5 Ways to Keep Your Juice Fresh and Tasty
Before we start, let’s go over a few pointers:
First, juice is made to be imbibed fresh out of the juicer. That’s why we talk about the benefits of “fresh” juice. The length of time that it’ll keep, but ideally, you should strive to drink it as soon after making it as possible. This is because the juice’s nutrients degrade over time due to various chemical processes, and the best way to make sure that you take in as many nutrients as possible is to drink it directly.
Second, it is for this reason that you should never make more juice than you know that you will need. In other words, do not make extra that you can “save for later,” unless you know that you absolutely will not have time to pull out the juicer and make it fresh. With that covered, let’s move on to:
The science of juice oxidation
Think about what happens when you cut open an apple and leave it sitting out—it turns brown, right? That browning is actually a plant defense mechanism to guard against infection. Antimicrobial defenses are raised and one of their weapons is the enzyme polyphenol oxidase from tissues, which is ultimately what causes browning. This applies to both the “meat” of the fruit and to the pulp. The latter is your biggest enemy when striving to keep juice fresh, as pulp contains higher concentrations of oxidizing enzymes, as well as the substances to which those enzymes react (causing browning). So what can you do to prevent this?
- Use a masticating juicer
Because masticating juicers do not expose their contents to heat and air like centrifugal juicers do, they create the most long-lasting juice, though the amount of time will vary from machine to machine. Plus, not only do they make the freshest juice, they also keep the most nutrients intact. (You can learn more about masticating and centrifugal juicers here)
- Store your juice in a dark container
Some nutrients are photosensitive, meaning that they are degraded by the light. To avoid this, store your fresh juice in dark colored containers and try to keep them somewhere dark.
- Refrigerate immediately
Do not leave your juice sitting out on the counter for any longer than is necessary; try to bottle up any excess quickly and get it into the fridge so that it can stay cold.
- Remove the pulp
Juicers are supposed to do this for you; whether they do it or not depends on the quality of the juicer, but that’s a subject best left to our reviews team. You may like your juice a little pulp-y, but if you want to ensure that it lasts as long as possible, take care to remove all of it, since it contains the most oxidizing enzymes.
- Lower the pH
Making your juice more acidic by adding substances such as citric acid, malic acid, honey, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can also help prevent spoilage because the more acidic an environment, the slower the enzymatic reactions that cause oxidation.
For juice so tasty that you’ll never have leftovers, check out some of our yummy recipes. Or, discover what you can do with all of that leftover pulp.