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Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Lemon juice is a fairly popular ingredient. It’s a tastier option of a salad dressing than vinegar, for example. Another great thing about lemon juice is that it’s a great source of Vitamin C, it promotes weight loss and aids digestion. Also, it makes your skin look radiant and glowy!

Squeezed lemons can be used for pretty much anything – you can add them to meals, shakes, salads, etc. However, you only need a small quantity for any meal so there’s often a lot leftover in the bottle.

So, the bottle lasts you a long time, and you must be wondering does lemon juice go bad. Is the date on the bottle a pretty good rule of thumb, or can it be used for longer than that?

If you want to know can the lemon juice spoil or how long does it last, read our article!

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Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Lemon juice is great – it offers a variety of uses and it adds a sour taste to foods – which so many people love. The health benefits of lemon juice are just a plus.

1 Lemon yields (1,7oz)Daily value in %*
Total Fat0.1g0%
Potassium 49.4mg1%
Total Carbohydrate3,3g1%
Dietary Fiber0.1g0%
Vitamin C38.7mg58%
* based on a 2000-calorie daily intake

If you like to think of yourself as fiscally responsible, you must be buying in bulk whatever you can. You’re probably thinking about buying some lemon juice in bulk, too, but you’re not sure if it will go bad after a while. So, does lemon juice go bad?

And the answer you’ve been waiting for is: Yes, lemon juice can go bad.

There are some theories that the acidity in lemons prevents the juice from spoiling, but that’s not true. As with all fruit juices, lemon juice will go bad at some point!

How Long Does Lemon Juice Last?

The shelf life of lemon juice depends mostly on the type of lemon juice. It can be freshly squeezed (homemade), or store-bought.

Store-bought lemon juices are divided into two categories: bought from the shelf or from the refrigerated area. A lemon juice off the shelf has the longest shelf life compared to every other kind. 

Lemon juice taken from the shelf consists of lemon juice concentrate diluted with water, with added preservatives. Preservatives prolong the freshness of lemon juice.

These bottles come with a best-by date on the label. The best-by date is typically a manufacturer’s guarantee that the product will retain the same quality up to that date. The product in question will not go bad after the best-by date passes, but the quality may start to degrade.

We can only estimate how long the lemon juice will be fresh after the best-by date. Our best guess is around three to six months, but always check the state of juice before you add it to dishes.

Once the bottle is opened, the shelf life is instantly shortened. Finish it in six months, provided you keep it as instructed.

For bottles of lemon juice bought in the cold aisles of the supermarket, you have no more than a week to go through it all. When opened, the bottle should be finished in two days.

For best results, the freshly squeezed lemons should be consummated immediately. If that’s not possible, please do so in the next three days to always have fresh juice!

If you accidentally made too much, there is a solution: store the juice in the freezer. The juice will keep for six more months. Remember to use an airtight container or even an ice cube tray.

How To Store Lemon Juice?

Proper storage is key when it comes to the shelf life of food products. It ensures that the foods in question will not spoil before their time and lemon juice is no different than that.

To get the most out of your lemon juice off the shelf, follow the guidelines thoroughly. Since it has a rather long shelf life because of added preservatives, unopened bottles are fine at room temperature. Choose a cool, dark place away from any humidity or sources of heat. A pantry is a great option but the kitchen cabinets work too (provided the juice is stored away from the stove).

When you open the bottle, move it to the refrigerator. It will keep for longer this way, provided you seal it tightly.

For storing lemon juice bought from the cold aisles, the ideal place is the fridge, even for unopened bottles. That should be the rule for everything bought refrigerated – if it’s cold, it should stay that way.

Homemade lemon juice should always be stored in the refrigerator. If it’s not, you will find the taste has changed even after a few hours of sitting out. Since it has a shelf life of a few days, the juice can be frozen to prolong that. Use an airtight container or a tightly sealed jar.

How To Tell If The Lemon Juice Has Gone Bad?

As we concluded previously, lemon juice can go bad. The shelf life of store-bought juice is quite long, but it will expire at some point. Most people don’t know how to check if the lemon juice has gone bad. Luckily we do, and we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to check the freshness of lemon juice.

Before we start, it’s important to note that the quality of lemon juice gradually decays. It will change in taste and lose health benefits over time – vitamin C degrades rather quickly.

Lemon Juice Is Beneficial In Preventing:How?
Heart diseaseHigh intakes of lemon juice and Vitamin C-rich fruit proved to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Kidney stonesDrinking lemon juice creates a less favorable environment for developing kidney stones
Anemia (iron deficiency)Lemon juice improves the absorption of iron from iron-rich foods
Weight gainPlant compounds in lemon help with weight control (lemon is known as a weight-loss food)

When checking if the juice has gone bad, first – examine the bottle before opening. If it’s leaky or swollen, the contents are definitely spoiled.

If the bottle looks a-okay, open it, and pour some juice into a transparent cup. Examine the liquid and look for mold or mildew. Mold is a sure sign the lemon juice has spoiled. If the color of the juice looks darker than usual, it is spoiled!

The next step is smelling the lemon juice. Any unpleasant or off-putting smells are a warning sign the juice has gone sour. If it smells like lemons, it’s time for the next step.

The final step is tasting the lemon juice. If it tastes bitter or flat out bad, it will make your meal taste this way too. Do not add this to meals, pour it out.

If the lemon juice has passed all the tests with flying colors, enjoy it in a lemonade without a care in the world!

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad – Conclusion

Lemon juice is an important ingredient. It has many health benefits, and it adds some extra flavor to your meals. However, the health benefits of Vitamin C exist only in fresh lemon juice.

As concluded in this article, lemon juice can go bad. Unfortunately, the high acid content in lemons does not prevent them from spoiling. 

To make sure your lemon juice is always fresh, it’s important to store it correctly. That is, store it in a dark, cool place away from sources of heat. For lemon juice bought refrigerated, or the homemade variety, the only place for proper storage is the refrigerator.

Another thing to make sure you always have fresh lemon juice is the shelf life. Lemon juice bought off the shelf can be used up to six months past the best-by date. The refrigerated kind of lemon juice has a very short shelf-life – use it within a week for the best results. The freshness of homemade squeezed lemons is even shorter – use it in up to three days. We find it tastes best when consumed immediately, though.

If you have some bottles of lemon juice sitting in storage for a while now, you must be wondering if they’re any good now. Examine the juice carefully before you add it to meals. Adding spoiled juice can spoil the entire dish.

First off, examine the bottle and the liquid. Any sight of mold or color change is a sign your lemon juice is ready for the trash. If it looks fine, smell it. If it doesn’t smell pleasant, it’s no longer fresh, we assure you.

If lemon juice looks, smells, and tastes good, it’s definitely safe for use! When life gives you lemons… make lemonade!