Does soy milk go bad? How long does soy milk last?

Soy milk is also known as soya milk which can be extracted from soybeans. It’s the best replacement for dairy milk and is loved by vegans and lactose-intolerant people.

 According to Wikipedia, Being plant-based milk, soy milk is low in sugar, fat, carbohydrate, cholesterol, but high in protein, sodium, potassium, vitamin A, B12, D, and calcium.

You probably don’t get fiber from cow’s milk but soy milk is a great source of fiber. Bad soy milk may create risks of food poisoning.

However, several questions arise about soy milk out there-namely, does soy milk go bad? How long does soy milk last? Does soy milk need to be refrigerated? Can you freeze soy milk? Etc. Well, today we are going to give you answers to all you need to know about bad soy milk.

Does soy milk go bad?

Yes, soy milk can go bad like cow’s milk, oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk if you don’t preserve it following certain methods for certain periods.

Some people think soy milk doesn’t go bad if left out at room temperature in a pantry or cabinet overnight as it’s not dairy milk. But, it’s a completely wrong claim.

According to USDA– any perishable food like juice or milk can go bad within 2 hours if the room temperature is between 40° F- 140°F. Within these temperatures, the harmful bacteria called pathogens grow faster which can cause several food-borne illnesses.

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Does soy milk need to be refrigerated?

Yes, you need to refrigerate homemade soy milk immediately after making it to stop rapid bacteria growth. Normally, temperature ranges of most of the refrigerators are below 40° F or 4° C, and the ideal temperature of a fridge is between 35° F-38°F.

But still, soy milk can expire if you preserve it in the fridge for more extended periods. In fact, preserving any food below 0° F or -18°C can inactivate microbes like bacteria, yeasts, and molds. But, the refrigerator’s temperature is more than 0°F.

Hence, two types of bacteria growth namely pathogenic bacteria and spoilage bacteria can develop rapidly within shorter periods. Pathogenic bacteria can cause various food-borne illnesses and spoilage bacteria can spoil the color, texture, taste of soy milk and are responsible for spreading bad odor. 

Before storing in the fridge, make sure to pour your homemade soy milk in an airtight container to save your soy milk from affecting other foods.

Seal the lid tight and refrigerate the jar in a sealed crisper drawer ‘a humid place in a refrigerator. Don’t store the container at the close of the fridge’s door. And don’t open the door frequently.

On the other hand, you can store unopened shelf-stable store-bought at room temperature as the manufacture uses preservatives and tags soy milk best by date or soy milk expiration date.

You no need to preserve shelf-stable store-bought soy milk in the fridge until unopened. Once opened, refrigerate it after every use and consume within 7-10 days.

Can you freeze soy milk?

Yes, you can freeze soy milk to enhance the longevity of soy milk and to inactivate bacterial growth for longer periods. When you freeze soy milk, its color could turn yellow which is natural.

You do need to worry about it. Normally, the freezer’s temperature is below 0° F or -18°C which is an ideal temperature to keep your soya milk fresh and full of nutrients.

Freezing soy milk could change color, texture, taste, and nutrients a bit. Still, you get a large amount of nutritional value from it. Freezing doesn’t kill the bacteria rather this process keeps inactive the bacteria from contaminating soy milk for certain periods.

Whenever you thaw the frozen soy milk, the bacteria start to activate again. If you don’t want to add expired soy milk to your coffee, try to freeze it fast.

How to freeze soy milk?

 You can freeze your soy milk using two methods namely-

  1. Using airtight container
  2. Using Ice cube tray

To freezer in an airtight container, follow the steps below:

  • Before making soy milk, soak the soya overnight. Soy milk is a combination of water and soya. Maintain a 10:1 ratio, when it comes to juice soya, that is to say, use 10 parts water with 1 parts soya.
  • Take a large airtight container; pour it with soy milk leaving some space from the top of the container as soy milk contains a lot of water and water expands when it’s frozen. Otherwise, your container could prone to leak and could bend by pressure.
  • Seal the lid tight, write down the date and label, and freeze them for later use.
  • When it comes to using, thaw them first in the refrigerator for up to 4-6 hours or until defrosting fully. Remember, it’s not ideal to refreeze soy milk. Use it completely, once out of the freeze.

Freezing soy milk in an ice cube tray, follow the steps below:

  • Pour your soy milk into every slot of the ice cube tray.
  • Freeze them until get solid
  • Once frozen, transfer them into a freezer-safe bag, seal it tight, label it with the date and refreeze it for more extended periods.
  • To use frozen soy milk, you do need to thaw all cubes, grab a couple of cubes as you need from the freeze, and the rest of the cubes keep in the freezer for later use.

In the case of store-bought shelf-stable soy milk, you need not freeze the carton or bottle if it’s unopened. Once you open the carton to use soy milk, make sure you seal the lid tight and freeze the carton to consume the soy milk for more extended periods.

Don’t preserve the opened soy milk at room temperature buy can store it in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.

How long does soy milk last?

How long soy milk lasts depends on how you preserve it and where you preserve it. You can store homemade soy milk at room temperature like in a pantry or cabinet only for 2 hours. But, you should preserve it in the fridge for 7-10 days.

If you keep more periods in the refrigerator, it could grow bacteria, yeasts, and molds and turn into bad soy milk. However, in the freezer, you can preserve 2-3 months for the best quality. Over time, the milk quality, color, texture, the flavor will degrade drastically.

If you prefer shelf-stable store-bought to homemade soy milk, you can preserve unopened soy milk cartons in the pantry and fridge for up to 6-12 months or best by date or expiration date after packaging.

Once you open the carton, it lasts at room temperature for a few hours but in the fridge for up to 7-10 days. You can store opened shelf-stable soy milk in the freezer for up to 3-6 months.

For getting the best quality soy milk, consume it within 3 months. You do not need to freeze unopened shelf-stable soy milk at all.                      

How to tell if soy milk is bad?              

Expired soy milk exposes some obvious signs that tell you it is already bad. Notice the following signs of bad soy milk and take quick actions-

  • Smell your soy milk if you get a rancid odor it has already expired due to the growth of mold and harmful bacteria. Discard it right away.

  • Naturally, good soy milk’s color is white. Notice any drastic change in color means see whether it is an off-white color or not. If you see any change in natural white color, throw it right away.

  • Soy milk’s texture is smooth and like liquid milk. If you see, the texture is thickened. It’s a sign of bad soy milk. A simple test is- pour your soy milk into a bowl if you notice it’s a bit bumpy. It is already expired.

  • In the case of store-bought shelf-stable soy milk, the manufacturer tags best by date or expiration date. If the expiration dates have passed, you can still use it but see whether the carton is bloating or not if it is expanding abnormally. If the soy milk expiration date is over and it spreads a bad odor, discard it instantly. Best by dates implies the best quality of soy milk. 

What happens if you drink bad soy milk?

Can you drink expired soy milk? What happens if you drink bad soy milk? – NO, you shouldn’t drink spoiled soy milk if you can’t put up with food poisoning.

When soy milk expiration dates have passed, harmful bacteria called pathogens grow faster which is responsible for various food-borne illnesses.

So, Keep expired soy milk away from children and adults as both types of people are easily exposed to any food-borne illness.

However, food poisoning may lead to cramps, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and headache. If you are a victim of food poisoning, call your doctor in no time or go to the local health department.


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