How Long Does Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice Last In The Fridge?

Freshly squeezed juices are refreshing, full of nutrients, and robust with flavor. If you're a fan of orange juice, store-bought options don't compare to the rich tanginess of the juice straight from the source. But there's one catch; freshly squeezed orange juice doesn't have a long shelf-life.

Homemade orange juice keeps for about two to three days in the refrigerator. Unlike processed orange juice brands, just two hours at room temperature is enough time for spoilage to set in, so don't count on it being the centerpiece of your brunch table. Unless consumed immediately, it should go directly to the refrigerator in an airtight container to avoid bacteria growth. Single-serving bottles are the best way to confirm little to no repetitive opening, but any sealed container will do. Be sure to fit as much juice as possible in the container because oxidation will be your enemy. Exposing the nutrients to oxygen is practically a death sentence, so increasing the amount of juice leaves little room for oxygen to infiltrate. Since the nutrients are even more vulnerable in liquid form, keeping the juice in a cool, secure environment will significantly improve its flavor and life span. Additionally, there are preparation techniques that can elevate the quality of the orange juice. 

Tips for preservation

Consider the benefits of cold-press juicing rather than steam juicing (passing steam through fruits and vegetables inside a container) when deciding what kind of method to go with. Heating fruit destroys enzymes and vitamins that you need to store the juice, so opting for the cold press (extracting juice with a hydraulic press that doesn't generate heat) will pay off. You can even take the time to refrigerate the oranges before they enter the juicer. Oranges are non-climactic fruits that deteriorate once picked which means the fresher the better. Low temperatures and dry crisper drawers can help slow the decaying process. 

Try throwing in a slice of citrus fruit after juicing as well. Lemons, limes, and grapefruits do a great job of warding off oxidation while boosting vitamin C content. Basically, their natural antioxidants catalyze a cool scientific reaction that stops the enzyme responsible for oxygen flow and browning.

If you need to store the juice beyond its suggested window of freshness, the freezer is an option when done right. Fresh orange juice can last for up to six months in the freezer. However, fluids are notorious for expanding when frozen, so choose a container with plenty of space before you put it in there. Any time it's removed for thawing, it must be enjoyed right away. Multiple trips in and out of the freezer are a no-go, but finishing it off should be no problem if you're an OJ lover.