Study of stability and shelf life of food
One of the most important factors about a food product is its expiration date, which will be its shelf life.
What determines the study of stability and shelf life of food?
Food industry manufacturers must establish the util period of a product and the shelf life. To achieve it, in some occasions, it is enough with predictive models, but in others, it’s necessary to realize some microbiological studies, Physico-chemical characteristics of organoleptic controls.
At which moments are necessary to make a study?
The introduction in the market of a new product is always a delicate moment. Before the launch, it is mandatory to produce a stability study and shelf life of the product in order to certify there is any risk to the consumer’s health. This study will certify there is no microbiological hazard, and know all the process and evolution of the product in time.
In summary, the idea is to establish the shelf life of the product, and the reasons why this type of analysis is useful, or even mandatory.
What is the shelf life of a food product?
We refer to shelf life the length of time a food product is guaranteed to be safe and of good quality by the manufacturer.
It’s important to bear in mind that on some occasions food exceeds the best-before date it doesn’t mean that the product is unsafe for the consumer, but sometimes it means that the manufacturer cannot certify the optimum quality of this. This can be guaranteed by the study of stability.
What offers us the study of stability and shelf life of food?
For the consumers, this type of research guarantees the complete safety of the product, and the compliment of the safety regulations.
But, not only is it important only for the final consumers, it is basic for the manufactures, without this study they cannot introduce a product at the market.
These studies highlight the opportunity to the manufacturers to understand all the different moments of the product: how many times it certifies the optimum quality, how is the evolution of the properties, and the most important, the chance to anticipate possible damages the product could suffer during the storing and distribution process.
All these can have a very important economic impact. Knowing the issues of the product is the easiest to anticipate and avoid possible future problems as can be the introduction in the market of faulty products, and therefore minimizing costs.
How many types of studies are there?
At CALITEC we do three different types of stability and shelf life studies:
- Study of shelf life validation
It’s the most basic study, it establishes the shelf life of the food. To do it, the foods have different controls and quality parameters.
- Shelf life accelerated validation study
It’s the way to establish the validation of non-perishable foods with more than 6 months of shelf life.
That type of study has a duration of 150 days. This is based on applying some kinetics chemistry controls to understand the reaction of the microorganisms under different conditions of light, measure, and humidity.
- Secondary shelf life studies
This refers to the best-before date for consumption of products once they have been opened. It’s the secondary expiration date of food, when there are conservation changes, such as frozen products or a product with an open package.
At CALITEC we make studies of stability and shelf life of food to establish and verify the commercial life of the products.