How long is Sunsweet prune juice good after opening?

Sunsweet prune juice, once opened, will stay fresh and retain its quality and taste for 1-2 months when properly stored. The shelf life depends on several factors such as the best by date, storage conditions, and packaging. With optimum storage, an unopened bottle can last up to 16 months. Here are some guidelines on how to get the most out of your Sunsweet prune juice.

Does Sunsweet prune juice expire?

Yes, like any other food or beverage, Sunsweet prune juice does expire and has a limited shelf life. The best by date printed on the bottle indicates the timeframe within which the juice will be at its peak freshness and flavor.

However, this does not mean the juice expires and becomes unsafe to consume right after that date. With proper storage after opening, Sunsweet prune juice will stay good for 1-2 months past its best by date.

How to tell if Sunsweet prune juice has gone bad?

Here are some signs that opened Sunsweet prune juice has spoiled and should be discarded:

  • Change in color – it may darken significantly or separate into watery layers
  • Cloudy appearance
  • Mold visible around the bottle cap or juice surface
  • Off smells like fermentation or rotten fruit
  • Sour or unpleasant taste
  • Fizzing or bubbling
  • Curdled texture

If your Sunsweet prune juice displays any of these signs of spoilage, it is best to err on the side of caution and not consume it. A spoiled juice can make you sick.

How to store opened Sunsweet prune juice properly?

To maximize the shelf life of opened Sunsweet prune juice, follow these storage guidelines:

  • Refrigerate after opening – Keep the bottle in the fridge set at 40°F or below.
  • Keep tightly sealed – Securely close the bottle cap to prevent oxygen exposure.
  • Store away from light – Keep in a pantry or the refrigerator door to limit light exposure.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations – Do not leave juice at room temperature for extended periods.
  • Watch for signs of spoilage – Check juice periodically for any mold, off-smells, etc.
  • Consume within 1-2 months – For best quality and taste, finish juice within this timeframe after opening.

Does the packaging affect opened prune juice’s shelf life?

Yes, the type of packaging can impact how long opened prune juice stays fresh:

  • Plastic bottles – Offer decent shelf life of 1-2 months when sealed and refrigerated.
  • Glass bottles – Glass provides the best oxygen barrier, keeping juice fresher for longer.
  • Juice boxes – Shelf life is shorter at 1-2 weeks as box can’t be resealed.
  • Cans – Similar to plastic bottles, cans maintain quality for 1-2 months refrigerated.

For maximum freshness, buy prune juice in glass bottles and transfer opened juice to an airtight container. Discard any juice stored in bags or pouches within 1-2 days.

Does Sunsweet prune juice need to be refrigerated before opening?

No, unopened bottles of Sunsweet prune juice do not require refrigeration due to the pasteurization process and air-tight sealing. The juice can be safely stored in a cool, dry pantry until opened. Refrigeration is needed only after opening to extend the shelf life.

An unopened Sunsweet prune juice bottle stored properly at room temperature will stay fresh for up to 16 months from the production date. Always check the ‘best by’ date on the package and consume before that timeframe.

How long does homemade prune juice last in the refrigerator?

The shelf life of homemade prune juice stored in the fridge is shorter than store-bought, pasteurized varieties. Here is how long homemade prune juice will last refrigerated:

  • In airtight container: 5-7 days
  • In sealed jar: 3-5 days
  • Without air-tight storage: 1-2 days

To maximize freshness, can the homemade juice or transfer to bottles leaving minimal air space. Discard juice if any mold appears or off smells develop.

Can you freeze prune juice?

Yes, both unopened and opened prune juice can be frozen to extend shelf life. Here are some freezing tips:

  • Freeze unopened bottles as is.
  • Pour opened juice into airtight freezer bags or containers, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Seal tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw frozen juice overnight in the fridge before consuming.

Freezing prevents microbial growth and slows enzymatic reactions. But some texture and flavor change may occur. Use frozen juice within 3-4 months for best quality.

How long does prune juice last at room temperature?

Leaving opened prune juice at room temperature significantly reduces its shelf life. Here’s how long it stays good:

  • At 77°F: 6-8 hours
  • At 85°F and above: 2-4 hours

The warmer the temperature, the faster the juice will breed bacteria and spoil. For food safety, discard any prune juice left unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.

Does prune juice need to be diluted before drinking?

Most prune juice varieties do not need any dilution and can be consumed as is. Sunsweet and other popular brands offer ready-to-drink prune juice with an optimal juice-to-water ratio.

However, one may dilute the juice to tone down the sweetness or tangy flavor. Add 1 part water to 4 parts juice. Alternatively, blend the juice into smoothies, oatmeal, or other dishes. Start with small amounts until you determine your preferred concentration.

Does boiling extend the shelf life of prune juice?

No, boiling opened prune juice is not recommended for safety reasons and will not significantly extend the shelf life. Unpasteurized juices can be boiled as a home canning method for long-term storage. But once opened, it’s best to refrigerate prune juice and consume within 1-2 months.


When properly stored in sealed containers and refrigerated, opened Sunsweet prune juice will stay fresh for 1-2 months past its best by date printed on the package. Discard any juice that develops off-smells, texture changes, or other signs of spoilage. For maximum shelf life, buy prune juice in glass bottles and freeze excess portions. With optimum storage conditions, opened prune juice can retain its quality and taste for up to 8 weeks.

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