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Flavours after "best before date"

shelf life expiry flavours best before toxicity

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#1 Mesha

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:21 AM

Hi All,

 

There is a flavour which has crossed its "best before date". On testing it was found that the flavour has not developed any change in appearace and varaition in other physico-chemical parameters when compared to its initial values and when compared to a fresh flavour from the same supplier. In fact the GC-MS chromatogram also is OK.

 

Sensorially also, to our sensory panel it appears to be working for our product but does not qualify manufacturer's parameter. However, he has denied the possibility of development of any toxicity in his flavours even after expiry. Thus confirming a rule out of food safety issue.

 

Would request experts to pls comment on such situation.

 

Regards

Me


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Regards,

 


#2 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

Hi Meena,

 

In my previous work experience as a quality manager i often had to manage ingredients which has passed their use by dates but which were perfectly acceptable from a quality and food safety perspective. In these cases the procedure we operated was to seek a 'Shelf Life Extension' from the ingredient supplier. This would be obtained in the form of a letter/email stating the ingredient name and code, batch number, quantity and the previous expiry date.

 

The letter should be dated and signed and a clear statement of shelf life extension. Retain the document on file for review and audit. In the past this has been adequate for auditors and customers but it would be a good idea to confirm this with any relevant party first.

 

George 


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#3 Mesha

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:18 AM

Hi George,

 

Thanks for your suggestion.

 

I wish to share that the best before date given by manufacturer after revalidation is also over. They gave an extension of 5 months beyond which they would not even test as per their policy. Yet he has assured that the flavour will not develop any toxicity. I am trying my level best to look for practices which lets me use an apparently and chemically OK material. I certainly don't intend to compromise on safety !


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Regards,

 


#4 Qaako

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:04 PM

Hi Meena,

 

I work for a small company that makes flavours. Like George, I've encountered several raw materials that have long passed their best before dates. Our current practice is to seek out shelf life extension from the manufacturers (signed, dated etc.). Also we make sure to save all relevant emails relating to that flavour for future reference (i.e. for your case it'll be the comment by the manufacturer denying possible toxicity). It's also good to remember that 'best before date' is an indication of quality and not necessarily food safety as for the case of 'use by dates'.


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#5 yasser

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:41 AM

I believe from legality side we have to destroy the expired raw materials immediately  


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#6 Hareesh

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:39 AM

Dear Meena,

                    In this case clearly there is no food safety issue. Only chances are affecting the product quality which has been ruled out by the sensory panel. So using the flavor is not going to create any issue. But legally and from an auditor point of view it can be raised as a non conformity


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With Best Regards

Harish


#7 Mesha

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:49 AM

Hi Qaako,

 

Is there a limit to how many times does the supplier carries out revalidation for you ? How do you handle situations where the aroma is senorially acceptable to you but the supplier disqulaifies it ?

 

Hi Hari,

 

You got it right !! What database is required to convince an auditor that the material which might have crossed a "best by date", declared free of toxicity by manufacturer, qualifying all its specifications is USABLE legally !!

 

Thanks in advance


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Regards,

 


#8 Qaako

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:08 PM

Hi Meena,

 

I  don't know of any legal limit out there in terms of how many times a supplier can revalidate a flavour. Any pros out there that can comment here?

In the past we have had a supplier give us a flavour that's 3 years past the original best before date that they kept re-evaluating every 6 months or so and still it was ok. So I guess it's also dependent on the supplier's policy.

 

From experience, we've never had to ask a supplier to revalidate more than once - since we're a small manufacturer we don't handle that much and usually once we get the results of the revalidation we try to use up all of the flavour. Some of our suppliers would also have disclaimers to say it's the customer's final call whether or not to use the product after it's crossed the best before date and to determine if it's still ok to use. In that case, we would do our own internal assessment of the flavour to determine whether or not we can still use it. If all else fails, we look at the amount of that flavour left in stock and whether it would be best just to dump it and order and fresh batch. Ultimately it's the technical manager's final call.


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#9 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:19 PM

Dear Meena,

                    In this case clearly there is no food safety issue. Only chances are affecting the product quality which has been ruled out by the sensory panel. So using the flavor is not going to create any issue. But legally and from an auditor point of view it can be raised as a non conformity

 

This auditor would accept the validated statement that there is no food safety risk. Documented results from the sensory panel will be accepted to demonstrate that there is no affect on the sensory parameters of the product. If there are no customer requirements on this issue, I would not raise a non conformity if the out of date is acceptable. E.g. it would not be acceptabel if the organisation has sourced expired products, if the product is expired for more then a year or if the amount of expired products is much more than will be used in the next month - 2 months.

All this can be completed by a specific sample and analyse plan, to verify that sensoric or other parameters e.g. stability will not reduce before the end of shelf life of the finished products.

 

Also if expiring BBD of raw materials/ingredients is systematic and not incidental I would raise a non-conformity.


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Kind Regards,

Madam A. D-tor

#10 Charles.C

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 02:03 AM

Dear All,

 

Interesting thread.

Seems to me this topic has analogies with coloring agents.

Both are presumably classified as “additives” with all the legalistic paraphernalia attached ? eg –

 

http://ec.europa.eu/...v_index_en.html

 

It would be reasonable in theory IMO to maintain, at a minimum, records of  –

 

(a) Validation that the flavoring is authorized for food use in the first place.

(b) Validation of original shelf life.

(c) Validation  that any extended shelf life need only be based on non-safety issues in the event of any proposed revalidations. This would surely involve more than a simple declaration from the supplier, ie no technical support material (sorry George :smile: )?

 

Different area but one is reminded of all the lengthy micro. discussions regarding RTE, chilled food, shelf lives.

 

Sadly, I cannot remember ever having seen the “Best Before” / “Use By”  concept applied to food additives. Lack of data or over-ridden by legal pre-emptives ?

 

It is possible that regarding additive shelf life, both users and auditors are occasionally of a remarkably trusting nature. Whether an actual  illegality is involved I’m unsure ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS, and next we come to Printing Inks. :smile:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#11 Mesha

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 04:24 AM

Many Many thanks to all of you :smile: .


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Regards,

 


#12 tery

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

New QA Mgr - for a small candy manufacturer using a wide range of flavors (more than 100). We have to purchase the flavorings more than we could finish them.

Flavors suppliers are not willing to provide shelf-life extension letter. 

 

Candy are shelf stable, low Aw 0.24. 

 

How would you do internal reassessment of flavors?

 

Thank you


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#13 Mesha

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:29 AM

Hi Tery,

 

IMO flavor revalidation would require profiling of sample with standard/control to verify for changes that might have developed over time.

 

For your internal reassessment, you can compare the profiling (GC/radar or any other) of flavour after a "Best before" date with the initial profiling (at the time of receiving material) and test the sample against the listed in the specification (including micro / heavy metals).

 

Let me tell you, I have met auditors who do not accept in-house revalidations and insist on revised docs from manufacturers only, it is better to plan your consumptions accordingly.


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Regards,

 


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#14 Ragga

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:23 PM

Hi Meena,

 

I've worked for a company that makes fruit preparations as ingredients for yoghurt companies, we would often have flavours expire and re-expire on us. We actually had an internal process of shelf life extension where we would request an in-shelf life sample of the flavour from the supplier and make up in solution or bench sample of product itself to compare quality degradation of the flavour and the declaration from the supplier confirming no toxicity is good to have. We also did finished product micro testing and sensory evaluation on all batches which was also good evidence.


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