A glass of cold-pressed juice packs in some amazing health advantages that no other drink can match. I have been used to different types of fruit and vegetable juices in my long mixology career and found cold-pressed juice the tastiest and most nutritious.
While many people prefer cold-pressed juices for their breakfast, others are skeptical about their uses, especially how long they will last. Well, from my enormous experience, I can confidently say that the shelf-life of cold-pressed juices is much higher than other juices when there are no added preservatives.
To gain the maximum benefit from cold press juices, it is necessary to maintain a certain temperature for fresh cold-pressed juices to last long and consume them within their shelf-life. But why is it so essential? Let’s explore!
What Is Shelf Life Of Juice And Why Is It Important?
When we think of buying juices, a few questions always run through our minds: What is the shelf life of the juice? Should I consume it right after I buy it, or is it okay if I consume it after a few days?
Shelf-life of juices implies to the period during which the juices can be stored safely and beyond which the quality degrades and becomes incompatible for consumption.
Freshly squeezed cold pressed juices are densely packed with nutrients and other essentials like vitamins, minerals and enzymes. A glass of fresh cold-pressed juice can give your body an instant energy boost.
However, the primary reason why stability and shelf life are essential for juices is that juicing a fruit or vegetable exposes its nutritional compounds to multiple types of bacteria.
For example: if you leave the juice made with a centrifugal juicer open for some hours, you would be able to notice the change in your juice’s overall taste and texture. Unlike juices made with a cold press juicer, centrifugally produced juice will get bitter day by day due to fermentation and oxidation. (Read: Cold Press Vs Centrifugal Juicer)
Thus, the shelf life of juices can vary depending on several factors. In case of pasteurized juices, they can be stored in chilled condition for six to twelve months while the packaging is sealed because they have added preservatives.
How Long Can Cold Pressed Juice Last?
As cold press juicers don’t produce heat and foam during juicing, they reduce oxidation and increase the shelf life to make it last longer. The typical shelf-life of cold pressed juices is about 3-5 days, that too if you follow the necessary guidelines while preparing the juice.
However, the juice must be refrigerated immediately and you should never heat it. The shelf life can decrease if certain precautions are not met during preparation and storage.
You may find cold pressed juices with a longer shelf-life, like those found in the supermarket. The reason being, canned or packaged cold-pressed juice comes with added preservatives that effectively increase the shelf-life to a longer period. However, this increased shelf-life does come at the cost of fewer nutrients and concentration.
How To Make Cold Pressed Juice Last Longer?
Though cold-pressed juices usually last for up to 5 days, certain measures help in extending this shelf life a little longer. Following the tips, you can store healthy cold-pressed drinks for a few more days.
Use Fresh Fruits And Vegetables For Juicing
Do not ever consider using ingredients that have been rotting in your refrigerator for days or those that have already been cut in advance. Juicing with fresh ingredients is essential to keep the oxidation levels at the bare minimum.
When raw fruits and vegetables are fresh, the juice squeezed out of them will also be equally fresh and will last longer. It’s the very first step to ensure a longer shelf life of your cold pressed juice.
Use High-Quality Cold Press Juicer
Equipment does matter when it comes to retaining the nutritional value of your cold pressed juice. Juicing using the best cold press juicers ensure the perfect consistency and shelf life of your cold-pressed juice. They produce almost no heat, which helps maintain the juice’s nutrition and prevent it from oxidation, increasing the shelf life.
Maintain Refrigerated Temperature
Refrigeration slows the oxidation process, which preserves the enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids in the juices and extends the shelf life. The ideal FDA-recommended temperature for cold pressed juicing is 5°C.
You must avoid temperature abuse and keep the entire juicing process at this temperature to ensure the good flavor, taste, and increased shelf-life of your cold pressed juice.
However, maintaining this temperature isn’t easy, especially when you don’t have a refrigerated kitchen. In that case, make sure the slow juicing process doesn’t take very long. Use refrigerated ingredients for juicing and put the juice back into the fridge immediately after the process.
High-Pressure Processing (HPP) is the method that brands use to increase the shelf-life of cold pressed juice by a significant margin. However, this method is suitable for only commercial purposes. As the setup is bulky and costly, it is not compatible for home uses.
In HPL, cold-pressed juice is passed through a high-pressure chamber to ensure no microbes survive in the juice, thus effectively increasing the shelf-life. Some brands also refer to the HPP technique as cold pressure.
Regular Cleaning & Maintenance
Besides regular cleaning, it is always a good idea to maintain your juicer once a month thoroughly. Otherwise they may fill up with toxins, and the contamination can affect the freshness of the juice, thus, reducing the shelf-life. It is necessary to have clean and ready-to-use equipment so that the cold-pressed juice lasts longer.
Use Natural Preservatives
It turns out that juices with lower pH levels (high acidity) last longer than juices with higher pH levels (low acidity). So adding a bit of lemon to your recipe is one good way to ensure acidity in your juice. You should consider adding lemon in all your juice recipes to make them last longer.
In the past few years, there has been a breakthrough in cold-pressed juicing with natural preservatives. In addition to lemons, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), malic acid, citric acid, and honey are increasingly being used to extend the shelf life of cold-pressed juices.
If you are new to cold-pressed juicing, it is natural to have doubts about how long the juice will last. But you need not worry. Unlike juices made by other types of juicers, cold-pressed juice is significantly advantageous with a higher shelf-life.
Having packed with all the nutrients, minerals, and enzymes, the juice made with a cold press juicer also lasts much longer in a refrigerated condition without any addition of artificial preservatives.
Just keep in mind to consume cold-pressed juices within their shelf-life. They are a healthier option, and if stored with proper care, their shelf life can be extended. You can try the tips and techniques mentioned above to store your cold-pressed juice for longer periods.