Whether you’re an adult or a kid, you would not want to miss a cup of applesauce if you have a chance to have it as a snack, a side dish, a condiment, or a baking ingredient. To the people who are addicted to it or to those who simply love it, they would even purchase many bottles of it, especially when it is on sale!
Applesauce is made from cooked peeled or unpeeled apples combined with water, apple cider or fresh apple juice, and other ingredients. The more acidic the apples are, the more it renders a finer purée. Applesauce is quite famous in the western part of the world and they’re produced a lot especially during apple season.
Sometimes, when you just have a lot of them stored untouched and already opened in the fridge for one week or more, you might probably wonder if you are keeping them properly or is it still okay to eat it.
On this page, you will explore the storage, shelf life, and spoilage of applesauce. So, let’s explore and find out!
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How To Store Applesauce?
You can find commercially-produced applesauce sold in bottles, pouches, glass jar, or in a single-serve cup. Some of these applesauce products undergo pasteurization before it is packed, transported, and sold in the market. Pasteurized applesauce packs are usually shelf-stable. In other words, as long as you haven’t unopened it, you can keep them in the pantry without the need to refrigerate it.
For shelf-stable applesauce, keep them in a cool dark place and make sure to keep them away from heat and sunlight exposure. The pantry or your kitchen cupboard is an excellent place to store your shelf-stable apple sauce. As long as it is still unopened, the chances for microbial contamination is small as these kinds of products are pasteurized and sealed tightly.
On the other hand, the applesauce you got from the refrigerated section will always require refrigeration as they are most likely unpasteurized. So, see to it that your new store-bought refrigerated applesauce should immediately go inside the refrigerator when you get home.
An opened jar of applesauce must always be kept in the fridge afterward. And it should always be closed tightly. Or, read and follow the producer’s storage instructions and check the label for its expiration.
As for homemade applesauce, it should always be kept in the fridge and have it sealed tightly all the time so that it doesn’t lose its quality. Any food item that requires refrigeration should always be returned to its storage after using it.
If the refrigerator is not available, you can do the canning method for your homemade applesauce to make it shelf-stable. Make sure to have the mason jars sterilized before you fill it with your applesauce. Then, after filling the jar, sterilize it again to kill the rest of the microorganisms. Cool the jars down before keeping them in your kitchen pantry or cupboard. See to it that the storage area for your applesauce is cool, dry, and it should be away from sources of sunlight and heat. But once you open the jar, you should refrigerate it then.
Can I freeze applesauce?
If you’re pondering whether or not it is okay to freeze applesauce, the answer is YES. Depending on how you want to do with your applesauce or when you are going to use it, it is not a bad idea to store it in the freezer. With this storage method, you can even keep it for the longest possible time.
Before you freeze your applesauce in the freezer, there are a few things that you should be aware of:
Freezing does not only apply for commercially-made applesauce, but it can also be used for homemade applesauce. You can keep your apple sauce in a freezer-safe bag, resealable bag, or ice cube trays, then store it in the freezer.
Before you freeze all of the applesauce, you may want to try a small batch of it to see if the results of freezing it will still be useful to your liking. After test-freezing your applesauce, check the consistency if you think it will work for the recipes you want to use it with. If you are okay with the actual idea of freezing the rest of your applesauce, then go ahead and do it for the rest that is left.
Take note of this little precaution! It is not advisable to freeze your applesauce in its original plastic container. Why? Freezing will cause the applesauce to expand, and the space in it may not be enough to accommodate it, and it will just end up exploding.
Refrigerate the applesauce. Pour it into a bowl and have it covered. Put the bowl with applesauce in the fridge and let it chill thoroughly.
In thawing a frozen applesauce, just transfer it to the refrigerator and leave it for a few hours until it is ready for use. If ever you need it immediately, you can thaw the frozen applesauce in the microwave or under cold water.
Can appesauce go bad?
Yes. Once you open a bottle or jar of applesauce, its shelf life shortens, and it becomes more prone to contamination and spoilage. Generally speaking, if you have an unopened bottle of applesauce, it is unlikely that it would go bad for months, even if it is past the date as long as its seal stays intact.
How long does applesauce last?
Store-bought applesauce comes with a “best-by” date, “best-before” date, or expiration date labeled on its packaging. These dates on the label will give you an idea of how much time left for you to store the product at its prime. Basically, applesauce can last up to one year if you haven’t opened it yet. As long as you haven’t opened it yet and stored it in ideal conditions, your applesauce can last for at least two months past the date.
However, it’s not possible to give a definitive answer on how long after that date your unopened package of applesauce will last. This will depend on a whole lot of factors that come into play.
It is expected that your applesauce’s quality depreciates as time goes by regardless of how well you keep it. If you are opening an expired jar of applesauce that has passed a month or two, don’t expect that your applesauce will taste as fresh and delicious as the newly-produced ones.
Store-bought applesauce can last around 10 to 14 days inside the refrigerator. Other manufacturers would suggest consuming the product in less than 5 or 7 days from the time you opened it. And there are also other brands that indicate that you have 20 to 30 days to consume it. It all depends on how these producers process their own applesauce products.
Make sure to return your applesauce to the refrigerator after opening it. If you left it outside the fridge for 2 hours, it might have already harbored contaminants that can potentially cause food spoilage and food poisoning.
Homemade applesauce can last in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the type of storage or preservation method you used.
How to tell if applesauce has gone bad?
Remember to always inspect the quality of your applesauce and the label before using it. To find out if your jar or bottle of applesauce is still suitable for cooking or baking, here are the spoilage signs you should look for that will tell you that you should immediately discard the applesauce:
- There is mold growth.
It has an unusual or off-smell
It shows any signs of discolorations
It tastes bad.
There are leaks or damages in its packaging.
Never take a gamble to salvage your applesauce that shows any of the abovementioned characteristics. Those are all enough to tell you that you should get rid of it.
If ever your applesauce seems completely fine, take a little sample and taste it. If it tastes okay, you can proceed using it. But, if ever you are still unsure or have doubts about your applesauce, the best choice you will need to do next is to throw it away instead.
Can I still eat an already-expired apple sauce?
Your applesauce will still remain safe for consumption. After all, the manufacturers’ expiration date is an estimated date that tells you how long this product will retain its prime quality. But, don’t bother opening it if it has passed the date for a long time.