In our mission to lead healthier lives, we have discovered an efficient method of obtaining our daily servings of vegetables and fruits—through juicing. Immediately drinking freshly extracted juice is the best method of reaping the full benefits from the juice. Unfortunately, many people simply do not have the time to make their own juice several times every day. If you find it necessary to store your juice then it is imperative to understand how to store your juice properly to help it maintain its freshness.
Things to Consider
Type of Your Juicer
Juice shelf life may vary depending on the type of juicer you have. Juice extracted from fast juicers or centrifugal juicers typically last for 24 hours. Cold press juicers on the other hand (which include masticating and twin gear juicers) offer a longer shelf life of about 72 hours. Juice extractors with higher RPM tend to introduce a lot of oxygen which breaks down the integrity of the juice, destroying essential nutrients and vitamins in a process called oxidation. Storing your juice for later consumption doesn’t make perfect sense for centrifugal juicers.
Your Juice Container
The best juice container are non-plastic and should be airtight. Plastic containers are not completely airtight and contains chemicals that are harmful to your health (more of this later).
Organic produce are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, GMO, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. There are fewer chemicals used compared to traditional farming. As a result you get to enjoy a nutrient rich juice with minimal chemical exposure. Though pesticides and fertilizers used for organic farming are FDA approved you still have to wash and peel your produce to get rid of the remaining chemical residue. Fewer chemicals means your juice will last longer.
Keep Your Produce Cold
Refrigerating your produce and juicing it afterwards can extend the mileage of your juice. It will keep it at a temperature that inhibits bacterial growth.
Preparing everything before starting to juice is ideal. Plan how much juice you would require in three days since it’s the maximum time you could store it. This will avoid excess in produce.
Remove The Pulp
Once you have finished juicing, pour the juice into a glass container as close to the top of the container as possible. Filter out the pulp to prevent any browning of the remaining cellulose in the juice.
Filling and Sealing
Using a wide-mouthed jar makes filling (and cleaning!) simplistic. Fill the jar all the way to the top. The goal is to leave as little space as possible between the juice and the top of the jar therefore forcing the air out of the jar. Make sure to seal the jar tightly with the lid then place it in the refrigerator instantly.
Labeling and Storage
Label the jar with the juice contents and the date it was created. This is especially helpful when creating different concoctions. Store for no longer than 24 hours when using a centrifugal juicer and no longer than 72 hours when using a masticating juicer. Of course, you will absorb more of the nutrients and experience bolder flavors if you consume your juice far ahead of the tentative expiration date.
Don’t Freeze Your Juice
Refrigerating your juice is more than enough to maximize the shelf life of your juice. I don’t really recommend freezing as it can ruin the taste of your juice. However if you really have no choice, leave enough room to allow the volume of juice to expand. Don’t fill it all the way up. You don’t want to cleanup a broken glass in your freezer right?
Signs of Degradation
Some signs to look out for when storing your juice include a change in color and a difference in taste. To slow down degradation, juice a lemon with your produce to aid in preserving your juice with the citric acid that is found naturally in lemons. Avoid experiencing degradation by drinking your juice as soon as possible.
How Long Can You Store Your Juice?
As long as you followed all the recommendations above, the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in your juice will still be intact for up to 3 days or 72 hours with minimal loss. The key is to prevent contact with air and sunlight. Exposure to air or oxidation causes vitamins A, E and C to break down, exposure to sunlight will cause significant loss of the same vitamins plus vitamin K, B-6 and B-12. Heat is not an issue at all it’s not common to reach a boiling point when juicing, unless you’re using an explosion to juice a tomato.
Same reason applies why juice processed by a centrifugal juicer only last for twenty two hours. It’s not the explosion but the amount of oxidation happening at a juicing chamber with blade assembly spinning at very high velocity. If you have a centrifugal juicer there’s no way you can extend the life span of your juice, even refrigerating it won’t save it from spoiling. Freezing it will do but your juice will not taste as good. The best way to enjoy juice out of a centrifugal juicer is to drink it right away.
Your Storage Options
Hands down, the best containers to use are glass containers, such as mason jars. It’s convenient, you can use a separate cap with straw lid, or you can turn your mason jar into a cup by using a wide mouth jar lid. Very easy to use and very easy to clean as well.
Another great storage option are hermetic jars. Hermetic jars are often used for storing herbs, spices and other ingredients in the kitchen but you can also use it to store your juice. It’s airtight and it comes in different sizes, from 7 oz up to 5 liters. I’m sure though that you won’t be needing a container that big.
If you’re looking for something that you can carry around without intimidating anyone, glass bottles are your perfect choice. Some designs include a carrying loop for extra comfort and safety. These container however are quite deep, you might want to secure a bottle brush for cleaning purposes. Good thing if you already have one.
The best way to entertain your guests if you are a health conscious person is to offer them a healthy meal and of course a glass of juice would perfectly complement that. Glass pitchers are the perfect containers for a large batch of juice. You can choose between a one liter and a two liter glass pitcher.
Stainless Steel Jugs & Tumblers
This type of container protect the juice from air exposure, sunlight, and at the same time it preserves the temperature of the juice. It doesn’t break easily and it will fit your cup-holder quite perfectly. This is by far the best container for carrying your juice at work, during workout, when you’re driving, and wherever you’re going to and you need your juice around.
Why Not Plastic Containers?
Though plastic containers doesn’t break easily, lightweight, and inexpensive than its glass counterpart, these conveniences are nothing compared to the chemical and toxins that it can leak into your juice. Juicing is supposed to be a healthy practice, not something that can poison you. It really defeats the purpose of juicing. In addition plastic containers are not completely airtight which can speed up the oxidation process of your juice.
Some chemicals that are found in plastic are Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, polyvinyl chloride and a whole lot of other toxins. Being BPA free doesn’t make it any safer. Even BPA altertives being used for BPA free products still poses risks to our health according to research. All these chemicals can cause diseases and certain types of cancer.
So be safe, let’s say no to plastic at least with our juice containers.
Your juice can last for three days if you follow these simple rules—use a cold press juicer, follow the tips above, and use a non-plastic container. If you don’t have the luxury of a cold press juicer, drink your juice as soon as possible, this way you’ll still enjoy all the nutrients in your juice.
Once you notice a discoloration or a funny smell or taste. Discard it for obvious reasons.
What’s your favorite juice container? Do you have a container that I haven’t mentioned? Feel free to drop a comment below.