Food Engineering/Manufacturing/Preserving organic lemonade


Greetings, I have been making a lemonade that contains fresh lemon juice, mint tea and honey. I now want to explore the possibility of extending its shelf life... Maybe even bottleing and selling it.

Furthermore I do not want to use any type of chemical to preserve. This lemonade is organic and natural.

From the reseaech I have done, it seems that pasteurization is an option. Once I mix lemon juice and tea, to heat at 160 degrees for 6 minutes and then bottle it in glass while hot. The only problem is that I do not want to hear the honey because hot honey has adverse effects.

First question, will pasteurization in this way, and bottling hot in glass actually extend the shelf life? To how long? A week? A month?

Second question, if I heat the entire mix and then allow to cool to add the honey and then I bottle it in a cooler state, will the preservation effect remain?

Any other thoughts or suggestions? I think you get the gist of what I am trying to accomplish: keep the integrity of this organic and completely natural product but extending the shelf life to at least 1 month. I don't want to intoxicate anyone with a growing funghi or microbe!

Thank you!

Understand that when you hot fill, you pasteurize the product as well as the container. So you should also invert the bottle after its filled to allow the heat to contact the cap. Lastly, you should cool the outsides to keep color loss and flavor loss minimal.

I don't know if 160 degrees for 6 minutes will kill all of the pathogens in your formula.   You should send samples to a qualified food lab to determine that.  

Shelf life can be determined only by shelf life testing.  You put away a quantity of bottles, and then systematically open them over time to learn how long before they go bad.

Lastly, I don't really know anything about honey, so I can't answer anything specific.

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Jim Pfister


Food Engineering/Manufacturing, Food Packaging/Distribution, Engineering Beverage Lines, Reducing operating cost of packaging lines while increasing efficiency. Lean Manufacturing. Incorporating new package technology into existing operations. Training staff to achieve smooth transition from "start-up" to full production. Managing complex projects across multi-disciplinary lines. Equipment PreShipment Factory Acceptance testing and Commissioning programs for new equipment.


Employment history: Over thirty-five years of experience. Managed as much as $40MM in concurrent, multi-disciplinary projects, both domestic and international, and have worked with such firms as Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Hershey`s, and Nabisco.

Organizations: An author and speaker, as well as a member of the IoPP. Past Chairman of IoPP`s Consultant`s Council and Member of the Packaging Equipment Performance Committee.

Publications: PMMI Solutions `99, Monthly Packaging Tipsheets


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