Applesauce is a versatile and delicious food that can be enjoyed on its own or as an ingredient in a variety of recipes. It's also a convenient pantry staple that can be used to add sweetness and flavor to dishes. But how long does applesauce last in the fridge?
Most of us have been there before. You make a big batch of applesauce, intending to eat it all within a week or two. But then life happens, and that batch of applesauce sits in the fridge for a little longer than you planned. Maybe you're not even sure if it's still good to eat. So how do you know if your applesauce is still safe to consume?
What Is Applesauce?
Applesauce is a pureed or chunky sauce made from cooked apples. It can be made with any type of apple, but sweeter varieties like Golden Delicious or Fuji apples are typically used. Applesauce is often flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices. Some brands also add sugar or other sweeteners.
While applesauce is technically a fruit, it falls into a category of foods known as "high-acid foods." Other examples of high-acid foods include pickles, tomatoes, and grapefruit juice. High-acid foods can be safely stored at room temperature for extended periods of time without spoiling because the acid inhibits the growth of bacteria. However, once high-acid foods are refrigerated, their shelf life is reduced.
So how long will that applesauce last in the fridge? Let's take a closer look.
How Long Does Applesauce Last In The Fridge?
Refrigerated applesauce will last for 3-4 weeks. Because applesauce is a high-acid food, it can be safely stored at room temperature for extended periods of time without spoiling. However, once applesauce is refrigerated, its shelf life is reduced. For best quality, use refrigerated applesauce within 3-4 weeks.
How To Know If Applesauce Is Safe To Consume?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as how the applesauce was made and how it was stored.
Unopened applesauce kept in its original container will last for a long time in the fridge. Once the seal is broken, however, the applesauce should be used within one week. If you're not sure how long your applesauce has been open, it's always best to err on the side of caution and use it up within a week.
Commercially-prepared applesauce will usually have a "best by" date printed on the label. This is the date that the manufacturer recommends consuming the product by in order to get the best flavor and quality. However, this expiration date is not necessarily an indicator of food safety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require food manufacturers to include expiration dates on their products.
So, if you see commercial applesauce with a best-by date that has passed, it does not necessarily mean that the product is unsafe to consume. If the applesauce has been stored properly, it should still be safe to eat.
The same goes for homemade apple sauce. If it has been made with fresh, untreated apples and stored in a clean, airtight sealed container, it should be safe to eat for up to two weeks. This is because fresh applesauce doesn't contain any preservatives that would extend its shelf life.
However, if you make your own applesauce with treated apples or if it has been stored in an unclean container, it may spoil more quickly and should be consumed within a week.
To be on the safe side, it's always best to check the applesauce before consuming it. If it looks or smells off, it's best to throw it out.
How To Tell If Applesauce Is Spoiled?
The most obvious way to tell if applesauce is spoiled is by checking its appearance. If the sauce has changed color or developed mold, it should be discarded.
Applesauce that has been stored for too long may also develop a sour smell. If the sauce has an off odor, it's best to throw it out.
Another way to identify bad applesauce is by checking its texture. If the sauce is lumpy or has separated, it's best to discard it.
Finally, if the applesauce just doesn't taste right, it's probably best to throw it out.
When in doubt, it's always best to err on the side of caution and throw out any applesauce that you're not sure about. If it has any of the signs of spoilage listed above, definitely throw it out so that you don't risk getting food poisoning from your applesauce.
Why Does Unopened Applesauce Last Longer?
Most people don't think twice about the shelf life of applesauce. However, there is a big difference between an unopened jar of applesauce and one that has been opened and then stored in the fridge. The main reason why unopened applesauce can last for months, while opened applesauce only lasts for a few days, is microbial contamination.
Once a jar of apple sauce is opened, it is exposed to bacteria and other contaminants that can cause spoilage. However, unopened jars of applesauce are sealed tightly, preventing microbial contamination. As a result, unopened applesauce can last for months if stored in a cool dark place like a pantry, while opened applesauce should be consumed within a few days of opening.
How To Make Applesauce Last Longer
There are a few things that you can do to make applesauce last longer. First, make sure to store it in a clean, airtight container. This will help to prevent microbial contamination.
Second, if you're not going to consume the whole jar of applesauce within a week, you can freeze it. This will extend its shelf life.
Third, always use clean spoons and utensils when scooping out applesauce. This will help to prevent contamination.
Finally, if you see any signs of spoilage, such as mold or changes in color or texture, discard the applesauce immediately.
By following these tips, you can help to make applesauce last longer.
How To Best Store Applesauce?
Applesauce should be stored in a clean, airtight container in the fridge. This will help to keep it fresh and prevent it from spoiling.
If you're not going to consume the whole jar of applesauce within a week, you can freeze it to extend its shelf life. Just make sure to thaw it in the fridge before consuming it.
If you're not sure how long your applesauce will last, it's always best to write the date on the container when you first open it. This will help you keep track of how long it's been in the fridge and help you remember to use it up within a week.
Can You Freeze Applesauce?
Yes, applesauce can be frozen for longer-term storage. Homemade applesauce will last for up to three months in the deep freezer, while commercially-prepared applesauce will last for 6-8 months.
When freezing leftover applesauce, it's important to use a freezer-safe container to ensure that your applesauce stays fresh and to prevent freezer burn. A glass jar or plastic container with tight-fitting lids works well. You can also freeze applesauce in an ice cube tray and then transfer the frozen cubes to airtight containers or a resealable freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. This is a great option if you like eating small portions of applesauce or if you have a recipe that only needs a small amount of applesauce to make.
When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw the frozen applesauce in the fridge overnight or place the container in warm water. Once defrosted, use it within 7 days. Do not refreeze thawed applesauce.
If you find yourself with a surplus of applesauce, don't worry! Applesauce will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks or in the freezer for 6-8 months. Just be sure to leave ½-inch headspace at the top of the container when freezing to allow for expansion. And when you're ready to enjoy that delicious applesauce again, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and use it within 7 days. Happy cooking!