Shelf life is defined as the period in which the product preserves its sensory, physical, chemical and microbiological properties when stored under pre-determined conditions according to the product.
Information on the shelf life of foods is included with the nutritional content in the labeling on the food packaging. Shelf life information is used in two different ways as the expiry date (EXP) or the recommended expiry date.
Shelf life tests usually are based on the principle of detecting changes in chemical, textural, enzymatic, microbial and often sensory (appearance, texture, odor and taste) properties of the product.
Two different methods are applied as real-time shelf life test and accelerated shelf life test in line with the needs of the Food Industry.
REAL TIME SHELF LIFE ANALYSIS
Periodic analyzes are made for the determine shelf life of the product and the deterioration time is determined until the end of the shelf life of the food. Analyzes are performed within the anticipated shelf life of the food. It is the more preferred method for perishable products or products with a shelf life of less than one year.
Shelf life tests which are under standard storage conditions require long storage times, and the specified shelf life must be re-determined for new conditions when at least one of the product formulation, processing technology, packaging material and storage conditions change.
Determining the shelf life of processed foods, especially with techniques such as drying, canning and freezing, is a difficult process that takes a long time and accelerated tests are needed.
ACCELERATED SHELF LIFE
Accelerated Shelf Life purpose to make shorter the test time by accelerating food spoilage under aggravated storage conditions (generally high temperature, light, oxygen and humidity) using an air conditioning cabinet. Shelf life is estimated according to the Arrhenius equation.
The test design consisting of sensory, chemical and microbiological analyzes, analysis periods and aggravated conditions determined specific to the product is carried out with a tasting panel team of 20 people.
Sensory, chemical and microbiological results are interpreted by experts by associating them with statistical modeling and the product is reported in PDF format containing an interpretation of the results in terms of food safety.
Shelf-life studies help to food producers determine the ideal shelf life of their products, while aiming to prevent financial and emotional damages such as recalling the product. It is also ensured that the consumer receives information about the consumption process of the food purchased.
Accelerated shelf life test and real-time shelf life test are performed in our laboratory. For detailed information, you can contact us at 0212 321 09 00.