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Old 05-18-2014, 01:11 AM   #1
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Soymilk: refrigerated or not?

A friend suggested I try soymilk as an alternative to regular milk for cooking and drinking. I went to the market the other day and found two products that look almost identical. Both products are labeled "Organic soymilk plain".

But one of them was in the refrigerated dairy case, the other was on a regular (not refrigerated) shelf. The one in the dairy case had an expiration date of July 18, 2014. The other one was Feb 19, 2015.

The ingredients are almost identical. The unrefrigerated one had 3 extra ingredients: sodium citrate, potassium citrate, and zinc sulfate. I assume these are preservatives.

The only other difference that I could see was that the unrefrigerated one said "Shake well before using", which is not on the other one.

Both have the Organics brand. The packages says they are made by Lucerne foods, which I believe is part of Safeway. (I was in a Safeway store.)

A couple of questions:
  1. Are these identical except for the preservatives?
  2. Why do they offer two products?
  3. How harmful are these extra ingredients?
Since I don't plan to store this in the pantry for month, I think I'll just buy the refrigerated one.


Thanks for any information. I'm new to this "healthy food" thing.

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Old 05-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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Very long dates and open shelf stocking of milks, juices, etc., indicate ultra-pasteurized product, sterilized. It is flash heated to 280F and instantly cooled. It's very efficient. It doesn't affect calcium or calories. It may harm some nutrients and, more importantly, may affect taste. Taste test to find out. (And with real milks, it will no longer be usable for cheese or yogurt.) UHT is nothing to be afraid of. I recall it in boxes on store shelves in Europe in the 1980's, long before we began seeing it. But taste is the issue. And, of course, whether you really need to keep your milk around for a year.

Now, that said, I'm guessing that the preservatives are intended to prevent some break down of some qualities over long times, not to prevent growth of bacteria, none of which are present in UHT processed products.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'm surprised that it doesn't say "Ultra pasteurized" on the carton. I guess the company knows more about what we, the dumb consumers, need to know than we do.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:01 PM   #4
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If I find the product refrigerated in the market I would refrigerated it. If I open a container of non-refrigerated food product, I would refrigerate the remaining portion.
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldvine View Post
If I find the product refrigerated in the market I would refrigerated it. If I open a container of non-refrigerated food product, I would refrigerate the remaining portion.
There are many 'shelf stable' foods on the market now---- IOW they don't have to be refrigerated UNTIL they're opened. Soy milk is one of them.

But once those are opened they have to be refrigerated.

If you look closely at the carton that should state that somewhere. If it doesn't then contact the manufacturer!
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:40 PM   #6
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I'd be surprised if the packaging did not say, "Refrigerate After Opening".
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:29 AM   #7
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I use unsweetened coconut milk packaged in a non-refrigerated carton. I will store it in the pantry until opened but then I refrig it. I only like to drink cold milk. Of any variety. I'd agree that if you buy it in the refrigerated section, put it in the frig. If not, refrig after opening.
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