How Long Does Soy Milk Last?
With the increasing popularity of soy milk, people are starting to ask questions about what it actually is, how it’s different from cow’s milk, and whether or not it gets spoiled. While soy milk is not a new product, it is a bit of a mystery for those who initially have this in their diets. This piece is meant to help you know more about soy milk and its shelf life.
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What is Soy Milk?
Soy milk is non-dairy milk that is made from soybeans. It is 100% plant-based and it is often used as an alternative to milk. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Soy milk is less white compared to cow’s milk. It has an off-white color and a creamy texture, sometimes thicker than cow’s milk. Nonetheless, soy milk can be used in a number of dishes and drinks like cakes, pastries, shakes, and smoothies.
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Why Do People Drink Soy Milk?
There are plenty of reasons why people drink soy milk, some of which are subjective. For others, it is usually because they are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a condition where people have trouble digesting lactose, a type of sugar that is found in cow’s milk and in other dairy products. People who drink milk while lactose intolerant can experience digestive problems like loose bowel movement, nausea, flatulence, and even result in vomiting.
How Is It Different From Other Kinds of Milk?
When it comes to origin, soy milk comes from soybeans while cow’s milk comes from a cow. Other kinds of milk come from almonds or oats. As for the color, soy milk is less white such that it falls to the side of cream.
To add to that, soy milk is considered to be the healthiest milk among all plant-based kinds of milk. This can be attributed to having a big amount of protein as well as having just enough fats and carbs. It is a balanced drink altogether without giving side effects to those who cannot digest lactose. Plus, the sugar content is much less compared to cow’s milk.
Moreover, the FDA claims that soy milk helps in reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies held in 2017 show that those who consumed soy milk reduced their cholesterol levels by 3-4%. This can be attributed to the high amount of soy protein which helps in regulating cholesterol.
How Long is Soy Milk Good For?
Somehow, the question, “does soy milk go bad?” is a common question for soy milk drinkers. This is most likely coming from the fact that soy milk is not dairy which is why it might have a different shelf life.
How long does soy milk last? The answer to this varies depending on which variety of soy milk you are talking about. There are 2 kinds of varieties – refrigerated and non-refrigerated. Refrigerated soy milk usually lasts from 7-10 days. Even if they are unopened, as long as you bought them refrigerated, it can only last for a week or so.
On the other hand, if you bought unrefrigerated soy milk, it can last for as long as 8 months. This is similar to the shelf lives of canned goods! Take note that it can only last this long if they have been unopened and you keep them at room temperature. Otherwise, its shelf life will decrease. When it comes to opened and unrefrigerated soy milk, it can only be good for 7-10 days. It is similar to refrigerated soy milk.
To know how long is soy milk good for, you can also consult the expiry date found on the carton. This is a good indicator of their shelf life when they are not refrigerated.
How Do You Know If the Soy Milk is Bad?
There are three indicators of spoiled soy milk. You may find one or all of them.
- Bloated Carton
One of the obvious signs of bad soy milk is a bloated carton. A milk carton gets bloated because of a reaction called fermentation. Fermentation produces carbon dioxide which is a type of gas. When gas builds up inside the box and the box is already full, its tendency is to bulge.
If the carton isn’t bloated, there is still a chance that the soy milk is still bad. Before you drink it, make sure that you smell it. If it tastes a little acidic, then it is spoiled. Milk, whether it’s dairy or non-diary, produces a sour stench because of the bacteria that is forming. This is common to milk that is left exposed outside the refrigerator.
The rule of thumb in deciding if the milk is spoiled is if it gives off even the slightest acidic smell. If you can smell something off, then do not attempt to drink it.
Soy milk has a creamy texture to it. However, when it has gone bad, it starts to form lumps. Lumps are formed whenever the pH drops (this is also why it becomes acidic). When the pH level goes lower than its usual level, the protein molecules start to attract each other which are the lumps that you see. The clumps of milk are called curds.
What To Do With Spoiled Soy Milk
If it’s confirmed that your box of soy milk is already bad, then there’s no use in saving it. Once it’s sour, you should never attempt to consume it even if it feels like a waste of money. In fact, this is not a waste of money, especially if consuming the milk puts you at risk of nausea and loose bowel movement.
However, if you only have a few days before the expiry date and you see no signs of spoilage, then you can still consume the milk. If you have too many boxes of milk, then you can make use of it as an ingredient. You can always place it in smoothies or shakes so that you can consume all of it before the expiry date.