How to store lemon juice?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How to store lemon juice?” with an in-depth analysis of how to freeze and can lemon juice.. Moreover, we will also discuss the shelf life of lemon juice and how to tell if it has spoiled.
How to store lemon juice?
To store lemon juice you can keep it in the refrigerator. The optimum temperature to store lemon juice varies from 15-20 °C (59-68 °F), 0-4 °C (32-40 °F) to at -18 °C (0 °F) (1). These temperatures depend on the time you like to keep them preserved and if it’s treated or not.
Lemons are quite pricey and are frequently unavailable throughout the summer. Following are some of the methods to store lemon juice.
How to store lemon juice by freezing in cubes?
To store lemon juice by freezing in cubes, fill an ice tray with lemon juice. Fill the cubes in the ice cube tray almost to the top with lemon juice from a carefully tilted container. However, don’t overfill the tray because the juice will freeze and expand slightly (2).
It takes many hours to freeze. Leaving the cubes in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight is the best approach to ensure that they are entirely firm.
If you try to remove the cubes from the tray before they’re frozen, they’ll break, causing any unfrozen lemon juice to flow.
Transfer your lemon juice cubes to a zip lock bag and place them in the freezer for later use.
For the finest flavour, use your lemon juice ice cubes within 3-4 months, but they’ll last at least 6 months. It will be simple to retrieve what you need for a dish if you freeze your lemon juice in cubes.
How to store lemon juice by the canning process?
To store lemon juice by canning process, for every 1 cup of lemon juice you intend to can, you’ll need one half-pint jar. To achieve a proper seal, use canning jars that have a lid and a band (2,3).
Squeeze lemon juice from farm-fresh lemons. Boil the lemon juice for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Bring your canner to a boil by filling it halfway with water. The simplest method for canning lemon juice is in a water bath canner. If you don’t have a canner, a stockpot with a rack on the bottom will suffice.
Fill the jars with the juice and seal them. Because the air in the jar can cause the lemon juice to spoil, it’s critical to almost fill the jars.
However, because the juice may expand during the canning process and cause the jars to explode due to the pressure, leave about 0.64 cm of room at the top of each jar. Lightly screw on the lid to securely seal the lemon juice jars.
Lower each jar into the canner’s boiling water. If you have a jar lifter, use it to grab each jar by the neck and drop it into the canner or stockpot. Use a dish towel or a potholder instead if you don’t have one.
Process the jars for 15 minutes after closing the lid on the canner. For the entire 15 minutes,make sure that the water in the canner should remain at a boil. This will establish a seal, ensuring that the lemon juice within the cans stays fresh.
Turn off the heat after 15 minutes and wait for the water to stop boiling before proceeding.
After you’ve finished processing your jars and the water has stopped boiling, carefully remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter or a dishcloth. Take precautions and try not to burn yourself when handling the hot jars and lids.
To prevent the jars from shattering as they cool, keep them in a draft-free area and space them apart.
The jars will take several hours to cool completely.
Write the date and “Lemon Juice” on the lid of each jar so you don’t forget when you canned the juice or what’s inside the jar. Put the jars in a safe place, such as your pantry or a cabinet, where they won’t be disturbed.
The juice should last for 12-18 months if you sterilize your jars and seal them properly.
What is the shelf life of lemon juice?
The shelf life of lemon juice depends on the storage conditions. Fresh homemade juice has a very short shelf life of about 3-4 days if it’s stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container (6).
When lemon juice is treated (pasteurization) and stored at room temperature (15-20 °C or 59-68 °F), the shelf life of citrus juice is typically around 9-12 months. However, to maximize its freshness and extend its shelf life, refrigeration is recommended (1). Treated lemon juice cannot be stored for more than a week at room temperature but it can be stored for 90 days at refrigeration temperature (4).
When stored at colder temperatures of 0-4 °C (32-40 °F) in the refrigerator, citrus juice treated can maintain its quality for 1-2 years. For long-term storage, freezing is the most effective method. By freezing citrus juice at -18 °C (0 °F), it can be preserved for an extended period, often up to a year or more (1).
What affects the shelf life of lemon juice?
The shelf life of lemon juice is influenced by several factors, both chemical and microbiological. One critical factor is the pH of the juice, as lemon juice is naturally acidic with a pH around 2-3. This low pH inhibits the growth of many microorganisms, helping to extend its shelf life (4,5).
Exposure to air and light, on the other hand, can cause oxidation, resulting in changes in flavor, color, and nutritional content, for example vitamin C oxidation, over time. Microbial contamination can also occur during extraction, processing, or storage, resulting in deterioration (6).
Proper packing and storage conditions, such as refrigeration or freezing, can help reduce microbiological development and enzymatic reactions, maintaining the quality of lemon juice and increasing its shelf life.
How to tell if lemon juice has gone bad?
To tell if lemon juice has gone bad you should check the signs of spoilage. If your lemon juice has any of the following spoilage signs, get rid of it immediately (7).
Lemon juice that has gone bad appears darker or discolored. This is an obvious sign of spoilage and such lemon juice belongs in the bin.
Fresh lemon juice should have a sweet and sour smell which is very reminiscent of lemons. If it is not the case or If the lemon juice smells too sour or acidic, discard it.
Taste and flavor
Spoiled lemon juice will have either a too sour or a too dull taste. That is when you know you need to throw it in the bin.
In this brief guide, we have answered the question “How to store lemon juice?” with an in-depth analysis of how to freeze and can lemon juice. Moreover, we have also discussed the shelf life of lemon juice and how to tell if it has spoiled.
1. Yang, J. “Preparing Shelf-Stable Citrus Juice and Drinks at Home”. College of Natural & Applied Sciences, 2016.
2. Hen, S., et al. New electrolyte beverages prepared by the citrus canning processing water through chemical improvement. Food Chemistry: X, 2021, 12.
3. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.
4. Ritu Sindhu, Bhupendar Singh Khatkar. “Preservation and storage of Lemon (Citrus Limon) Juice”. Inter J Adv Engi Rese and Sci, 2018, 5.
5. Penniston, K.L., et al. Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products. Journal of endourology / Endourological Society, 2008, 22(3):567-70.
6. Nakilcioğlu-Taş, E., Ötleş, S. Kinetic modelling of vitamin C losses in fresh citrus juices under different storage conditions. An Acad Bras Cienc, 2020, 92(2).
7. Kowalska, M., et al. Quality Assessment of Natural Juices and Consumer Preferences in the Range of Citrus Fruit Juices. Appl. Sci. 2023, 13, 765.