Squeezing limes every day can come off as a bit of a hassle. This is why people prefer squeezing it all at once and storing it for convenience. However, is this the correct method? Wouldn’t the lime juice go bad?
Well, yes. Lime juice does go bad, and it might leave behind a rancid taste and aroma. But one can avoid such circumstances with the correct storage techniques.
So, whether you have an old bottle of lime juice or want to store a new one, the following article will help you pave your way through storing lime juice and retaining its quality for a long period.
Can Lime Juice Ever Go Bad?
Yes, lime juice can go bad. But when and how lime juice goes bad largely depends on how you actually store it. The good thing about lime juice is that, unlike most beverages, store-bought lime juice is pretty easy to store and has a longer shelf-life.
It doesn’t get spoiled very easily. But when it does, it’s a bit difficult to guess.
Since lime is highly acidic, bacteria can’t last longer over them. Hence there are very few chances of lime juice going bad.
Store-bought lime juice lasts longer than homemade lime juice due to a lack of preservatives. So let’s know how to tell if lime juice has gone bad or if it is still the same.
How do you know if lime juice has gone bad? How to tell?
With each passing day, lime juice tends to age day by day, and you will see visible signs of its aging. It can sometimes develop an unpleasant taste or odor that can make you confused about whether to consume it or it’s time to discard it.
Well, usually, when lime juice ages, it turns brownish. If you, too, have brown lime juice, it does not always mean it’s gone bad. It is a natural process that does not affect its quality.
However, if your lime juice has a sharp pungent smell, it’s a clear sign that your lime juice has gone bad and needs to be discarded.
Also, if the color is darker, it might have been thoroughly spoiled.
This usually happens due to enzymatic bittering. It is a chemical process in which the chemical compounds of lime juice get a bitter-tasting limonin due to enzymatic reactions.
Sometimes lime juice also tends to develop a dark, grainy substance due to yeast or mold microbial growth. This leads to bulged or puffed lime juice, and you need to discard it immediately. Lime juice has probably gone bad by now.
So whenever you notice your lime juice having any kind of off smell, discoloration, or tiny wired particles in or around lime juice, you should know it has gone bad.
Even the loss of citrus flavors is a sign of spoilage. So give your lime juice a try before adding it to your recipe.
But most of it depends on how you store lime juice. Therefore, we have bought you a few storage tips to make your lime juice last a bit extra than it ever would.
Different methods to store lime juice
Have you ever stored lemon juice to make it last longer? If yes, storing lime juice is exactly the same as that. But don’t worry, we still have got tips to help you keep a large amount of lime juice you have got in front of you.
First thing first, don’t leave your bottle of lime juice (especially if it’s transparent) anywhere in direct sunlight.
Store it in a cool, dry place, away from the stove as well. Heat can accelerate the growth of bacteria as well as spoilage.
Always seal your bottle tightly after opening it. Exposure to oxygen can affect its quality over time.
The best place to store lime juice is a refrigerator. You can keep it at room temperature for some time, but if you are not planning to consume it in a week or so, make sure you refrigerate it.
This will keep the flavors and freshness intact for several months. There is no big difference when it comes to storing homemade lime juice. But the shelf-life of homemade lime juice might defer a bit.
Can you freeze lime juice?
Yes, you can freeze lime juice. However, it won’t increase or decrease the actual shelf-life of lime juice.
But if you still wish to freeze it as you don’t want to waste any of it, here’s the trick.
We always recommend freezing lime juice in smaller quantities. By this, we mean freezing it in the form of ice cubes. Simply pour lime juice into a freezing tray and let it freeze for a few hours.
Once they form cubes, transfer them into a freezing bag. This won’t take much space, and your lime juice as well will last longer.
When you need to use lime juice cubes, simply put them in your drink recipe, or wait for them to turn into liquid at room temperature.
So that’s all you should know when it comes to storing lime juice. Just make sure the flavors are intact whenever you use them.
Despite keeping them well, lime juice sometimes can get worse after a specific time. So let’s know the exact shelf life of lime juice as we know you don’t want to waste it.
How long does lime juice last (shelf-life)?
When it comes to the shelf-life of lime juice, it has the most extended shelf life among the packed juices available in the market. This is because of its acidic nature and preservatives added to it.
Every bottle of lime juice comes with the best by date or expiry date. This denotes how its freshness will stay intact rather than its longevity.
You can still consume it after its best date for a few months until its smell and flavors are acceptable. It easily lasts a few weeks, sometimes even months, even after it is once opened.
Even after coming in contact with the outside world, which means oxygen and other gases, you will notice a slight change in its flavors with time until it goes bad wholly.
If you have an opened bottle of lime juice that is way far from its expiry date, we recommend finishing it up as soon as possible before it starts going bad. But make sure you check if it’s good.
However, if you have homemade lime juice, it will just last a couple of months. Homemade lime juice lack preservatives and so won’t last as long as stored bought lime juice. If you have it in larger quantities, make sure you freeze them up.
The homemade lime juice will degrade its quality with each passing day so make sure you consume it sooner. There are certain risks associated with consuming spoiled lime juice and so here’s why we want you all to be extra careful with it.
Can you get sick from expired lime juice? (Risk of consuming spoiled lime juice)
When it comes to edibles, the expiry date matters the most. There are numerous risks associated with consuming spoiled foods, and even lime juice is not an exception.
So whether it’s one tablespoon or more, you should not consume spoiled lime juice.
Spoiled or expired lime juice contains harmful bacteria and toxins that are produced due to its acidic nature. It can make you ill or lead to an upset stomach and food poisoning.
It also reduces lime juices’ nutritional value and health benefits, so there’s no point in consuming them. Also, due to its acidic nature, consuming spoiled lime juice can also lead to skin irritation, hair fall, and pimples.
This leads us to only one conclusion, and that is to store it well. Consume it before it goes bad and gets only the amount you are sure you will be able to consume. This will help you enjoy its innumerable benefits mentioned below.
Alternatives for Lime Juice if it Goes Bad
If you require the tanginess and zest of lime juice in your dish, but the one in your fridge is showing signs of deterioration, you can use the following substitutes:
- Orange juice
- Lime zest
- White wine vinegar
- Tamirand paste
- White wine
FAQs About Lime Juice
What to do with spoiled lime juice? Can I use expired lime juice?
Well, you never waste lime juice. That does not mean you should consume it. Instead, spoiled lime juice can be used for the cleaning process.
Yes, you can use it to clean utensils, add them to your drain line, or clean the floors during your hours. It will make your utensils and floor free of bacteria and will make them shiny.
Can you use limes with brown spots to make lime juice?
No, it is not advisable to use brown limes to make lime juice. Brown limes already have bacterias that will soon spoil them with it, and this will eventually accelerate the spoiling of lime juice. Keep them in a refrigerator and use them as soon as you can.
Can spoiled lime juice remove stains?
Yes, lime juice can easily remove stains. This is because lime juice acts as a natural bleaching agent on fabrics due to the presence of acetic acid.
So next time when you have stains on your clothes, rush to your refrigerator rather than a store to get expensive detergents.
Final Notes on Lime Juice
We have come a long way, and we probably know you by now know a lot about lime juice sitting right in front of you.
So without wasting any further time, store it in a refrigerator to keep its fresh flavors intact. If you are not sure about using it all sooner than three to four months, you can even freeze them in the form of tiny ice cubes.
Simply take a cube and add it to your drink or your recipe. But if you notice any kind of change in flavors, try it and use it only if it tastes okay.
However, if you notice molds or it smells off, make sure you discard them. You can also use spoiled lime juice for the cleaning process if you don’t want to waste it.
Hope this helped.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.