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Ideas to increase the shelf life of Granola biscuits


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#1 Martinblue

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 09:29 AM

Hi All,

My customer has requested to increase the shelf life of Granola biscuits(Pet Food) from one year to two years.
Main ingredients of product include Pasteurized eggs, sunflower seeds,molasses ,fruit juice and flours.
Finished product is quit dry.
I would be looking for any quick procedure/guidelines to establish shelf life of that product.
Please share your thoughts and expertise.

Looking for ward to hear from you.
Regards
martinblue



#2 GMO

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:47 PM

Unfortunately I can only give you half an answer. Many years ago I used to work in confectionery and the company I worked for had established and validated some accelerated shelf life method. I don't know the settings but it was pretty much the worst case scenario for chocolate, wafer etc and in warm and wet conditions. I'm sure you could do something similar but of course that would take time to establish.

What I would recommend is presumably you keep reference samples of each batch? If so you can keep some a month past the shelf life (presumably you do this already?) then test. If you have enough samples maybe you could go to 2 or 3 months. I would however, recommend from a quality point of view that you do this shelf life increase in small stages rather than all at once if you can. They are proposing to double the life!

Alongside this, with a long shelf life product you would perhaps have 3-4 month old product still in store? Get some of that and get some traditional shelf life going.

Honestly, with a product which has a 12 month shelf life it's not often going to be an issue food safety wise to extend it but it's always quality which could fall. Not sure how much your dogs or other animals will be bothered about that?!



#3 Martinblue

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 12:58 AM

Thanks GMO, really appreciate your comments. I agree product is unlikely to have any microbiological issues. I have 9 months old, still in pretty good condition.No sign of any spoilage or deterioration. Would it be solid ground to give customer 24 months life?
Is there any other way i could convince him?

regards

Martinblue



#4 GMO

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 06:33 AM

Hmm. No I don't think so, you have samples at 9 months old which is not as old as could be currently sold or used so I don't think that's a basis.

Could you ask your customer to send back any product nearing its shelf life (presumably they have some as they're asking for this) so you can get on shelf life testing more quickly?

Without further information I would only be prepared to extend the life by a month or two at a go. As you mention a customer I'm wondering whether your customer is then packaging this product up for consumers? If so, and the packs aren't going to be seen by a consumer with an old date you could perhaps say to your customer, "do some organoleptic and micro testing, if in spec and no sign of softening, extend for 1 or 2 months" but continue doing your shelf life testing alongside.



#5 Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:22 AM

Having worked in the pet food industry I can say that cats are more fussier than dogs.

I totally agree with what GMO has stated.

See if you can get hold of old samples from your customers and retain them yourselves and check for microbiological tests. I would not envisage any microbiological issues if the water activity is low and product kept in coll dry conditions.

If anything i would see qaulitative issues of rancidity of natural oils over long periods if product not kept at right tempereture.

Cheers


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


#6 Martinblue

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:42 PM

First of all let me say thanks to GMO and Dr. Shah for taking time to comment on my query.It was really useful. You guys are doing fantastic work.

Would it be possible to have any templet document to record data while establishing shelf life?

Regards

Martinbue


Edited by Martinblue, 09 June 2011 - 07:46 PM.





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