We all love fresh ingredients. It’s common knowledge that it’s best to consume food while they are still fresh. The concern arises when you have to store certain food items in your kitchen and make sure that they stay fresh and edible during their shelf life. We will see how we can store two important liquid food items in our kitchen in the best possible way. These are fruit juices and cooking oils. A little bit of know-how can help you store these food items in their best possible state in the pantry.
Why do you need to preserve juices or oils?
Most of us prefer homemade juices over canned and processed juices, which contain loads of sugars, preservatives and artificial substances. Edible oils for cooking are mostly refined ones that we use in daily cooking. Sometimes we opt for healthier versions like cold-pressed oils and specific oils like olive oil. Glass bottles manufactured for storing juices and oils, like the Kilner clip top bottle, are the foremost options for preserving cooking oils or juices in a hygienic way. There are reasons why you need to preserve oils and juices:
- You might have noticed fruits (especially apples) going brown when exposed to the air for some time. This is because the enzymes in the fruits oxidize when they come in contact with air. A similar thing happens when you have freshly prepared juice. The fruits release polyphenol oxidase and tannins, which gradually causes them to degrade and finally become rotten. The primary reason to preserve fruit juices at home is to arrest this oxidation process and prevent your juice from going bad.
- Similar to fruit juices, cooking oils can also undergo oxidation and become rancid. This particularly happens if you expose the oil to high temperatures or store your cooking oil bottles too close to the stove. Rancid oil not only tastes bad but is also bad for your health. When oil oxidizes, it releases free radicals that are known to cause different diseases in the body. Oils are also sensitive to light, so they should be stored in dark-colored bottles.
Which bottles should you use for preserving juices or oils?
Use air-tight bottles
Remember, fresh fruit juices or edible oils will start degrading once they come in contact with air. It’s best to choose a storage bottle that provides a vacuum seal or an air-tight cap. The goal is minimum contact with air or moisture. Replace the cap immediately after use. For fruit juices, it’s best to store them for one-time consumption instead of keeping them for multiple consumptions. This will ensure your fruit juice is preserved fresh and healthy.
Mostly choose glass bottles
PET bottles are popular, and you’ll find cooking oils, fruit juices, purees, jams, sauces, etc., being sold in plastic bottles. Those sold in the marketplace are loaded with preservatives and additional substances to retain their flavor and smell. When you are storing oils or juices at home, it’s best to go for a vacuum seal glass bottle that is intended for such purposes as the Kilner clip top bottle. Juices can leach toxins from plastic bottles and make them a harmful concoction. Also, plastic bottles can get puffed or tampered with, which can affect the quality of the juice or oil. Refined oils, however, come in plastic bottles because they are less prone to be affected by light. That being said, they are not immune to temperature or oxidation. So you can opt for a different storage bottle or store it in its manufacturer’s container if you find the one it came in to be a decent one.
Other bottle options
Metallic bottles, like stainless steel bottles, are also safe for both oils and juices. Do not use metallic bottles that can react with oil fats or fruit acids.
The color of the bottle is important for storing oils. Oils are affected by light and can decompose on being exposed to light. Some oils are more sensitive than others. This is the reason why you’ll find oils being sold in tinted bottles. Olive oil comes in green bottles to filter the UV radiation and preserve it against breakdown. Ensure that your oil bottles are kept away from light. The preferred place to store them is in the dark, cool corner of the kitchen shelf or cupboard.
Fresh fruit juices will oxidize very fast, so make sure you choose the right bottle size for storing. It will inevitably go bad if you store it for too long, even in refrigeration or vacuum seal containers. So store them in air-tight glass bottles (most preferably) and open them for one-time consumption. The same goes for cooking oil. An olive oil bottle will have a shelf life of around 2 years. However, once you open it, you need to use it within 45-60 days. So ensure that you do not buy too much unless you really need it so as to preserve its freshness and edibility.
Juices and edible oils should be stored in a cool, dark place. Also, it should be dry and not a damp corner. Protect them from temperature fluctuations by storing them away from the stove or electrical appliances or refrigerating them when possible. The less time you store any of these, the better the quality is retained. Glass bottles are best for such purposes. The Kilner clip top bottle is specially designed for preserving oils and juices.