Can you freeze orange juice?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you freeze orange juice?” as well as other questions about the subject at hand, like how to freeze and how to defrost orange juice..

Can you freeze orange juice?

Yes, you can freeze orange juice and its shelf life can be further extended. Freezing has its pros and cons. It might deteriorate the quality of juice, but that can be restored almost fully by proper mixing/shaking so the pulp and water unite. 

Frozen storage of freshly squeezed orange juice results in a longer shelf life than refrigerated. However, once thawed, the orange juice has a refrigerated shelf life of 7 – 10 days. (1)

Freezing is recommended for long-term storage as frozen orange juice may last up to several months if stored properly. 

The best way to defrost the frozen juice is by refrigerating it, but if you thaw it by microwaving it or putting it in lukewarm water try to consume it immediately. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of freezing orange juice?

Here you have some benefits and drawbacks of freezing orange juice.


Freezing orange juice has several benefits, including: 

  • Allows to store it for later use by extending its shelf life. (3)
  • Can be a cost-effective way to enjoy fresh orange juice without having to buy it every day. 
  • Prevents it from going bad (3) and reduces food waste. 
  • Does not affect its nutritional value; the frozen juice does not lose its vitamin C strength during storage. (2)


  • Freezing orange juice with a large amount of pulp will affect the texture of the juice after it has been thawed. The pulp will clump and have a grainy consistency. (2)
  • It will not taste just like fresh orange juice. (2)

How to freeze orange juice?

You can freeze your orange juice in different ways, but it is not advisable to freeze it in its original carton because it might expand and explode when the juice freezes.

  • Strain: If your orange juice has pulp, it is best to strain the liquid before freezing. 
  • Choose container and portion size: You can freeze orange juice in an airtight container, mason jar, or even in an ice cube tray. Freezing juice in small portions allows you to thaw only what you need. Proper packaging will help to maintain quality. (5)
  • Pour the juice into the container: Make sure you leave some headspace because the liquid expands when frozen.
  • Put into the freezer and freeze rapidly. Rapid freezing will prevent the formation of undesirable large ice crystals throughout the product. Unlike slow freezing, where molecules have ample time to arrange themselves into characteristic six-sided snowflakes, rapid freezing restricts their ability to do so. (5)
  • Repackage if needed: If you are using an ice cube tray, consider transferring the cuber to a container or freezer bag once they are frozen.

 What changes occur during orange juice storage?

The changes that occur during Orange Juice storage are: 

  • Degradation of vitamin C and carotenoids because of the contact with oxygen.
  • Darkening or color change due to the presence of brown-colored compounds formed in response to a chemical reaction known as Maillard Reaction. 
  • Microbial spoilage due to contamination.
  • Cloud loss; Cloud is composed of a complex mixture of proteins, pectins, lipids, hemicellulose, cellulose, and other minor components that can be broken by an enzyme. (1)

All of these changes occur when the juice is stored under refrigeration conditions, but they slow down by freezing the orange juice. (3)

Other FAQs about Oranges which you may be interested in.

How long do oranges last?

How long is orange juice good for?

How to defrost frozen orange juice?

Frozen orange juice can be defrosted by thawing in the refrigerator overnight, by running warm water over the sealed container, or by microwaving the juice. It can also be blended into drinks directly from frozen.

When thawing frozen food, it’s best to plan ahead and thaw it in the refrigerator where it will remain at a safe, constant temperature – at 40°F or below. (6)

Refrigerator Thawing

The safest and easiest method is to leave the frozen orange juice to thaw in the fridge overnight and then the next day use it as you like. Once thawed, if the orange juice is kept in refrigeration, it can have a shelf life of 7-10 days. (3)

Effective planning is crucial when utilizing this method, as it involves a significant amount of time. Thawing small quantities of frozen food typically necessitates a full day for the process to complete (6).

Food that has been thawed in the refrigerator can be safely refrozen without requiring cooking, although it is important to note that there may be a slight decline in quality. (3)

Cold Water Thawing

Another method that you can try to thaw your frozen orange juice is to take a bowl of cold water and submerge the sealed container in which you have stored the juice. Let it sit there till the orange juice defrost.

It is essential to ensure that the food is securely contained in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. If the bag happens to leak, there is a risk of introducing bacteria from the surrounding environment or the air into the food. (6)

Microwave Thawing

When using a microwave to thaw food, it’s important to note that certain areas may become warm, potentially raising the temperature of the food to the “danger zone”. (6)

Due to the rapid multiplication of bacteria in unrefrigerated food, it is unsafe to allow food to thaw at room temperature. If left unrefrigerated, certain organisms have the potential to produce toxins, further emphasizing the importance of proper food handling and storage practices (7).

How to tell if your orange juice has gone bad?

Some signs that orange juice is bad are: 

  1. Smell: If it smells pungent sour or rancid, it is probably spoiled. If it smells like alcohol or vinegar it indicates that the juice has been fermented.
  1. Flavor: If it tastes bitter, like alcohol or with a fizzy texture, it is not safe to drink anymore. The growth of lactic acid bacteria produces flavors similar to buttermilk and metabolic products such as acids, ethanol and carbon dioxide. (4) 
  1. Mold Growth: If white or green mold appears on the top of the juice, you may throw it right away.
  1. Package: If a container in which orange juice is placed seems puffed or bulged it is also a sign of microbial spoilage of the product.
  1. Color: A change in color, if it is darkened or pale, the juice is spoiled.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “can you freeze orange juice?” As well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand,  like how to freeze and how to defrost orange juice. References 

  1. López-Gómez, A., Ros-Chumillas, M., Belisario-Sánchez, Y.Y. Packaging and the Shelf Life of Orange Juice. Food Packaging and Shelf Life: A practical guide.
  2. Shrader, J.H., Johnson, A.H. Freezing Orange Juice. Ind. Eng. Chem.
  3. Lee, H.S., Coates, G.A. Vitamin C in frozen, fresh squeezed, unpasteurized, polyethylene-bottled orange juice: a storage study. Food Chemistry.
  4. National Library of Medicine. National Center of Biotechnology Information. Fruit Juice Spoilage by Alicyclobacillus: Detection and Control Methods – A Comprehensive Review. Foods. 2022 Mar; 11(5): 747. 
  5. United States Department of Agriculture. Freezing and Food Safety. Food Safety and Inspection Service. 
  6. United States Department of Agriculture. Food Safety and Inspection Service. The big thaw – Safe defrosting methods
  7. Food and Drug Administration. Food Facts. Refrigerator Thermometers: Cold Facts about Food Safety

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