Does Lemon Juice Go Bad? (Shelf Life, Storage, Health Benefits & More)

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Lemon juice can be obtained freshly squeezed or bought from the grocery store in a bottle and once you have them, the question “ Does lemon juice go bad ? ” or how long does it last must have surely come across your mind. Just like any other ingredient or juice, lemon juice does indeed go bad but how long before it goes bad? In this post, we are going to walk through all these questions and other stuff you might want to know about lemons.

Lemon Juice

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Lemon juice is an ingredient which contains a good source of Folate and Potassium, and an excellent source of Vitamin C. Cooking with lemon juice is very common throughout the world, often used for marinades, making beverages and desserts and even used for preserving fruits and vegetables.

Shelf life of Lemon Juice

The shelf life of lemon juice is usually dependent on the type of the juice. As we have mentioned above, lemon juice can be obtained freshly squeezed from the fruit or bought from the store in a bottle.

If the lemon juice is freshly squeezed, it will only last for a few days, and that is if it is properly stored.

As for the bottled lemon juice that you get from the grocery store, it differs quite a bit. Some of the lemon juice from the bottle comes with preservatives and will keep the juice in good condition for a couple of months.

If the bottle is unopened, the juice will not spoil for at least up to a year or more. However, once the bottle is opened, its shelf life will range from a couple of days to a few months depending on which manufacturers and how much preservatives is added into the lemon juice.

Some lemon juice does not contain preservatives, and the way to tell them is by checking on the label on the bottle which indicates the “best by” date of the juice. If you happen to see that the date is only a couple of days away, it means that it does not contain many preservatives. If the date is a few months away, the lemon juice definitely has a high content of preservatives.

How to Store Lemon Juice

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There are a couple of factors that need to be put into consideration when it comes to storing lemon juice. Firstly, you need to know if the lemon juice is freshly squeezed lemon juice or if it is bottled lemon juice. Secondly, you need to identify if the seal of the bottle is open or not.

If you are storing the lemon juice in the refrigerator, make sure you keep it tightly sealed in a glass bottle. If you wish to keep the lemon juice for an even longer period, you may also freeze the juice.

There are many ways to preserve lemon juice and freezing them happens to be one of the best options. But, it is not possible to freeze the juice in the bottle because when you need to use it, you need to thaw the whole bottle and the constant repetitive freezing and thawing process will reduce the freshness of the lemon juice.

The best way to freeze lemon juice is by using ice-cube trays as that will allow you to thaw the lemon juice is small quantities that you need.

Storing Fresh Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice is always the finest choice when it comes down to the flavor. After squeezing out the juice from the fruit, it should be kept in the fridge, and the taste should be fresh for about 2 to 4 days. After that, the juice will slowly lose its taste. If you are storing the lemon juice in the freezer, it will last up to about 3 to 6 months.

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Storing Bottled Lemon Juice

If you are buying bottled lemon juice from the grocery store, you should know that it contains lots of preservatives to prolong the shelf life of the lemon juice. Due to that, the lemon juice can be kept for a much longer period than the fresh lemon juice.

You will also see a “best by” date on the bottle but it does not mean that the lemon juice is bad after the mentioned date, but it could just mean that the juice will lose its flavor.

You may store the unopened bottle in the pantry at room temperature for up to a year, and after opening the bottle, you may store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, and if you choose to freeze it, the lemon juice will last for another 3 to 5 months, maybe more.

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad? And How to Know If It Is Bad

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Although lemon juice has a high acidic content, it can still go bad, and if there is not preservative in the lemon juice, the deterioration rate is even faster especially if you keep it in the pantry instead of the fridge.

To know if your lemon juice is expired or spoilt, there are three main things to identify.

  • Appearance – if the lemon juice is dull or the color has turned darker, you can throw it away
  • Odor – if the lemon juice has an odd smell, it means that it is spoilt
  • Taste – if the flavor of the lemon juice has changed or taste weird, you should discard it as well

Another thing that you need to remember is after using the lemon juice, always keep it back in the fridge. If you accidentally left it out in room temperature for over a day, you may also proceed to throw it away.

Consuming Bad Lemon Juice Is Harmful

Consumption of bad lemon juice might cause food poisoning and bring about symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The positive side is that such problems can be avoided if you follow and practice the proper guidelines for storing your lemon juice.

Other Benefits of Lemon Juice

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Other than using lemon juice for cooking, it also provides a lot of advantages in healthcare and also serves a good amount of usage in your household cleaning.

There are many health benefits from lemon juice such as a remedy for throat infections, indigestion, dental problems, fever, high blood pressure and many others.

Apart from healthcare purposes, lemon juice also has a vast number of usage in household cleaning. Mixing it with salt will help remove stains from your chinaware, a few drops of lemon juice in your dust bag before you vacuum will make your house smells fresh and so on.

So does lemon juice go bad? You know it does but now that you also know how to determine if it is spoilt and how to store it to extend its shelf life, go out and get yourself some lemon juice and enjoy the wonders of it!


Gordan Ladd
 

I've been the cook for my family since 2009, and my passion for food grew stronger each day. Whenever I have time, I love to blog about my culinary experiences and how my kitchen has trained me to become a better cook for my family and friends. Get in touch with me at my G+

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