Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

Credit Crunch / Shelflife Extensions?


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Techy

Techy

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

Posted 05 December 2008 - 05:44 PM

:unsure: In the time of credit crunch a new customer is looking for a longer shelflife than we currently have.

Our product is a mixture of different ingredients mixed in mayonnaise historically we have limited our product life to 10 days unless it is pH control. There are no additional additives, or control factors e.g aW, or salt to help extend the life. Our customers is currently recieving products of up to to 18 days and yes they are very similar products.

Having looked around to see what else is on offer we have discovered other products on the market with at least 15 days. Is my business missing a trick?


We are a very small company and do not have the support of the a huge team of experts.

What testing can we do to support an extension of shelflife?

Appreciate all help

Edited by Techy, 05 December 2008 - 05:45 PM.


#2 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,484 posts
  • 4861 thanks
949
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 05 December 2008 - 08:13 PM

Dear Techy,

Welcome to the forum ! :welcome:

Writing as a non-expert on this product area, I understand yr disclosure limitations but fear that you hv given insufficient data to respond. For example is the item refrigerated (I presume yes), if so, how? Composition ?

I am curious how you determined the shelf life of the existing product ?? There are a number of threads here on shelf-life topic although I can’t remember one focussing on yr specific product area. Nonetheless, I think they generally hv a common basis if you try searching a little, I guess that typically the first requirement is to define what prioritised safety / quality parameters and their limits will fix the shelf life for the specific product composition. Maybe this is already well-known in the trade ?

Regardless of lack of data, I can point to one link (1992!) which has a possible specific answer to yr question (refrig.shelf life 3 weeks) although the details probably won't match yr particular situation (I suspect there are probably many other similar magic formulas around). Predictably the article doesn’t give much away regarding detailed function :smile:

http://www.allbusine...g/320981-1.html

If there are any “mayonnaise” experts here, they will hopefully understand yr query more rapidly and suggest an answer shortly. Hope so and good luck.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 cazyncymru

cazyncymru

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 1,604 posts
  • 338 thanks
126
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:29 AM

:unsure: In the time of credit crunch a new customer is looking for a longer shelflife than we currently have.

Our product is a mixture of different ingredients mixed in mayonnaise historically we have limited our product life to 10 days unless it is pH control. There are no additional additives, or control factors e.g aW, or salt to help extend the life. Our customers is currently recieving products of up to to 18 days and yes they are very similar products.

Having looked around to see what else is on offer we have discovered other products on the market with at least 15 days. Is my business missing a trick?


We are a very small company and do not have the support of the a huge team of experts.

What testing can we do to support an extension of shelflife?

Appreciate all help



Hi

we recently had a similar request from a retailer. albeit we have a shelf life of 23 days, they wanted us to extent it to 26 days, so that they could guarentee 21 days into their stores.
i am making a product that is pH controlled.

what we did was an extended shelf life trial, and conducted this trial over 3 separate runs.

so, on day 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 we tested the product for our usual range of micro, plus listeria & salmonella.
We also coducted taste panel's to see if there was any deterioration in flavour profile.
and we also checked the chemical properties of the product.

we also ran these trials in duplicate with an external laboratory.

hope this helps

c x

#4 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,484 posts
  • 4861 thanks
949
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 06 December 2008 - 01:19 PM

Dear Techy,

Perhaps I misunderstood yr original post but I interpreted it to mean that the specific product(s) you are discussing are not pH controlled (for which I guess there is a substantial body of existing application data) and consequently present a much increased risk profile.

Pls clarify.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Ted S

Ted S

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 31 posts
  • 12 thanks
9
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 09 December 2008 - 08:32 PM

Hello. I have a lot of experience regarding your question and can offer the following:

Regarding a mayonnaise based product in which other ingredients are added, the shelf life is directly related to the surviving microbiological counts from: 1) Raw material quality, 2) Cold chain management, 3) and Processing conditions.

Regarding raw material quality, how do you control the microbiological limits of the raw materials that you are using? Spices, for example, can be filthy. In a product such as this, you should only be using "low bacteria" type spices to help keep the counts low in the product and through shelf life. If you are using a "standard" black pepper, for example, you are using the wrong type of spice for a product of this nature.

Regarding Cold Chain management, how do you manage the "cold chain" of your process? Are all refrigerated raw materials received refrigerated? Are they stored under refrigeration that works properly and set at the right limits? When the refrigerated ingredients are handled and pre weighed, how long do they sit out at room temperature? As soon as refrigerated ingredients begin to be exposed to higher temperatures, the microbiological counts will take off and only contribute negatively to the shelf life of finished product.

Finally, how is the product assembled? Is the equipment clean and sanitized properly? Is the assembly and packaging room refrigerated? If the assembly of this mayo based product is happening in an ambient environment (i.e. not refrigerated), the microbiological counts will take off and negatively impact the finished product (i.e shortened shelf life). And once the finished product is assembled, how long does it take to come back down to proper refrigerated temeprtures once it is in the package? The longer the packaged product takes to come back to the refrigerated temperature zone, the more bacteria will grow and negatively impact shelf life.

Finally, as someone mentioned earlier, have you done any microbiological testing on your product? It is quite possible that due to the current formula and raw material quality that you are using that you will never be able to get an extended shelf life. The only way to properly answer this question is to do some thorough testing to determine if in fact the materials that you are using along with the process that you are following is adequate enough to support the shelf life that you are looking for. You might find that you will need to make some changes to get the shelf life that you are looking for.

Shelf life is directly related to the type and amount of bacteria that are introduced and survive in the product once it is packaged. If the wrong type and amounts of certain bacteria are introduced into your product either through raw material quality, processing, etc... and allowed to survive, this will only have a negative impact on the shelf life of the finished product.

Thanks.

Ted



#6 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,484 posts
  • 4861 thanks
949
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 09 December 2008 - 08:43 PM

Dear Ted S,

Welcome to the forum ! :welcome:

Many thks yr very nicely laid out post of experience. Fully agree with principles of yr comments.

And now the 64,000 dollar question (maybe bit more these days :smile: ) -

Can you suggest any appropriate limits for the, for example, microbiological comments you make. I also suppose options like accelerated tesing are involved with this query. (still not sure if pH control is relevant to this case but presumably assume not available)

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 AS NUR

AS NUR

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 581 posts
  • 55 thanks
9
Neutral

  • Indonesia
    Indonesia
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:east java, indonesia

Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:00 AM

Agree with CAZ says... IMO.. The packaging material (Plastic / polymer) and type (vacuum or no ) and packing process can effect to product shelf life...
If you dont want to change your packaging material and you use normal packaging type (non Vacuum packing)... You have to consider about "Head Space", thats can effect to Product shelf Life, The "Head space" can give Oxygen to Micro growth... So,you can trial with CAZ Procedures with different "head space"...



#8 okido

okido

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 205 posts
  • 12 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Netherlands
    Netherlands
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:47 PM

Hi Techy,

What packaging are you using now?

Okido



#9 Techy

Techy

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

Posted 01 March 2009 - 02:35 AM

Hi

Thanks to all who replied

Apologies for being away so long ( busy with BRC) a few more details:

The product is non-pH controlled, raw materials are bought to tight micro specs, high risk products all come with COA in some cases in addition to our our positive release checks, cold chanin management is good all arrive and are deivered to customer refridgerated < 5oC, product is packed in polypropylene pots, non-vac packed. The factory opeerates to good hygiene standards.

Don't know enough about MAP packing I dont think it is suitable for our product as I belive our product is at risk of C.bot as mayonnaise sits at bottom of pot and as it settles all oxygen is drawn out and then potentially creating anaeobic environment. But others have longer life.

All products are micro tested for shelflife 5 days beyond proposed shelflife with abuse built in. We have never found Salmonella, or Clostridia, A few occurences of Listeria due to higher risk raw materials but always <10.

Micro modelling has been suggested to me but it is difficult to do for a multi component

Do I do a micro model for each individual ingredient? Each supplier of ingredints does not give more than a few days for protein so can

Example

canned tuna ( life on opening can 3 days max)
canned sweetcorn ( life on opening can 3 days max)
mayonnaise life = < month
black pepper - heat treated

Micro results show product life good at p+18, tastes good till P+16

But what do I do about product with chicken and bacon? proteins are immersed in mayonnsie so the mayonnsie helps preserve but it is not pH controlled. The mayonnise is < 3.5 but the other ingredients are not.



#10 Madam A. D-tor

Madam A. D-tor

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 615 posts
  • 216 thanks
35
Excellent

  • Netherlands
    Netherlands
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:meat, meat products, ready to eat, food safety, QMS, audits, hazard analyses, IFS, BRC, SQF, HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 22000

Posted 01 March 2009 - 09:56 AM

Hi Techy,

Is it possible to make a pH -controlled variation for this customer?
Is it possible to make a recipe with preservatives?

Have you checked the products of your competitors on pH and the use of preservatives?

You are conducting microbiological shelf life tests until P + 15. How about organoleptic testings.
You wrote that the tuna salad is still tasty after 16 days. Do you also have this information of your other products? Have you tested the taste of the products of your competitors at the end of the shelf life ? Maybe these products do not taste as good as yours.

If microbiological testing including possible missuse (i assume this is storing for a few days at non-appropriate temperature) shows that the product is microbiological in spec after 18 days. Why can you not give these 5 days to the customer? Is it assurance?


Kind Regards,

Madam A. D-tor




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users