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End of shelf life testing


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#1 Murae

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 11:00 AM

Hi,

 

I am looking to send some samples for testing on product that has reached the end of its shelf life.

 

This is so I can build up some data on what our range of products are like after recommended shelf life.

 

I was going to send these for nutritional testing but is there anything else that would be a recommended test to have as data?

 

rgds

Murae



#2 Philip Jones

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 12:05 PM

What is the product?



#3 Qualityone

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 12:07 PM

Facility should have established a documented procedure detailing how shelf life testing is undertaken .This procedure  should consider the handling conditions throughout the supply chain, e.g. products typically undergo a thaw and preparation step leading to a Secondary shelf life which must be considered in the total shelf life study. The aim of shelf life study is to confirm that the safety, legality and quality of products are acceptable throughout the stated shelf life, as demonstrated by compliance with relevant microbiological, chemical and organoleptic criteria.

 

Where long-shelf-life products (for example frozen products) are developed, it may not be possible to complete full shelf-life trials.  The justification for the declared shelf life is documented and based on experience from similar products and science-based justification

  • Micro and Analytical (chemical) testing will be conducted and documented at the following intervals:
  • Date of Production + 1 day, and then at  stated shelf life +1 day.

Low Risk products -you might  want to test for pH, Moisture, Coliform, APC as well.



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#4 Murae

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 12:59 PM

Thanks the above information is a great help



#5 xylough

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:02 PM

Hi Murae,

 

Depending on the product, it may be customary to not only perform end-of-shelf-life studies, but to also perform studies at various intervals throughout the entire shelf life of the product. In this way you can establish expectations for product performance.

As has already been pointed out, these studies need to be planned (designed) as any experiment and documented with a baseline of the fresh product in order to have a point of reference for comparison. The usual or expected holding conditions need to be defined and recreated for the experiment, e. g., ambient room temperature, refrigerated, frozen, in darkness, humidity, etc.

For some products it is customary to perform what are called accelerated shelf life studies, in which the experiment design purposely includes anticipated abuse conditions, e. g., out of specification temperatures that the product may undergo during transport or in a retail display case.

Aside from the already mentioned microbiological and chemistry testing that would be appropriate for a potentially hazardous food, shelf life studies may also focus on organoleptic attribute testing for aroma, color, mouth feel, taste and array of visual changes. A chocolate chip cookie may never present a food safety issue during its shelf life, but it may undergo quality degradation, losing its crunchy ,chewy, moist, characteristics.

As may or may not be self evident, it can be dramatically less expensive to perform some preliminary shelf life testing in house as opposed to sending out to a certified lab. Depending on the equipment and space at your disposal, competencies of your staff, complexity of the desired experimental design and the labor hours available to you, many shelf life studies may be carried out in house.



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:11 PM

Hi Murae,

 

Personally i would have said that the first priority is to determine if the shelf life is to be based on Quality or Safety.

 

That relates to Post #2


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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