How are Juices Bottled Without Using Preservatives?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Lemon juice is a natural preservative.
Lemon juice is a natural preservative.

There are several ways to bottle juices without using preservatives. Some people believe that preservatives are harmful, or that the treatment processes used to create a juice with a long shelf life are bad for the juice. It is certainly true that extensive pasteurization of juices can degrade its nutritional value, as heat has been known to reduce the content of some dietary vitamins and minerals. Juices produced without preservatives are perfectly safe to consume, as long as stipulations about expiration dates are observed.

Orange juice is usually subjected to a flash pasteurization process.
Orange juice is usually subjected to a flash pasteurization process.

While people say that a juice has been bottled without using preservatives, this term is actually a bit deceptive. Most juice companies mean that the juice has been bottled without the use of artificial preservatives such as chemicals. There are plenty of natural preservatives in the world, however, including cranberry juice, lemon juice, and many others. Commonly, a juice producer includes these naturally preservative juices in a blend to extend its shelf life. This allows them to say that a juice has no preservatives, since they are simply part of the juice blend.

A glass of cranberry juice.
A glass of cranberry juice.

The inclusion of natural preservatives in a juice can keep it shelf stable for several months, often at room temperature. These juices must generally be refrigerated after they have been opened, and some start to deteriorate after opening, so finishing them quickly is recommended. When purchasing natural juice without artificial preservatives in the store, shoppers should always check to be sure that the juice is tightly sealed; if the lid is concave, it means that the bottle of juice may be contaminated. Consumers should look for convex lids and not be too worried about sediment in the juice, as this is common with natural juices.

Some people advocate making homemade juice to avoid possible hidden additives.
Some people advocate making homemade juice to avoid possible hidden additives.

In other cases, a juice may be deliberately designed with a short shelf life. Such juices are typically subjected to a flash pasteurization process that quickly heats the juice to kill any unwanted organisms, and they must be kept under refrigeration to stay fresh. The juice will generally keep around a week under proper refrigeration. Orange juice is often sold this way, since companies expect consumers to be able to finish it fairly quickly.

People who want to make juices at home can read up on natural preservatives and juice making in general. Many home-made juices can keep for several months if they are handled well and kept in sterile containers.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon36996

What is general quantity or how much we should add preservatives to juices or foods. Please share the general guidelines about dosage of quantity required to add

spbigger

If one divides daily food intake into five or six meals instead of the usual three----is it possible that drinking a glass of vegetable juice, such as tomato or V8, could serve as one of the meals?

Thanks,

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    • Lemon juice is a natural preservative.
      By: Printemps
      Lemon juice is a natural preservative.
    • Orange juice is usually subjected to a flash pasteurization process.
      By: designsstock
      Orange juice is usually subjected to a flash pasteurization process.
    • A glass of cranberry juice.
      By: Galina Mikhalishina
      A glass of cranberry juice.
    • Some people advocate making homemade juice to avoid possible hidden additives.
      By: verca
      Some people advocate making homemade juice to avoid possible hidden additives.