Sensory claims From December 2014 newsletter

Forcing out a shelf life!

All sectors of the food and drink industry are under increasing pressure to rapidly develop and launch new and innovative products to maintain or increase market share. Part of the product development cycle is to set a suitable shelf life. For ambient stable products with long shelf life (6 months plus), as well as some perishable, chilled products, commercial pressure means it is rarely feasible for full term shelf life evaluations to have been completed prior to product launch.

An ongoing member subscription-funded research project is looking at ways to overcome this. Accelerated shelf-life testing, for example storage at elevated temperatures, may change the dominant chemical, biochemical and microbiological spoilage mechanisms, thereby affecting the relevance of the trial. However, comparing the performance of a test product (unknown shelf life) and an existing product (known shelf life) under such 'forcing' conditions may provide the route forward. Current work is assessing whether such comparisons can reliably predict shelf life and, if so, whether such reliability is dependent on product or spoilage type.

Visit the project website here

Contact: Reka Haraszi
+44(0)1386 842240

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