What Happens If You Drink Expired Pomegranate Juice

What Happens If You Drink Expired Pomegranate Juice?

Have you ever taken a sip of pomegranate juice from the fridge and immediately spit it out because of the funky taste? We’ve all been there – picking up a bottle we thought was fresh, only to discover it was far past its prime. But what actually happens if you drink expired pomegranate juice? Is it as harmless as drinking flat soda, or can consuming spoiled pomegranate juice make you sick?

In this article, we’ll examine the effects of drinking expired pomegranate juice and look at the science behind fruit juice spoilage. Read on to learn how to identify expired pomegranate juice, steps you can take to avoid getting sick from drinking spoiled juice, and why it’s so important to pay attention to expiration dates on fruit juice bottles.

An Introduction to Pomegranate Juice

First, let’s start with a quick pomegranate juice primer. Pomegranate juice is made from the arils (seed pods) of pomegranates. It has a rich, tart flavor and deep red color.

Pomegranate juice contains higher levels of antioxidants compared to other fruit juices. It’s been linked to several health benefits, including:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving memory and brain function
  • Providing cancer-fighting compounds

However, these benefits only apply when you’re drinking fresh pomegranate juice that hasn’t expired. Let’s look closer at what can happen when you drink expired pomegranate juice.

How to Tell If Your Pomegranate Juice Has Gone Bad

Before we get into the effects of drinking expired pomegranate juice, it helps to know how to identify spoiled pomegranate juice in the first place. Here are some telltale signs your pomegranate juice has gone bad:

  • Change in color – Fresh pomegranate juice should have a rich, ruby red color. If it starts to appear pinkish, brown, or gray, that’s a red flag.
  • Change in smell – When first opened, pomegranate juice will have a tart, sweet smell. If you notice sour, unpleasant aromas, it has likely spoiled.
  • Change in tasteExpired pomegranate juice may taste metallic, bitter, or very sour compared to fresh juice.
  • Clumps or particles – Old pomegranate juice may contain floaty bits or clumped sediment. Discard it if you see this.
  • Expired date – Check the “best by” or expiration date printed on the bottle. If it has passed, the pomegranate juice is at risk of spoilage.

Being vigilant about these indicators of spoiled pomegranate juice can help you avoid accidentally drinking expired products. Trust your senses – if something seems “off” about your pomegranate juice, don’t drink it!

The Dangers of Consuming Expired Pomegranate Juice

So why is drinking expired pomegranate juice so risky compared to other fruit juices or beverages? Here are some of the top dangers:

Food Poisoning

One of the biggest concerns with expired pomegranate juice is food poisoning. Like other perishable fruit juices, pomegranate juice can grow harmful bacteria when it spoils. Consuming this contaminated juice then exposes you to the bacteria and makes you sick.

Common symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Weakness

Drinking expired pomegranate juice essentially means you’re ingesting large amounts of bacteria that can wreak havoc on your digestive system.

Vitamin C Loss

In addition to bacteria growth, pomegranate juice also begins degrading and losing nutrients rapidly after its expiration date.

One of the biggest nutrient losses is vitamin C. Fresh pomegranate juice is an excellent source of vitamin C. However, this vitamin starts breaking down when the juice oxidizes.

By drinking juice past its prime, you’re no longer getting that beneficial vitamin C boost.

Off-Flavors and Poor Taste

Another consequence of expired pomegranate juice is that it simply doesn’t taste very good. As the juice spoils, it takes on unpalatable flavors.

You may notice a distinct sourness, bitterness, staleness, or metallic taste when drinking expired pomegranate juice.

While this won’t make you sick per se, it certainly makes the juice unenjoyable to consume. The flavor changes can be off-putting enough that you spit it out immediately.

Decreased Health Benefits

Finally, even if expired pomegranate juice doesn’t make you sick, you’re still missing out on its stellar health benefits.

As we covered earlier, fresh pomegranate juice contains special compounds that make it a super healthy beverage. However, those compounds – like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories – break down over time when juice spoils.

This means expired pomegranate juice won’t offer the same nutrition and disease-fighting powers of a fresh juice.

How to Prevent Foodborne Illness from Expired Juices

Now that you know the risks of expired pomegranate juice, here are some tips to avoid getting sick from drinking spoiled juice:

  • Check expiration dates – Always examine the “best by” date on juice bottles and only consume them before that date.
  • Properly store juice – Keep unopened pomegranate juice in the refrigerator and avoid storing open bottles for more than 5-7 days.
  • Look for signs of spoilage – Inspect juice before drinking it and discard any that has color, smell, or texture changes.
  • Don’t drink juice past 5-7 days – Even if it’s refrigerated, don’t consume pomegranate juice more than a week after opening. Toss it after that timeframe.
  • Monitor health after drinking – If you do accidentally ingest spoiled pomegranate juice, watch closely for any food poisoning symptoms and call your doctor if concerned.

Following safe food handling and storage practices is key to avoiding illness from expired juices. Be vigilant, use your senses, and toss pomegranate juice at the first signs of spoilage.


In summary, drinking expired pomegranate juice comes with significant health risks ranging from foodborne illness to vitamin/nutrient loss. Consuming spoiled, bacteria-laden pomegranate juice can result in uncomfortable, or even dangerous, symptoms of food poisoning.

To enjoy the many health perks of pomegranate juice – like lowered blood pressure, anti-inflammatory effects, and cancer prevention – it’s essential to only drink fresh, non-expired juice.

Check expiration dates, store pomegranate juice properly, and be on the lookout for any signs of spoilage. Discard any iffy-looking or strange-smelling juice to avoid getting sick. Paying close attention to juice quality and freshness will help you gain the full slate of health benefits that delicious pomegranate juice has to offer.

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