Extending shelf life using superchilling
Our member funded research has shown that superchilling can safely extend the shelf life of products by as much as 300% without any loss of sensory quality.
Superchilling reduces the temperature of food products to around -2°C so they become partially frozen. The products are stored at that temperature until released into the chill chain. The superchilling had no impact on the chilled shelf life once the products were released into the chilled distribution and retail chain.
Using metagenomics to understand shelf life
The products were tested using Advanced Microbial Profiling (AMP) throughout their shelf life. This showed that the microflora of the superchilled products changed over time despite the organisms being held at temperatures that were too cold for them to grow. This raises the intriguing question of whether microbiologists must now consider setting a minimum temperature for bacterial adaptation as well as a minimum temperature for growth.