Why Shelf-Life Study of Packaged Food Items is Required

by Rahul G. Founder

 What is Shelf-Life?

The term "shelf life" refers to the amount of time food can be stored until it begins to deteriorate, as long as any specified storage conditions are met.

The start of a product's shelf life is when it is prepared or processed. Its duration is determined by a variety of factors, including the ingredients used, the production process, the packaging used, and how the food is processed. It is usually marked by a date mark on the product's label.

How is Shelf-Life related to Food Safety?

Shelf-Life testing describes the process of determining how long food can keep its quality after it has been stored. A Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) framework should be used to control the pathogen content (safety) of foods. Pathogen development can be assessed using predictive modeling or challenge monitoring.

Food protection and product shelf life, on the other hand, are inextricably related. A food's shelf life should include the following:

Remain healthy to eat.

Its appearance, odor, texture, and flavor should all be preserved.

Ensure that the nutritional claims on the packaging are met. 

Anyone who packages and sells food that must be date-marked is legally responsible for measuring how long their product can be expected to last without deteriorating in quality. The shelf life of the food must be specified on the package, as well as the storage instructions necessary to maintain that shelf life.

The food producer is usually responsible for this, but it may also be re-packers, secondary processors, food manufacturers, and supermarkets.

What exactly is the shelf-life study?

A variety of experiments are performed on the given goods as part of shelf-life research to see how they adapt over time and with other environmental factors. Chemical, sensory, analytical, and microbiological tests are among the different tests available.

They concentrate on various aspects of the product, such as its materials, packaging, manufacturing, and storage conditions. As a result, the influence of each of these variables on the product is observed.

The shelf-life research report is focused on the type and quantity of these variables. The shelf-life analysis must be repeated if any of these elements are modified in form or quantity.

For example, if you change the packaging of your product and its life cycle is influenced by this change, you would need to opt for another shelf-life test.

Importance of Shelf-Life Study of Packaged Food

Shelf-life aims to assist consumers in making healthy and informed food choices. Only if the product is purchased intact and undamaged should the shelf life be considered legitimate. Consumers should always follow the manufacturer's instructions for storage, particularly when it comes to temperature and how to use the product after it has been opened. Consumers should also accept shelf-life details when buying foods to avoid wasting food.

Ingredients, foods, and supplements can undergo deteriorative changes during their shelf life that can impact their chemical, sensory and nutritional properties (texture, appearance, flavor, nutritional value, and beneficial health effects).

Types of tests for Shelf-Life Analysis

Since the procedure can range from food product shelf-life studies to cosmetic product shelf-life studies, different tests must be performed for each case. You should contact a reputable laboratory to find out what types of testing your goods will undergo depending on their type and other considerations such as storage conditions.

This can only be driven by the experts. Furthermore, you should note that performing the right type of tests is extremely important for obtaining the required results.

Sigma labs can ensure you have a full understanding of how a product changes over time. Our expertise instability and shelf-life testing for ingredients and finished food products include: -


Colour, texture, scent, and taste investigation for the entire lifetime of products. Our taste optimization service integrates sensory features such as mouth-filling and optimization of the texture to ensure that all aspects of your product meet your requirements and high market acceptability levels.


Not only in predicting and optimizing the quality of a commodity or raw material, but also in predicting and optimizing the physical properties of foods are important.

Our scientists use a variety of analytical techniques and expertise to characterize the physical and structural characteristics of food products and ingredients, as well as to predict how substances will behave during processing and storage.

Accelerated Testing

Sigma Labs can predict the volatility of a new product or packaging using accelerated testing. In a relatively short period, this provides preliminary shelf-life results. This involves oxidative stability monitoring with Rancimat and Oxipres equipment, as well as storage at elevated temperatures, humidity, and light conditions.

Predictive Modelling

Predictive models are mathematical equations that use database information to forecast bacterial growth under specific conditions. Food shelf life can be calculated using predictive models. For the calculations, information on the changes that occur in the product as it deteriorates, as well as the product's properties and packaging, is needed. The majority of predictive models are tailored to real species of organisms.

Models are useful as a first step in determining the shelf life of a product. Knowledge from modeling programs, on the other hand, must be checked through challenge testing or a shelf life trial.

What is challenge testing?

Challenge testing is used to determine if a food's formulation and storage conditions will regulate the growth of pathogens, if any are present, for the duration of the shelf life.

In order to assess the risk of food poisoning or to maintain product stability, the procedure involves inoculating the product with relevant microorganisms and incubating it under controlled environmental conditions.

When is it appropriate to use challenge testing?

A variety of factors contribute to the preservation effect in many foods, none of which is adequate to regulate the food's protection on its own. If the impact of such food control systems on specific pathogenic microorganisms cannot be predicted from the literature, challenge testing may be required to assess the product's safety.

Depending on your needs, Sigma Labs will help you complete the whole process or assist you with specific aspects such as sample storage, sample processing, or final reporting.

As a result, you'll be able to get a one-stop shop for all of your shelf-life research needs.

Please feel free to contact our experts at Sigma Labs with any questions or to get your products checked for shelf life.

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About Rahul G. Innovator     Founder

9 connections, 0 recommendations, 97 honor points.
Joined APSense since, August 2nd, 2019, From New Delhi, India.

Created on Jun 14th 2021 21:08. Viewed 230 times.


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