In this brief guide, we will address the question, “does almond milk go bad” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does almond milk take to go bad or what are some of the storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of almond milk.
Almond milk is a healthy and nutritious alternative to dairy milk and is enriched with vitamins and antioxidants, along with some sweeteners and preservatives. Moreover, it naturally contains Vitamin E in good quantity.
Almond milk has a short life span; it does not last longer than dairy milk as it is essentially a derivative. Therefore, it will start to go bad once it has been opened.
How long does almond milk last?
Almond milk normally does not last for a longer period, it can retain its freshness ideally up to 5- 7 days before it goes clumpy or produces a foul smell. Shelf stability of almond milk varies depending upon the type of almond milk.
Homemade almond milk should be consumed within 3- 4 days of its production. Whereas, the commercial or store-bought almond milk has undergone various techniques such as pasteurization or it may contain some additives or preservatives that aids in prolonging the shelf life of almond milk.
Pasteurized and packed almond milk will stay fresh for three to four weeks at room temperature but once it is opened it should be stored at refrigeration temperature and consumed within a few days.
Whenever you open any store bought, preserved food item, it’s quality begins to deteriorate gradually over time. This time depends on the type of food product and the environmental factors like temperature and method of storage.
Changes during storage of almond milk
When almond milk goes bad, there are noticeable physiochemical changes that occur in milk. Though almond milk is non-dairy milk, it contains the natural fat of nuts that goes rancid during storage. It also develops sour flavour and produces a bit off-odour.
During storage, the calcium precipitates settle down at the bottom of the container, therefore it is advised to shake the bottle before using it. Colour of almond milk is also changed; it appears to be more yellowish when getting spoiled.
By the punch of the time, almond milk will curdle, as it lacks an emulsifier or stabilizers. The consistency of almond milk thickens, and the clumps formed have a visibly slimy appearance.
Sometimes the almond milk container is unusually bloated or bulged due to the presence of bacteria and moulds.
Almond milk is enriched with nutrients therefore it is susceptible to microbial growth, particularly moulds. Moulds can easily grow in almond milk due to poor processing or handling practices and if not stored properly at ideal conditions.
The black spots in the almond milk indicate the mold growth and it should be discarded. This is because spoiled almond milk can cause foodborne illness and you may experience uncomfortable digestive issues along with nausea and vomiting upon0 consumption.
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3 ways to store almond milk
The shelf life of almond milk depends upon the storage methods. Storage methods are not just limited to almond milk, any food product that is stored in an unhygienic or unsuitable environment will inevitably go bad.
Almond milk should be stored properly as it has a short life span and its quality deteriorates within a few days.
Here are some tips to store almond milk:
- Store the opened almond milk in the main compartment of the fridge rather storing it on the back of the fridge door where the temperature fluctuates during opening and closing.
- Unopened almond milk can be stored at room temperature, but it should be kept away from light and heat source at a dark and dry place.
- Do not leave almond milk out after using, place it in the fridge immediately after using the required or needed amount.
These ways help to maintain the quality and retain the freshness of almond milk.
The thermal processing technique is not suitable for almond milk because almond milk burns very easily. Using heat treatment or similar methods will impart a bitter flavour.
Moreover, almond milk curdles if exposed to extreme temperature changes. However, storing at low or chilling temperature may enhance its shelf life.
Frozen Almond Milk
You can also store almond milk by freezing it, although it is not recommended by the manufacturers because this method compromises the quality and nutritional value of almond milk. But then again, irrespective of the slightly compromised nutritional value and texture, if you simply want to extend the shelf life for a longer duration, freezing is the correct option.
In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “does almond milk go bad” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does almond milk take to go bad or what are some of the storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of almond milk.