Does Almond Milk Need To Be Refrigerated?

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There is no denying that almond milk is an important part of vegan diets. This milk is of plant origin and can be used as an ideal substitute for dairy milk.

Many people who use this milk always wonder about its shelf life and how to store it. So, does almond milk need to be refrigerated?”

Since I am lactose intolerant, I also regularly use almond milk. So, I have also researched the essentials of its shelf life, how to store it, and how damaged it is.

I thought it would be nice to share the helpful information I have with other almond milk lovers. So keep reading to see more!

Does Almond Milk Need to Be Refrigerated? 

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Almond Milk needs to be refracted after opening.

The answer is yes. Almond milk needs to be refrigerated once it’s opened. Yet, if your milk has not been opened and it’s of the shelf-stable type, it can be left at room temperature for about a year.

Almond milk is available in two varieties, including shelf-stable milk and refracted one. The critical difference between the two is their packaging.

The shelf-stable almond milk features aseptic containers (which are almost sterile). It is made so that liquids are safe from any microbes when unopened.

Furthermore, its boxes will also protect the milk from air and light, allowing it to retain its nutritional value and flavor that lasts for months.

Does Almond Milk Go Bad?

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Almond Milk can go bad.

Like any regular milk product and another alternative, almond milk can go bad. 

Shelf-stable products will last significantly longer than their refrigerated counterparts, but both eventually spoil.

Your milk will also go bad quickly if its milk container is partially used and left unrefrigerated. Yet, different types of products have different storage and usage requirements and shelf lives.

Almond milk can spoil even if it is unopened. It is especially true for refrigerated milk products that usually do not last long past their use-by date.

Shelf-stable varieties can last long after their date. But their flavor should deteriorate in the end, causing you to drop it for quality and save reasons.

What if You Consume “Bad” Almond Milk?

If you use almond milk that has been spoiled, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • A combination of the above symptoms

The cause of these symptoms is typically the production of mycotoxins by mold, which can occur in many things other than almond milk.

Of course, you may not detect any of the above symptoms after consuming bad almond milk. In this case, you may think you are fine and never know something is wrong with your spoiled almond milk.

In other words, just because you’re not feeling sick doesn’t mean your old almond milk is safe to drink.

How to Tell if Your Almond Milk Has Gone Bad?

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How to tell if almond milk products have gone bad.

Here are some obvious signs that your almond milk product has gone bad or is no longer reasonable to use.

Examine Its Carton

If your milk carton is puffed-up, leaky, or bloated, it is time to throw out your milk. In this case, your dairy-free milk may not be spoiled, but it has something wrong. So it’s best to throw it away before your health is affected.

If you see nothing unusual with its carton, you can shake it before pouring half a glass and proceed.

Check Out Your Milk’s Appearance

You’ll need to observe your milk for any discolorations, black spots (that can be mold), or something that looks suspicious. Besides, you’ll also need to check out your drink’s texture.

Almond milk products are not thick, and they aren’t supposed to be thick if they are not homemade products and you leave the pulp in. Store-bought products are mostly water, and their consistency is similar to dairy milk.

So if your almond milk is lumpy or slimy, you’ll know it’s time to let it go.

Smell It

Almond milk products often smell fresh and nutty. 

These products should feature a hint of sweetness if they are a sweet variety. If they are flavored, some of that flavor should be present in their smell.

Hence, if your almond milk smells old, “funny,” or sour, it is wise to throw it out.

Take a Sip

If you’ve tried the steps above and your almond milk still looks fine, it’s time to take a sip. You can decide if your milk is good enough to consume based on its taste. If your milk tastes off or sour, throwing it away is best. 

Pay Attention to Its Shelf Life

There is no denying that the above tests make sense only if the date is within a reasonable period.

If you open it for about two weeks, tossing it is essential. The same goes for shelf-stable products three months past their best-by date or refrigerated ones more than fourteen days after their date.

How Long Can Almond Milk Sit Out?

does almond milk need to be refrigerated

How long can almond milk last?

Here’s the typical shelf life of almond milk.

Store in Pantry Store in Fridge
Shelf-stable (unopened) Best by one to two months No refrigeration required
Shelf-Stable (opened) Unsafe From 7 to 10 days
Refrigerated (Pasteurized) unopened Unsafe Use-by + Five to Seven days
Refrigerated (Pasteurized) opened Unsafe Seven days
Homemade Unsafe From three to four days

The shelf life of shelf-stable products may last up to one year. Refrigerated products feature a shorter storage time, a few weeks. 

When talking about homemade products, they should last for three to four days. Meanwhile, store-bought variations are pasteurized, allowing them to last longer in your fridge than their homemade counterparts.

It is the rundown on almond milk’s shelf life. So let’s get into details.

How Long Does Almond Milk Last Unopened?

Shelf-stable can last up to one to two months after its best by day, and it is not necessary to store it in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, for the refrigerated type, I recommend using it from five to seven days after its best-by-day.

How Long Does Almond Milk Last Once Opened?

Once you have opened your almond milk container, it can last from seven to ten days in your fridge. The fact is that many of the most famous brands, like Blue Diamond and  Silk, also recommend that.

If you use a fresh variety, use it between five and refrigerated days after its use-by date is best. Storage times may vary slightly between brands. 

I will not store my almond milk for more than ten days from the opening date, whichever brand I choose. That period is already much longer than the four days recommended storage for leftovers.

What Is An Almond Milk Expiration Date?

Shelf-stable milk products usually feature the best-by date, while their refrigerated counterparts typically have a use-by date printed on them. 

Both dates refer to expiration dates and are more about products’ quality than safety. So, how long are your almond milk products good for after these “expiration” dates? Sadly, there is no hard science related to this topic.

Yet, you should not expect these products to stay fresh for beyond a month.

The Bottom Line

Almond milk is nutritious and delicious. It is full of vitamin E and brings benefits to our health, like reducing the risk of heart disease and building strong bones.

In addition, it is ideal for people who are lactose intolerant. However, for your almond milk to stay fresh, you must ensure that your milk is stored correctly.

This post helped you answer, “How long is almond milk good for?” In addition, it has also provided tips to best preserve and enjoy almond milk.

Thank you for reading!

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