Updated at: 30-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Have you ever poured yourself a glass of orange juice, only to be greeted by that unexpected fizziness and carbonation? It can certainly catch you off-guard and leave you wondering what’s going on with your favorite morning beverage.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the science behind fizzy orange juice, including factors like microbesyeastsugar content, and exposure to air.

Plus, we’ll discuss whether it’s safe to drink and provide tips for preventing your juice from turning into an unwanted bubbly concoction.

The Science Behind Fizzy Orange Juice

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Carbon dioxide gas is present in fizzy orange juice due to the fermentation process caused by microbes and yeast consuming the sugar.

Presence Of Carbon Dioxide Gas

Carbon dioxide gas plays a significant role in giving orange juice its fizzy and carbonated characteristics. This naturally occurring compound is often associated with soft drinks and sparkling water, but it can also be found in fruit juices, including your favorite morning beverage – orange juice.

As alcohol consumption raises concerns about health risks, many individuals who struggle with alcoholism turn to non-alcoholic beverages like carbonated fruit juices for alternatives.

For example, enjoying a glass of fizzy orange juice can provide a sensation similar to sipping on an alcoholic beverage without the harmful effects or potential addiction triggers.

Fermentation Process

The fermentation process occurs when microbes, such as yeast and bacteria, break down the sugars present in a substance. In the context of orange juice, this sugar-rich environment becomes an ideal breeding ground for these microbes to thrive and multiply.

As they metabolize the sugars, alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced as byproducts.

Fermented beverages have been consumed throughout history for their unique flavors and potential health benefits. For example, kombucha is made through fermenting sweetened tea with specific strains of yeast and bacteria known for promoting gut health.

It’s important to note that while some fermented juices can be safe to drink and even offer certain advantages like probiotics or antioxidants due to natural fermentation processes, this isn’t always true for accidentally fermented orange juice.

Why Does Orange Juice Become Fizzy And Carbonated?

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Orange juice becomes fizzy and carbonated due to the presence of microbes and yeast, exposure to air and carbon dioxide, overripe or spoiled oranges, high sugar content, and natural fermentation processes.

Presence Of Microbes And Yeast

A major factor contributing to fizzy and carbonated orange juice is the presence of microbes, such as yeast and bacteria. These microorganisms can often find their way into your fruit juice through exposure to air, contamination during handling or storage, or even by growing within overripe or spoiled oranges.

Although fermentation is typically associated with alcoholic beverages like beer and wine due to yeast’s role in converting sugar into alcohol, it also plays an important part in creating sparkling non-alcoholic drinks like kombucha or kefir.

In orange juice, when certain strains of yeast are present together with specific conditions such as high sugar content and exposure to oxygen, they produce natural fermentation that results in fizzy bubbles of carbon dioxide gas – similar to what gives sparkling wine its signature effervescence.

Exposure To Air And Carbon Dioxide

Exposure to air and carbon dioxide is one of the main reasons why orange juice becomes fizzy and carbonated. When you open a bottle or container of orange juice, it comes into contact with oxygen and other gases in the air.

This leads to the dissolution of carbon dioxide gas into the liquid, giving it that bubbly sensation. A similar process occurs in beer, where carbon dioxide from fermentation remains dissolved within the drink, leaving it fizzy.

To prevent this from happening to your orange juice, store it properly by sealing it tightly after opening and keeping it refrigerated at all times.

Overripe Or Spoiled Oranges

When oranges become overripe or spoiled, they can start to ferment and release gases like carbon dioxide. This gas buildup is what causes your orange juice to become fizzy and carbonated.

While this may give off a tangy flavor, it’s important to note that fermented orange juice can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. The best way to avoid this is by discarding any oranges that are moldy or have gone bad before making your juice.

High Sugar Content

It’s no secret that orange juice is high in sugar. In fact, a 12-ounce glass of orange juice can contain nearly the same amount of sugar as a soda. While it’s true that fruit juices like orange juice are considered more nutritious than sodas because they contain vitamins and minerals, it’s important to be mindful of how much sugar you’re consuming.

Excessive sugar intake not only contributes to weight gain and tooth decay but can also increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. To reduce your sugar intake, consider diluting your orange juice with water or opting for freshly squeezed oranges instead of store-bought juices which may have added sugars.

Natural Fermentation Processes

Natural fermentation processes occur when microbes and yeast feed on the natural sugars found in orange juice, causing it to become fizzy and carbonated.

These microorganisms can be present on the surface of oranges or introduced into the juices during processing or storage. When exposed to oxygen, these organisms multiply at an accelerated pace and consume the natural sugars in the juice, producing alcohol as a by-product.

While this process is entirely natural, it can pose health risks if not controlled correctly. Consuming spoiled or fermented orange juice could lead to food poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea due to harmful bacteria growth.

Is Fizzy Orange Juice Safe To Drink?

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Consuming fizzy orange juice can be risky, especially if it is fermented or spoiled.

Risks Of Consuming Spoiled Or Fermented Juice

Fermented or spoiled orange juice is not safe for drinking, especially for those struggling with alcoholism. Here are some risks associated with consuming such juice:

  • Harmful bacteria like salmonella or E. coli can cause food poisoning and other health problems.
  • Drinking spontaneously fermented juices can make you sick as the fermentation process creates an environment suitable for harmful microorganisms to thrive.
  • Artificially carbonated orange juice with lemon juice can taste like spoiled wine and may contain dangerous unfiltered bacteria that can cause infections.
  • Consuming untreated juices can pose health risks due to the presence of microorganisms like molds and bacteria that can cause allergies and other health issues.
  • Fizzy orange juice may cause bloating and gas due to carbonation, which is not good for overall health.

How To Tell If Juice Has Gone Bad

If you’re concerned about whether your orange juice has gone bad and is no longer safe to drink, there are some telltale signs to look out for. Here are some things to keep in mind when checking if your orange juice is still fresh:

  • Check the expiration date: This is the most obvious way to ensure that your juice is still good to drink. If it’s past its use-by date, then it’s best to toss it out.
  • Smell the juice: Fresh squeezed orange juice should have a sweet and citrusy aroma. If it smells off or sour, then it’s likely gone bad.
  • Look at the color: Orange juice that has gone bad may appear darker or cloudy in color.
  • Check for texture: If the juice appears thicker than usual or has a strange texture, this could be a sign of fermentation.
  • Taste test: If you’re not sure whether your orange juice has gone bad or not, take a small sip. Spoiled or fermented juice can taste like wine or have a sour taste.

Remember that while fizzy orange juice isn’t necessarily harmful to consume, it can be an indicator of fermentation which means that bacteria is present and may cause illness. To stay safe, follow the tips mentioned in the “Prevention and Management of Carbonation in Orange Juice” section above.

Prevention And Management Of Carbonation In Orange Juice

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Proper storage and refrigeration, avoiding exposure to air and sunlight, using airtight containers, avoiding contamination with carbonated beverages or yeast/bacteria, discarding spoiled or fizzy juice, consumption of fresh orange juice within 24-48 hours are some ways to prevent and manage carbonation in orange juice.

Proper Storage And Refrigeration

Improper storage and refrigeration of orange juice can lead to unwanted carbonation and fermentation, which can be harmful to those struggling with alcoholism. Here are some tips for properly storing and refrigerating orange juice:

  1. Store in an airtight container: Oxygen exposure can speed up the fermentation process, so it’s essential to keep orange juice in an airtight container.
  2. Keep it in the fridge: High temperatures also promote bacterial growth, so it’s crucial to store your orange juice in the refrigerator.
  3. Avoid sunlight and heat: Direct exposure to sunlight and heat can cause changes in color and flavor.
  4. Consume within 24-48 hours: Freshly squeezed orange juice can quickly go bad if not consumed within 24-48 hours after preparation.
  5. Consider purchasing pasteurized orange juice: This type of juice is usually free from spoilage-causing bacteria, making it a safer option for those with compromised immune systems.

Avoiding Exposure To Air And Sunlight

To prevent and manage carbonation in orange juice, it is important to avoid exposing the juice to air and sunlight. This can be achieved by storing the juice in an airtight container and keeping it refrigerated.

When orange juice is exposed to air or sunlight for prolonged periods, oxidation of Vitamin C occurs resulting in loss of its antioxidant properties. Additionally, exposure can lead to spoilage by microbes, yeast, or bacteria which thrive in oxygen-rich environments.

Using Airtight Containers

One effective way to prevent carbonation in orange juice is by storing it in airtight containers. By doing this, you can limit the amount of air that reaches the juice and stops any bacteria or yeast from coming into contact with it.

This method extends the shelf-life of your juice while preventing its natural fermentation process that causes carbonation.

Avoiding Contamination With Carbonated Beverages Or Yeast/bacteria

To avoid contamination in your orange juice, it is crucial to keep it away from carbonated beverages and yeast/bacteria. Carbon dioxide gas present in soft drinks can react with the orange juice and cause carbonation, making it fizzy.

One of the best ways to prevent contamination is by using an airtight container when storing your orange juice. This prevents air circulation that could lead to exposure to yeast or bacteria present on surfaces around your kitchen.

Proper plant hygiene should also be observed when handling oranges as some fungal spores may affect their quality before they are used for juicing.

Discarding Spoiled Or Fizzy Juice

If you come across fizzy orange juice, it’s best to discard it immediately as consuming spoiled or fermented juice can lead to health risks. The presence of microorganisms like moulds and bacteria causes the carbonation in orange juice, which indicates that the juice has already surpassed its expiration date.

Drinking such beverages can cause digestive problems like bloating, stomach upset and even food poisoning, making it crucial to avoid consumption altogether. Another reason for discarding orange juices is due to their high sugar content leading to fermentation processes that produce alcohol.

Consumption Of Fresh Orange Juice Within 24-48 Hours

To ensure that you get the most out of your orange juice and avoid carbonation, it’s important to consume it within 24-48 hours of opening. This is because once you open the container, the oxygen exposure can lead to fermentation, which results in the buildup of carbon dioxide gas and ultimately leads to a fizzy taste.

It’s best to store your orange juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator as this will slow down the growth of microbes and yeast that contribute to spoilage.

Consider Purchasing Pasteurized Orange Juice

If you’re worried about the safety and quality of your orange juice, it’s best to consider purchasing pasteurized products. Pasteurization is a crucial process that can protect against spoilage, ensuring that your juice stays fresh for longer periods.

Fermentation occurs when natural sugars found in fruits are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas by bacteria or yeasts. This means unpasteurized orange juice or cider may have an altered flavor profile due to chemical changes resulting from fermentation processes.

In contrast, pasteurized juices maintain their original sensory characteristics over time while reducing the risk of harmful bacterial growth.


In conclusion, fizzy and carbonated orange juice can result from the natural fermentation process caused by the presence of microbes, yeast, high sugar content or overripe oranges.

However, carbonated orange juice is usually a sign that it has gone bad and should be avoided as it can cause harm to your health. It is essential to properly store and refrigerate orange juice in airtight containers while avoiding contamination with carbonated beverages or yeast/bacteria.

Consider drinking pasteurized orange juice if you are unsure about its freshness.