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Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience:  MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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How do i get a shelf life of at least 4 months from Juice made

Customer Question

How do i get a shelf life of at least 4 months from Juice made of hybiscus and sugar
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.

If you want to store the juice at room temperature, you'll have to process it. Using preservatives alone is not enough to keep the juice safe and tasting good. Once juice is properly canned, it will be good for a couple of years. Home processing is best done in a pressure canner. High acid juices can eb canned in a boiling water bath, but hibiscus flowers are not as acidic as grape and many other fruits. A pressure canner is safer. you'll need the canner, jars, lids, and rings.You can buy all these supplies in a hardware store and many discount stores, as well. Here is an online source:

Freezing the juice will work as well, but since you want to store it at the ambient temperature, that isn't an option. If you'd like more information on home preservation of foods/juices, you can contact your County Extension Service. There is no fee for their help. Just go to this website, click on your state, then your county to get contact information.

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I wish you success in preserving your juice.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry i did not know anyone could have attempted to answer my question partly because off all the expert on line i did not see anyone close to the consultancy i am looking for. Your answer is maybe 10% of what i need.


First i do not need to preserve the juice in the cans. I intend to put the juice on the market therefore i need to use plastic bottles prefarably. I need someone to tell me 1st what preservative to use and how much to use. So far i have used .025% pot sorbate and 1/4tsp citric acid per gallon. tThe preservative worked for about 3weeks but we saw color changes and damage to the drink going to the 4th week.


I will appreciate if you can answer by giving me the types and amounts of preservatives to use. if you do not have the answer you can refer me to the right experts e.g R&D expers mon this kind or juice or any other similar juice.


Your answer was a bit too general it did not help me much perhaps you did not have enough information from me.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
I am going to opt out of your question. Before you do anything else, you should check with your state for laws and required inspections for doing something like this. Large commercial manufacturers have special equipment and suppliers. Your local extension service, which I gave you above is a source I would certainly check into. I hope you find what you need.

Expert:  Patience replied 5 years ago.

You have actually hit on a question that many people are asking because of the popularity of Zobo/sorrel/hibiscus tea drinks and the difficulties with storage.

The ideal thing would be to keep the drink frozen or at least refrigerated while stored until sold. If you cannot do that then you have a few options to experiment with:

•Pasteurization or pasteurization + preservatives will greatly increase shelf life. You will have to examine the trade off of reduced nutritional values, however. The heating may likely destroy nutrients.

•In similar drinks, people have used 300 ppm sodium metabisulfite in liquid and others have used. 15mg magnesium sulfate together 10ml of citric acid/5 liters liquid. You would have to check how this affects the taste. Off tastes can be improved by adding fruit juices

•Dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC) is manufactured in Germany and sold under the trade name Velcorin. It is termed a 'cold sterilant' rather than a preservative because it is put into the product cold and kills any organisms which may be present in the sealed container. They say it increases shelf-life without affecting the taste, color, or aroma of the beverage product. In the US, Velcorin® is not declared on an ingredient statement. It also breaks down in water and so it is not present when the consumer opens the container. For further information or to purchase:®ion=US

•Alternately, you might want to look into vacuum-packed, nitrogen-packet, or aseptic packagings which can greatly improve shelf life.

The previous expert was right in referring you to your local extension agency (See above.) They will probably be able to answer questions and recommend resources and they are willing to help small business people as well.

I would be happy to discuss further or supply clarification if needed. Please click the ACCEPT button or leave feedback so that I can receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always greatly appreciated!
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
Patience and 39 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the answer which i can rate B-. You started very well like an expert i would like to hear from i.e some one who has first hand done this kind of production. SOme one involved with manufacturing the hibiscus drink and so tell me exactly what they used so that i can right there go and use those preservatives. Your answer is more like some one who has done a research but never been involved or at least know for sure what to do to chemically preserve the drink. I appreciate the altenative but i need to hear number one best preservative(s) you recommend based of what was used by others successfully and if you want give me other alternatives as well i will appreciate. So please narrow your answer by giving me the best choice and other choices.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Patience i appreciate your answer but as i said the answer is too still too vague for me. I need to know exactly what preservatives and amout are used. in one of your proposed preservative do you mean 0.15mg magnesium sulfate or 15mg magnesium sulfate?.


Of all the suggestions you gave me which is the number one preservative that is used or was ever used successfuly by Zobo drink manufacturers?

Expert:  Patience replied 5 years ago.
Hello- I have a background of training in biochemistry, nutrition, and research, and I am checking in with further information for you:

Unfortunately I have to tell you that based on the literature out there, so far the longest shelf life of the beverage was found to be about 40 days. This was only achieved using sodium-benzoate together with pasteurization. As regards nutrition, this resulted in a reduction of vitamin C content in the drink by 50-60%.

To achieve these results, a simple stock solution of sodium benzoate can be made by dissolving one pound of sodium benzoate in one gallon of water. One fluid ounce of this solution per one gallon of the zobo beverage gives a concentration of about 0.1 % sodium benzoate, which is the recommended concentration for this type of non-carbonated drink.

Bottom line: to get to 4 months of preservation you need to look at aseptic/vaccuum/nitrogen packaging.

I would also recommend that you check in with the people who manufacture Velcorin, as it is relatively new and they may have better numbers for you using their preservative. You can contact them at the website listed earlier for a consultation.

Good luck to you with getting your product out. Personally, I love drinking zobo/hibiscus! Thank you for using Just Answer.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the efforts you have put in. You have provided some valuable information but unfortunately none of your answers make me 90% confident in obtaining 4 months shelf life at room temp using either one of your methods.
Expert:  Patience replied 5 years ago.
An aseptic package that has been sterilized prior to filling with UHT (Ultra High Temperature) treated liquids, will result in a product with a shelf life of over 6 months, see