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Does Soymilk Need Refrigeration or Not?

Soy milk, once opened, requires refrigeration and should be consumed within five days. Prior to being opened, however, soy milk actually doesn't require chilling, and has an unrefrigerated shelf life of at least one year. Then why, might you ask, is it is sold refrigerated in the milk aisle while other brands go unrefrigerated next to rice milk? To find out,


The answer might surprise you: It's primarily for marketing reasons. When it entered the market more than a fifteen years ago, the now-bestselling soy milk brand, White Wave, aimed to compete head to head with cow milk. They arranged for the product to be sold in traditional gable-top milk cartons and lobbied for grocers to place its product, Silk soy milk, in the dairy case, to convey the image of being freshly made. In reality, there is little nutritional difference between refrigerated and unrefrigerated soy milk — both are made by mixing a dry soy mixture with water.

Anna-Monette-Roberts Anna-Monette-Roberts 2 years 35 weeks
jo-jo-ba: According to this story, the milk carton versions don't necessarily have to be refrigerated. But I would always read the labels before attempting anything!
jo_jo_ba jo_jo_ba 2 years 35 weeks
Does this just apply to the Tetra-Pak versions? Here it comes in aseptic packs (shelf stable) and standard "milk carton" versions (in the frig. section)
jacklance jacklance 3 years 23 weeks
I use a Soy Quick soy milk maker. I do not know about other machines, no experience with them.It is easy to clean, and use. The strainer can get tough to clean, but I assume they all can.The Tofu is delicious, I have never eaten so much tofu.I also love taking the hot soymilk and stirring in some vegan chocolate syrup, great hot chocolate as a reward for making it. Jack http://www.bergenrefrigeration.com/
Ladytron7000 Ladytron7000 7 years 3 weeks
Less packaging too.
Ladytron7000 Ladytron7000 7 years 3 weeks
So...why don't they just sell powdered soy milk that we can mix with water. That sure would cut down on shipping costs and make it greener.
TwoBlackDogs TwoBlackDogs 7 years 17 weeks
Well, coconuts don't have nipples either, but I've never heard anyone object to the term "coconut milk"! And cows don't really have nipples, either, they have udders!
ilaphalot ilaphalot 7 years 17 weeks
i use vanilla silk to make french toast it is soo good
Bksuga Bksuga 7 years 17 weeks
wow good to know i always wanted to know the difference, so does this go for all like almond milk too
MzKita MzKita 7 years 17 weeks
*scratches head* U don't say...
jen1975 jen1975 7 years 17 weeks
Almond milk is awesome, too, and doesn't have the weird taste you have to get used to with soy milk.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years 17 weeks
LOL Smack! My boyfriend always says the same thing. "It's not soy milk! Soy beans don't have nipples!"
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years 17 weeks
Smack, I'm glad you brought up the very name of it! It really is soy juice, if you think about it.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years 17 weeks
Hmmm not a fan of soy has too much of a sweet taste to it for me...
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years 17 weeks
It's all about marketing. Thay are trying to make people think it's just like milk so they can compete for people's dairy dollars. Thats why its in the same shaped container, thats why a lot of soymilks add a lot of extra flavoring (because real soymilk is not as sweet and even a little "bean-y" tasting). I think that's why they also call it soy-MILK, because people may not want to try something called Soy-Juice.lol.
s10 s10 7 years 17 weeks
Im so glad you posted this question. I was just at the grocery store last night and was wondering why the soy milk wasn't refrigerated. I want to try it, now I definitely will :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years 17 weeks
Correct me if I'm wrong, Chinese soy milk is not fortified with calcium and vitamins. I think there's a unsweetened version, and a regular sweetened one. As far as nutrition, Silk is better. I drink Unsweetened Silk.
Food Food 7 years 17 weeks
Fab dearest — the same goes for Rice Dream. It keeps up to a year sealed, and after opening should be consumed within 5 days (7 to 10 days max). That said, I do think the recommended shelf life is always a little on the generous side. :-)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 7 years 17 weeks
This is why I started buying soymilk instead of cow's milk. Because I can buy several packages of soymilk and store then in the pantry until I open one. Then I refrigerated it. If I could just find non-fat Parmalat in the stores regularly, I'd but that too.
eowynnie eowynnie 7 years 17 weeks
Like wunami, I also love Chinese soy milk! Especially the kind that's tinted green... I'm told it's because that soy milk has been infused with some kind of leaf, but all I know is that it's delicious stuff. That said, I also love plain Silk. Delicious!
cybele cybele 7 years 17 weeks
What a stupid waste of energy.
wunami wunami 7 years 17 weeks
I can't drink "American" soy milk. I much prefer the Chinese ones since that's what I've grown up on. It doesn't taste like cow milk and doesn't try to taste like cow milk. Well...soy products cause male infertility. Yay.
emalove emalove 7 years 17 weeks
Interesting! I love the vanilla Silk soy milk.
Spectra Spectra 7 years 17 weeks
Yeah, I always kinda figured that's why they put it in the refrigerated section. Kinda like how they strategically put the powdered coffee creamers in the coffee aisle or how they put drink mixers near the liquor section.
ashopaholic ashopaholic 7 years 18 weeks
I have always wondered this, thanks for the answer!
smileyface smileyface 7 years 18 weeks
This is interesting. I just started drinking soy milk on a regular basis. I buy silk and my grocery store its always in the refrigerated section next to the regular milk.