Can Lemon Juice Expire?
Lemon juice can and does go bad over time. Generally, lemon juice can last for about two to three weeks in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container, however, if kept in sunlight or exposed to high temperatures, it may spoil sooner. You can also check the expiration date on the packaging to ensure your lemon juice is still safe to consume.
Unrefrigerated forms provide longer shelf lives, remaining good for up to 1 year unopened, and up to 6 months once opened. As a general rule, refrigerated, opened store-bought lemon juice lasts between 4 to 6 months, while fresh-squeezed homemade lemon juice will last around 2 to 3 days. Freshly squeezed lemon juice only lasts for two or three days in the refrigerator, however, you can store it in your freezer for up to six months, just be aware it will begin to lose its flavour over time. Freshly squeezed lemonade will last for up to one week if refrigerated properly, or two to three months in your freezer.
Although commercial does not have as much flavor as fresh juice, it will last significantly longer when stored properly. Because of how juice is made, it can last for an extended period and does not have to be refrigerated before opening.
The quality gradually degrades until you get a point where the juice is so bad that it is best to never use it. Keep in mind, the longer the bottle stays in the fridge, the more it loses flavor and deteriorates in quality. Once you have opened your bottle, you need to refrigerate the contents for at least six months after opening.
Refrigerating the opened bottle of juice is also best for preventing bacteria from building up, and refrigerating the juice will extend the shelf life. Since light contributes to decomposition of the juice inside the glass bottles, it is best to avoid storing juice inside these bottles. If you are going to purchase juices that are in bottles, then the best thing is to keep them inside a refrigerator, because this helps juices to prevent mold and bacteria from setting in. Bottled juices generally have no sediment due to additives that are included in addition to the preservatives, such as added fiber, modified starch, carrageenan, xanthan gum, and acacia gum.
While store-bought juices do contain added preservatives, as well as citric acid, which is itself a preservative, the juices quality will deteriorate much more rapidly at room temperature than it will at refrigeration. The lemon juice the grocery store keeps room temperature has preservatives that should make it stay nice and fresh for longer in the fridge once you have opened it. Even though lemon juice is a highly acidic substance, it does spoil, and if it is preservative-free lemon juice, it will spoil very quickly, particularly if stored at room temperature.
While lemon juice is very acidic, preventing a lot of types of bacteria from growing in it, certain microorganisms, such as yeast, mold, and lactate bacteria, can still grow in that environment. While lemons are acidic enough that they possess their own preservative properties, they contain water, and water is a bacterias breeding ground. Wash your lemons thoroughly before crushing to remove any harmful bacteria that may sneak into your juice.
You can keep lemons in the freezer indefinitely, but they will begin to lose some of their flavour in about three or four months. Considering commercially prepared lemon juice is just water, lemon juice, and preservatives, it may last longer than the date listed on the label, if you keep the bottles unopened.
Lemon juice concentrates, which are shipped refrigerated, or even at room temperature, have shorter shelf lives, and you can typically only use them for 1 week after their best-by date. Processed, pre-made lemonade may last about two weeks in the refrigerator unopened, or a week after opening. Similar to many shelf-stable items, you should store a bottle of unopened store-bought lemonade somewhere dark, cool, and dry, ideally in the pantry or cupboard, far away from sunlight, if it is a clear bottle.
If you cut more lemons than you can use immediately, they only last for one day at room temperature before they will get dried out and begin to spoil. While you can refreeze it once you are done, I find that lemon juice from frozen concentrates does not hold the same amount of flavour as when re-frozen, so I recommend using up your juice within one week to avoid having to refreeze. It is hard to tell exactly how long juice will last, but it is likely around 3 to 6 months. While you should still be able to safely consume juice several months past its expiration date, this gives you a good indication of how long the juice will still taste great.
Unless the juice is near its labeled expiration date, it should still be fine to consume for 6-12 months. Fresh juices are particularly prone to contamination, and juice left in the refrigerator longer than one day should be discarded to mitigate food poisoning risks. Like any other expired food, spoilt lemon juice is sure to get you sick. The citric acid in lemon juice might be a natural preservative, but it does not necessarily guarantee bacteria-free conditions if you store it incorrectly or for too long.
Sour juice also can lose its inherent taste, so if your juice tastes strangely flat, it is probably past its best. Unreplaceable in salad dressings and marinades, lemon juice finds use in other kitchen tasks, including baking (you should also look at this amazing Meyer lemon, fresh cranberry, and walnut scones recipe) and making no-bake desserts.
CAN expired lemon juice make you sick?
It is possible to get food poisoning from expired lemon juice. It is possible that you might have food poisoning if you drink dead lemon juice and you develop diarrhoea as a result. It is a condition in which you are ill after consuming contaminated food or drink.
Can I use expired lemon juice?
You can store the juice in the refrigerator for up to 3-6 months if it is kept unopened or for 6-12 months if it is kept open and refrigerated. Store-bought juices should be kept within their best-before dates. After the liquid has reached the best-before date, it is generally safe to use it for a few days after the date, but after that, it will lose its flavour and nutritional value as it begins to age.
How can you tell if lemon juice is bad?
The far most common way lemon juice spoils is by turning sour. The sour taste indicates that it’s undoubtedly gone bad. Mold growth is another cause of lemon juice spoilage. If you notice any mold, the lemon juice has expired and should not be able to consume.