Buying and keeping big containers of juice might seem like a good idea so you don’t run out unexpectedly. But will they last long enough for you to finish the whole bottle?
Imagine if you reach into the fridge to grab that container of apple juice, pour some into a cup only to discover there’s mold on it.
The juice can go bad for several reasons, and this article will discuss everything you need to know about mold in juices.
It starts with what type you purchased, refrigerated or unrefrigerated, pasteurized or unpasteurized and also the use-by date on the bottle. These play big factors in how long juice lasts, and you should pay close attention to them.
Another key indicator is how you store the juice because this can either prolong or reduce how long it lasts.
Causes/Signs of Mold in Juice
There are several signs to look for when checking for mold in apple juice or orange juice. An obvious one is color change. Make sure each juice looks the way it should, like it was when you first bought it.
If it is much darker than it should be, this is a sign of mold.
Other signs include:
- Bad smell
- Bulging container
- Fizzy/strange taste
One more cause to watch out for is when you open the bottle. If the lid pops and sounds like gas is being released, the juice has gone bad.
Both apple juice and orange juice lose quality and taste over time. Check use-by dates carefully and don’t drink after that date.
There is a much higher chance of juices growing mold past the use-by date. Over time, orange juice oxidizes which causes microorganisms to get inside, leading to spoilage and mold.
Mold in juices is fairly common, so look for it and don’t be surprised if it appears after a while.
How Long Does Apple or Orange Juice Last?
This depends on many factors such as buying refrigerated or not, where it’s stored and whether the juice is pasteurized. For those who buy refrigerated kinds, the juice can last 7-10 days. If left unopened, it could last even longer.
Boxed juices or ones that don’t need refrigeration can last months. If you have kids, this can be a great way to purchase a lot of juice at once.
Store in a cool, dark place to help preserve the juice.
Keeping it where it is susceptible to heat and light will reduce the freshness, quality and cause it to spoil sooner.
Any type in a can that is unopened will last longer, around 9 months. Canned juices contain lots of preservatives that help them last a long time.
But once you open it, you should drink it quickly, within a few days.
Of course, after opening an unrefrigerated bottle, put in the fridge otherwise the juice will spoil.
Some might want to make his or her own and this should be consumed quicker. Ideally, you want to finish this the same day you make it but if not, homemade apple or orange juice will last a few days.
Any longer than that and it will likely begin spoiling. This is especially the case if the juice contains pulp and most homemade versions do.
When it comes to deciding between pasteurized or unpasteurized, keep in mind that the pasteurized type always will last longer. Pasteurized juices kill bacteria, reducing the chances of it getting inside and increasing the lifespan.
To extend the life of apple juice or orange juice, you can freeze it. Don’t freeze in the original container because it can expand and explode, leaving you with one big mess.
Freezing increases your options. For example, you can make popsicles, put it into ice cube trays or simply keep it in a large bowl or container. Frozen juice will last a year.
Once you take it out of the freezer and it thaws, use within a few days.
What Does Mold in Apple or Orange Juice Look Like?
The most common type of mold in apple juice is white mold. If you see any white spots in the juice, discard immediately.
This type of mold can grow anywhere in your house, and with spores in the air, it may get into the juice even if it doesn’t start there.
If you notice a different color mold in your apple juice, that’s because white mold can change and become green, gray or black. When you see this, don’t drink it and throw it out.
In orange juice, the mold will likely be a dark color that should be easy to see. Look for dark spots throughout the drink.
You may see these dark spots on the container or in the juice itself, so check carefully.
What Will happen if You Drink Moldy Apple or Orange Juice
In all likelihood, you will be ok if you drink moldy apple or orange juice. However it is not recommended to do this.
Doing so can cause harmful illnesses, and those with pre-existing allergies, conditions or respiratory problems are more likely to feel the effects.
If you drink moldy juice, you could experience any of the following:
- Stomach aches
If mold you ingest contains mycotoxins, symptoms can be more serious such as immune system problems or a mild case of poisoning.
How to Use Juice Before it Goes Bad
When you are getting close to the use-by date and still have a lot of apple or orange juice left, don’t worry. If you don’t want to drink the rest of the bottle or don’t think you can finish it before it might go bad, there are plenty of ways to incorporate these juices into recipes so they don’t go to waste or spoil.
Orange juice and apple juice can be used for cakes, cookies, breads and other foods when baking.
Here are some other ideas:
- Use in chicken
- Use as part of many marinades
- Use in various alcoholic drinks or certain cocktails like sangria, rum, vodka
- Add to smoothies
- Use apple juice to make syrup
Both apple juice and orange juice will spoil over time. Check expiration dates, best-by or use-by dates carefully when purchasing and make sure you keep an eye on the container once it’s in your fridge.
Once you’ve kept it for about 10 days, it might go bad, so check carefully before consuming.
The best way to stock up would be buying unrefrigerated varieties and keeping them in your pantry. These will last much longer.
Mold or spoilage in juice should be pretty easy to spot and if you do see it, throw it out immediately. Don’t risk sickness from drinking it.