediments, sliminess, mold/fuzz
  • Sour or bitter flavor
  • Yeasty or fermented smell
  • Fizzing or bubbling
  • Change in consistency

If your orange juice exhibits any of these qualities, it should be discarded. The normal pH of orange juice is around 3.5-4.0. Spoiled juices will show increased acidity levels as bacteria grow.

How Long Does Orange Juice Last in the Freezer?

Freezing is the best way to extend the shelf life of fresh orange juice by many months. Properly frozen and stored orange juice can maintain quality for 4-6 months in the freezer.

To freeze orange juice:

  1. Pour freshly squeezed juice into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays.
  2. Leave 1⁄2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion.
  3. Seal the containers tightly.
  4. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Tips for best quality frozen OJ:

  • Use freezer bags or rigid plastic containers instead of glass.
  • Exclude as much air as possible and seal tightly.
  • Freeze in smaller portions to avoid thawing/re-freezing.
  • Stir gently after thawing to recombine pulp.

How to Store Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

To maximize the shelf life of freshly squeezed orange juice, follow these storage guidelines:

  • Room Temperature: Only keep juice out for 1-3 hours max before refrigerating.
  • Refrigerator: Store in a sealed container for 3-5 days. Keep coldest temperatures.
  • Freezer: Freeze in small portions for 4-6 months. Use rigid freezer-safe containers.

Other tips for handling and storage:

  • Wash oranges before juicing to remove dirt/bacteria.
  • Clean juicer parts thoroughly before and after juicing.
  • Only make as much juice as you plan to drink within a few days.
  • Never return leftover juice to the fridge if left out for long periods.
  • Check for signs of spoilage before drinking older juice.
  • Stir or shake juice gently before serving to remix pulp.

Does Orange Juice Need to be Refrigerated After Opening?

Yes, any container of orange juice that has been opened must be refrigerated. Exposure to air, light, and warmer temperatures will quickly cause the quality to deteriorate.

An opened carton or bottle of orange juice will usually stay freshest for 5-7 days in the fridge. Be sure to reseal the container tightly after each use. Over time, oxidation may cause some color changes and vitamin C loss.

Discard any orange juice that has been kept out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours after opening. Bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature.

Can You Freeze Orange Juice After Opening?

Orange juice that has been previously opened can be frozen to extend its shelf life, although the quality may decline compared to fresh juice.

To freeze opened orange juice:

  1. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace.
  2. Seal the container tightly.
  3. Label with the date.
  4. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Opened orange juice may lose some flavor and nutrition after thawing due to oxidation. Minimize this by limiting headspace in the container and freezing as soon as possible after opening. Consume within a few days after thawing.

Does Orange Juice Expire?

Like all foods and beverages, orange juice does eventually expire. Unopened, not-from-concentrate orange juice that has been properly stored will stay good for the following time periods:

Storage Method Shelf Life of Sealed Orange Juice
Pantry/Cupboard 2-3 weeks past printed date
Refrigerator 1-3 months past printed date
Freezer 6-12 months past printed date

The printed expiration date is an estimate of when the orange juice will start to decline in quality and flavor. Depending on storage conditions and packaging, it may still be good for a short window afterwards.

However, expired OJ is more likely to have an off-taste or nutrition loss. Always inspect and sniff before drinking older juice. If signs of spoilage like mold, sliminess, or foul odor occur, discard the juice.

Does Orange Juice Last Longer in Glass or Plastic?

Orange juice will generally last longer in an unopened plastic container compared to glass. Plastic bottles and jugs provide a tighter seal against air and light. This prevents some of the vitamin degradation that can occur in glass bottles over time.

Once opened, both glass and plastic are equally suitable containers for orange juice storage. Just be sure to reseal tightly after pouring. Transfer an opened bottle to a smaller sealed container if it will not be finished quickly.

Glass bottles do have an advantage for homemade or fresh orange juice because they are non-porous. Plastic can absorb flavor/aroma compounds over time, while glass will not.

Tips to Tell if Orange Juice Has Gone Bad

Here are some simple ways to tell if your refrigerated orange juice has gone bad and needs to be thrown out:

  • Appearance: Cloudiness, layers of sediment, slimy texture, or mold growth indicate spoilage.
  • Smell: Offensive sour or alcohol-like odors mean the juice has fermented.
  • Taste: Rancid, bitter, or metallic flavors signal the juice has oxidized.
  • Bubbles: Carbonation or fizz means fermentation has started.
  • pH: Test with strips – properly acidic juice should have a pH around 3.5-4.0.

When in doubt, apply the golden rule – if orange juice doesn’t look, smell or taste normal, don’t drink it! A quick sniff test will reveal most spoiled juices.


Freshly squeezed orange juice is a delicious beverage to enjoy, but has a limited shelf life. With proper refrigeration, orange juice will maintain peak quality for about 3-5 days after juicing. For long term storage, freeze orange juice for 4-6 months. Keep refrigerated after thawing or opening to prevent bacterial growth. Discard orange juice that smells or tastes unpleasant, or shows signs of spoilage like cloudiness or sliminess. Following these simple guidelines will help you safely enjoy orange juice while preserving its bright, refreshing flavor and essential nutrients.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *