You read somewhere that coconut water has a number of health benefits, especially if consumed in the morning. So, you went to the store and bought a bunch of coconut water tetra packs because they were on sale.
After a few months, you’ve decided to tidy up your pantry for the first time in a while. That’s when you’ve stumbled upon a package of coconut water. Ops! You’ve totally forgotten they existed.
The product is a few days past its best-before date, but it still tastes great. Does this mean it is safe to consume it?
If so, does coconut water go bad?
If you’d like to discover more about coconut water’s shelf life and how to store it, then take a few minutes to read our article and learn a bit more. Let’s get started!
Related Posts: Can You Eat Coconut Yogurt On Paleo?
Does Coconut Water Go Bad?
The answer you’ve been waiting for – yes, coconut water can and will go bad eventually. But there is a vast difference between the unopened and opened package of coconut water.
The shelf life of an unopened package of coconut water is surprisingly very long. Yet, coconut water does deteriorate in quality even if unopened; hence, it will go bad at a certain point.
But before we tell you any more details, let’s learn something more about coconut water.
Related Question: Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?
While coconut water is delicious and refreshing, it also has several health benefits.
One Cup Of Coconut Water (240 Ml)
|11% of RDI (recommended daily intake)
Coconut water also contains a fair amount of potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants that protect the body from the free radical’s damage.
Besides that, coconut water has several health benefits:
- Benefits against diabetes
- May prevent kidney stones
- May support heart health
- May reduce blood pressure
- Good after exercise (equal to high-electrolyte beverages)
- Good for hydration
Even though coconut water is very healthy, avoid versions with added sugar or similar.
How Long Does Coconut Water Last?
Many different brands on the market use other production processes and different ingredients and packaging methods. So, each brand of coconut water has a different shelf life.
The best-by date on the label is there to inform you of how much the product will retain its best quality. That doesn’t mean the product will go off immediately after the label’s date.
It is typically safe for usage weeks and sometimes even months after its date on the label. That is if the storage conditions were adequate. However, that doesn’t mean that it will taste as delicious after a few years of storage.
The average lifespan of unopened coconut water is one year (usually for tetra pack, shelf-stable versions). Once you open the package, the deterioration process begins, and the water will go bad quickly.
It is best to use an opened coconut water package within the first 48 hours to enjoy the best possible quality. Nevertheless, the shelf life of the opened version will depend on multiple factors. But if it is stored adequately, it should retain well for another 3-5 days.
See Also: How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?
How To Store Coconut Water?
You should store coconut water like you would store your beer or other tetra pack drinks. Every brand has different production processes or ingredients used, but you should keep it the way it was stored in the supermarket.
So, refrigerated versions go to the fridge by all means, and tetra packs are shelf-stable, so you should also keep it that way. Generally, you can stash the unopened packages of coconut water somewhere cool and dry.
Store them away from the heat sources (such as the stove) and direct light. Heat, light, and humidity can accelerate the deterioration process. You can store unopened packages in the pantry, and the kitchen cabinet will also work just fine.
In contrast, once you open the package, you should keep it in the fridge at all times. Also, remember to seal the lid tightly.
Can You Freeze Coconut Water?
Yes, you absolutely can. However, an unopened pack of coconut water already has a pretty long shelf life at room temperature. There’s no point in freezing it as you will most likely finish your supplies before it goes bad.
On the other hand, you can freeze the opened package since it has a very short shelf life. However, bear in mind that the consistency and flavor of coconut water will be changed after thawing, but feel free to freeze it if you wish so. Also, make sure to leave some space in the container as the liquid will expand once frozen.
Signs Of Spoilage
It is not tough to determine whether coconut water has gone bad. Fresh coconut water has a mild, pleasantly nutty, and sweet aroma. So, when it does go bad, the appearance, taste, and smell will be drastically changed.
Firstly, if the color of the liquid has changed into a much darker yellowish-like color, it is a sure sign of deterioration. Also, if the water isn’t transparent and has cloudy consistency, it is no longer safe for consumption.
Next off, if the liquid’s consistency has thickened, that means that your coconut water is past its prime, and you should toss it. Moreover, if you notice any signs of carbonation, get rid of it. Coconut water shouldn’t ever contain bubbles.
Lastly, if the taste is somewhat sour instead of sweet and coconut-y, it means it has started to deteriorate in quality. If the smell is unpleasant and intense, toss the package in the bin and buy yourself a new one.
It is also important to say that coconut water can sometimes turn pink because of the antioxidants interacting with light. Pink coconut water is perfectly safe for consumption, and that doesn’t mean that the drink is spoiled.
Although you’re not likely to get poisoned from bad coconut water, you can experience stomach pain, nausea, or diarrhea. Thus, it is always better to toss the package away if you’re not sure whether you should consume it or not.
Does Coconut Water Go Bad? – Final Thoughts
To conclude – coconut water does go bad eventually. It can last from a few weeks to a few months after its best-before date, but that will vary from brand to brand.
An unopened pack of coconut water can usually last about a year or even longer. On the other hand, an opened container of coconut water can last from 1-5 days, give or take. However, we advise you to consume it within the first 48 hours to enjoy the best quality.
Furthermore, you should store coconut water the same way it was stored in the market. If it was on the shelf (tetra pack), you should keep it in the pantry or cabinet, away from the sources of heat and direct light.
The versions that are held in the refrigerator section in the store should be kept in the refrigerator at all times. Also, once you open the pack of coconut water, you should store it in the fridge.
If spoilage occurs, the signs would be very obvious. Hence, if you notice a strong, unpleasant smell, carbonation, sour taste, and thickened consistency, it is not safe for consumption anymore, and you should get rid of it.
If, on the other hand, the liquid turns pink, it doesn’t mean that the product is spoiled. Such liquid is perfectly safe to drink.
Lastly, remember that coconut water is a low-carb food product rich in fiber and essential minerals and nutrients. Not only is it a delicious and refreshing beverage, but it can yield several different health benefits!