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Processed foods have gained enormous relevance for their sheer convenience and ease of preparation, especially when people have to juggle work and household chores at the same time. Shelf life testing has gained traction due to a rise in demand for food that has a good shelf life.

Markets worldwide have seen tremendous growth when it comes to ready-to-eat meals. This signifies a change in behavioral and consumption patterns among consumers. RTE meals offer convenience without the hassle of worrying about storage or preservation. This has paved the way for more and more manufacturers in the food processing industry to opt in for the production of such foods.

At URS Labs, we offer professional shelf-life testing services to enhance your food safety management. Below is the list of standard conditions we offer for shelf life testing:

  • Frozen (-18oC)
  • Chilled (4oC)
  • Intermediate (30o C/65% RH)
  • Tropical (30o/75% RH)
  • Ambient (25o C/60%RH)
  • Accelerated shelf life testing (40o C/75% RH)
  • Other conditions as per customer request

TAKEAWAYS: Shelf Life Testing

shelf life testing
  1. Shelf life testing is important to ensure product safety and quality. It helps to identify the quality of your product and ensure the safety of consumers.
  2. Product shelf life testing is also crucial for the development of new products and for ensuring the quality of your brand.
  3. Accelerated shelf life testing of foods helps in ascertaining the expiration date of your product much more quickly than real-time testing. This also helps in speeding up the product development process.

Shelf Life Testing

Shelf life testing becomes a crucial element to help you understand the nuances involved in food preservation. Whereas, accelerated shelf life testing of foods helps in understanding how a product responds to elevated levels of deterioration. This helps to assess the conditions under which its durability can be increased.

Accelerated Shelf Life Testing

Accelerated shelf life testing (ASLT) is a method used to determine the shelf life of a product by subjecting it to accelerated environmental conditions. This involves exposure to higher temperatures, humidity, light, and oxygen levels compared to normal storage conditions. By accelerating the conditions that cause deterioration, the shelf life of a product can be determined in a short period. This method is more efficient than traditional methods of shelf life testing under normal conditions. This test is commonly used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries to ensure the safety, quality, and efficacy of their products.

In ASLT, a product sample is selected and exposed to accelerated conditions for a specified period. Samples are periodically tested for changes in physical, chemical, and microbiological properties until they reach a predetermined level of deterioration. This data is then used to extrapolate the expected shelf life of the product under normal storage conditions.

It’s important to note that while accelerated shelf life testing of foods can provide valuable information about a product’s shelf life, it should be used in conjunction with traditional storage testing under normal conditions to ensure that the product remains safe and stable over time.

With increased awareness and stringent food safety regulations that promote healthy and conscious eating habits, getting your products scrutinized for product shelf life testing has become a need. This helps to maintain quality standards as well as cater to the rise in demand for packaged food items. Many countries make it mandatory for manufacturers to mention a definite “Use by date” or a “Best Before date” on their packaging.

Product Shelf Life Testing

Product shelf life testing is the process of evaluating the quality, safety, and effectiveness of a product over its expected expiry date. The goal of this test is to determine the shelf life under normal storage conditions before its quality, safety, or efficacy is compromised. Shelf life testing is commonly used in the food, medical, and cosmetic industries. This ensures that products remain safe and effective for consumers.

The test involves selecting a sample of the product and storing it under specified conditions for a predetermined period. During the storage period, the product is periodically tested for changes in physical, chemical, and microbiological properties. These tests may include sensory evaluations, chemical analysis, microbial testing, and stability testing. The results of these tests are used to determine the expected shelf life of the product under normal storage conditions.

Shelf life testing is an essential part of product development and quality assurance. It helps to ensure that products remain safe and effective for consumers throughout their expected shelf life. Companies can identify potential storage issues and make improvements to product formulations. This helps to extend the product’s shelf life.

To maintain a good quality standard for food, there are some key considerations every food manufacturer should be aware of. Adhering to these standards helps build brand equity, increase trust among customers, and resolve compliance intricacies.

Let’s explore some of the points that you need to consider before you launch your product for distribution and consumption.

  • Product design and formulation

The design and formulation of a product should be carefully considered to ensure that it is safe, effective, and of high quality. Ensure that all the ingredients in your product are legal in all countries and safe for consumption by all age groups.

  • Manufacturing

This process should meet quality standards and have proper parameters for implementing quality control measures. This ensures that equipment is properly maintained and calibrated to bring out the best product in the market.

  • Packaging

Packaging should be designed to protect the product from damage and contamination. Labeling should provide accurate information about the product’s ingredients, uses, and potential risks.

  • Storage

Proper storage and transportation are essential for maintaining the safety and quality of a product. This includes ensuring that products are stored at appropriate temperatures and protected from light and moisture. They should be transported in a way that minimizes the risk of damage or contamination.

  • Regulatory compliance

Compliance with regulatory requirements is essential to ensure that products are safe and of high quality. Companies should follow relevant regulations related to product safety, labeling, and advertising.

These considerations should be looked into before undertaking any form of product shelf life testing, whether real-time testing or accelerated shelf-life testing of foods. This ensures that the products that you manufacture, process, or distribute remain in line with global health and safety standards. Such testing parameters give your products a competitive edge and make them stand out in the market. Ensuring product safety and quality is important because consumers seek extended shelf life of products.

URS Product Shelf Life Testing

URS Shelf-life study conducted in our testing laboratory in Dubai offers professional and reliable shelf life testing services. This study plays a large role in product quality life-cycle. URS Testing laboratory is accredited with DAC for ISO 17025. Some of the important components of shelf life testing at URS include Microbiological testing, rancidity tests, monitoring the texture, taste, and color of products, and testing ingredient activity.

Contact us to enquire more about shelf-life testing at info@urslabs.com