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New spice product - how to extend shelf life?

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:18 AM

Hi there,

Im also looking into spice rubs and seasoning shelflife determination and the microbial limit level that we should follow if is for UK market.
An example of product : BBQ seasoning or garam masala..mixture of spices,herbs and salt.
Is there any standard from any organization on the microb and other requirement?.

Currently , the supplier mentioned only 6 mths shelf life.But we are targeting 24 mths.
How can i verify this in the shortest time whether the product can go 24 mths?

Please help to advise. The packaging would be 3 layers aluminium pouch , vacuum pack.

Thanks you so much.

Best regards,
Swee Lan


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Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

Has anyone got experience of shelf life of spices to share with Swee Lan?

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 09:22 AM


I am not aware of any microbiological standards but if it is a dry seasoning, nothing will grow anyway. The microbiological standards will be different depending on it use. e.g. for a seasoning intended for use in the manufacture of chilled high risk products, a more stringent microbiological limit will be required.

The shelf will be for quality reasons, in this case your supplier is stating that the product quality and flavour profile will be within standard up to 6 months. You may or may not have a change in the flavour profile after this period. The only way of finding out is to store and check against a fresh sample.

The following may be of some use as it is a summary of various UK / EU regulations which apply to spices: http://www.food.gov..../tradeinfo9.pdf


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Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:33 AM


You should investigate further on spore forming pathogenic organisms that may survive in dry environment as spores and these are the things that may germinate to when conditions become favourable with the right water activity, temperture, etc.

Have you thought of conducting accelerated shelf life trials? They are a speedy way of working out long term shelf life. Not many laboratories prefer to use this method. It is worth looking at this and at the same time and also keeping your retention smaples and checking these in 24 months time to see how they fare for quality and food safety characteristices

The document posted by Ken is also a very useful one for you.



Edited by Dr Ajay Shah, 29 April 2011 - 03:34 AM.

Dr Ajay Shah.,
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCE(FE)
Managing Director & Principal Consultant
AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd


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Posted 03 May 2011 - 12:32 PM


Pls. search the forum thoroughly - there is some previous discussion on this for some other products. Also there is a procedure called Accelerated Shelf life study. Approach the nearest 3rd party lab - they will be helping you on this.


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