What Is Pasteurized Orange Juice? (All You Need To Know)

If you read through the labels of your orange juice containers in between sips, you’ll find certain terms that may spark your curiosity.

One such term printed on every bottle makes you start to wonder what exactly pasteurized orange juice is. I did the research and here’s what I found!

What Is Pasteurized Orange Juice?

Pasteurized orange juice is regular orange juice that has been exposed to high temperatures in a short time to kill off bacteria and molds. Due to this, pasteurized orange juice can last for about a year even when unrefrigerated. Although it has a long shelf life, pasteurized orange juice may not necessarily contain preservatives and depends on the company’s production process. 

If you want to know more about the juicy details of pasteurized orange juice, then keep on reading below!

What Is The Difference Between Pasteurized And Unpasteurized Orange Juice?

Pasteurized orange juice has been subjected to high temperatures for a short period to destroy bacteria and pathogens present in the formula.

In addition, passive enzymes are also eliminated, further extending the orange juice’s shelf-life.

On the other hand, unpasteurized orange juice is just plain freshly squeezed orange juice. It is the liquid from oranges that are raw, untreated, and purely organic.

Unpasteurized orange juice is susceptible to spoilage and can be a hub for bad bacteria resulting in fermentation.

Why Does Pasteurized Orange Juice Taste Different From Fresh Orange Juice?

Pasteurized orange juice tastes different from freshly squeezed orange juice because it is manufactured and treated to improve longevity.

This type of orange juice has undergone pasteurization which uses harsh temperatures to kill bacteria. In the process, however, most of the natural flavors are also stripped off.

Due to this, companies try to mimic the taste of natural orange juice with the use of flavor packs and other additives to conceal the bland taste resulting from pasteurization.

Some brands add chemical sugars and water to the mix so the taste is altered and different from what you find with freshly squeezed orange juice.

How Do You Make Pasteurized Orange Juice At Home?

You can start preparing for home pasteurization of orange juice by washing your oranges with mild soap or a weak bleach solution. This ensures that there are no bacteria on the surface of the fruit.

Once done, you can extract the liquid using a juicer and add ascorbic acid. By doing this, you can prevent your natural orange extract from darkening.

Set the juice overnight after you have removed the pulp. Once the juice has settled for a few hours, you can add pectin and transfer the liquid to a heat-safe container.

Heat the orange juice using a double-boiler until it reaches 70°C while stirring constantly. It should be heat-treated for a minimum of one minute to destroy mold and other bacteria.

Finally, pour your hot orange juice into sterilized pre-heated containers. Make sure that you transfer the juice while hot to further destroy airborne microorganisms.

Seal the juice with undamaged caps and the process of home pasteurization is done. For a tip, don’t bottle the juice when it has already cooled down as it will not last for long.

What Is Flash Pasteurized Orange Juice?

What Is Pasteurized Orange Juice?

Flash pasteurized orange juice is subjected to extremely high temperatures for a very short period of fifteen to thirty seconds. It is then cooled before being stored in airtight containers.

Just as regular pasteurized orange juice, flash pasteurized orange juice does not contain any bad bacteria but it retains most of the natural orange flavor and color lost in the regular pasteurization process.

Moreover, flash pasteurized OJ has an almost indefinite shelf life as long as it is unopened and refrigerated.

Does Pasteurized Orange Juice Have Preservatives?

Pasteurized orange juice may be 100% orange juice that has retained its organic formula but it can also have preservatives depending on the manufacturing process it underwent.

Each company has its own unique production process, but as long as your container has that ‘100% Orange Juice’ label, then it has no preservatives.

How Long Does Pasteurized Orange Juice Last?

Pasteurized orange juice has a long shelf life and can last for one year if left unopened. You don’t even need to store it in the fridge, especially if you bought it from the dry shelves of your grocery store.

However, your pasteurized orange juice will go bad after seven to ten days once opened and exposed to air.

What Is The Difference Between Pasteurized And Concentrated Orange Juice?

Pasteurized orange juice is fresh orange juice that is heat-treated to remove pathogens. On the other hand, concentrated orange juice is pasteurized and further dehydrated to make it compact for transport and extend its shelf life.

Both of these juices are free from mold and spoilage as long as unsealed. However, the key difference is that concentrated orange juice is viscous and lasts longer. In fact, it can last indefinitely if stored in the freezer.

Does Pasteurized Orange Juice Have Vitamin C?

Generally, pasteurized orange juice has vitamin C measuring 84 mg per cup. This comes from the natural orange juice and can be added to by the company during the manufacturing process.

Since pasteurized orange juice is merely heat-treated organic OJ, it has natural vitamin C. However, once exposed to pasteurization, some of the vitamins may be destroyed. To compensate for this loss, manufacturers add extra vitamin C to their products.

If you want to learn more about orange juice, you can see our related posts on what orange juice concentrate is, Kroger orange juice, and the types of orange juice.


Pasteurized orange juice has a long shelf life because it is subjected to pasteurization. This method of preservation exposes the orange juice to high temperatures to get rid of pathogens.

Flash pasteurized orange juice is also preserved the same way but the heat treatment lasts for only 15 to 30 seconds. There is no difference between the two and both essentially have the same shelf life of about one year.

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