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Establishing & verification of shelf life


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#1 clover

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 06:45 AM

Hi all, 

 

need some advice and wisdom on this matter. We currently have an expected shelf-life chart for all our food items (mainly vacuum-packed sauces, meat, semi-processed ingredients to be cooked or re-heated at restaurants/outlets)

 

Thinking of testing food items on their expiration date to verify their current expected shelf-life. I wonder if this is acceptable or common practice? 

 

I know the proper way is to conducting a full shelf-life test whereby we have to send a few samples of the same batch, per food item to fully evaluate the microbial growth over the expected storage period.

 

But since we do not have the luxury of time, could this be another way? 

 

Accelerated shelf-life test was not favored by the auditor, not sure why. 

 

 



#2 trubertq

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 07:59 AM

I think you need to do one full shelf life analysis on each of your products and then you can verify occasionally with end of life testing, especially the products for re-heating.

 

That's what I would expect to see unless you have deep frozen products with shelf life of >2 years.

 

As far as I know it's a legal requirement to have a shelf life analysis carried out under Reg 1169/2011

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#3 clover

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 08:50 AM

I think you need to do one full shelf life analysis on each of your products and then you can verify occasionally with end of life testing, especially the products for re-heating.

 

That's what I would expect to see unless you have deep frozen products with shelf life of >2 years.

 

As far as I know it's a legal requirement to have a shelf life analysis carried out under Reg 1169/2011

 

Hi Trubertq, 

 

I would think so too but we have not yet finalized our recipe, production process, packaging and since these can alter the shelf-life it wouldn't make sense to do a full one just yet. 

 

We just need to know that our current shelf life is "correct" in the sense that we can assure a level of food safety. 



#4 trubertq

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 09:22 AM

Ah well , that was an important bit of information you left out of the original post  :giggle: . In that case I'd see if I could find references for products similar to yours and using those and end of expected  shelf life testing that would give you enough to continue until you have finalised your product.


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#5 clover

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:05 AM

Ah well , that was an important bit of information you left out of the original post  :giggle: . In that case I'd see if I could find references for products similar to yours and using those and end of expected  shelf life testing that would give you enough to continue until you have finalised your product.

Oops, sorry that was mistake on my part. The chilled items are mainly soups and sauces (not as worried as those items kept in freezer as I understand things kept in freezer can last indefinitely). Thank you so much trubertq for your help. Appreciate it. :) By the way, how would you be able to find references for products similar to mine if you don't know what we're producing specifically? Just wondering...wouldn't it need to be product-specific? 



#6 redfox

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 10:56 PM

Hello clover,

 

IMEX, ASLS is not really advisable like our product which needs refrigeration. We sent product to TPL for ASLS, but it ends up only 9 months shelf-life but on its normal storage condition we can attest that our product shelf-life is far beyond 18 month. We got minor NC and we have to send again sample to other TPL but for this time they will do the full 18-month study.

 

One thing more is that if the evaluator is not familiar with your product about the sensory attributes of your product (like ours) it must be a disaster.

 

regards,

redfox



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 02:56 AM

Hello clover,

 

IMEX, ASLS is not really advisable like our product which needs refrigeration. We sent product to TPL for ASLS, but it ends up only 9 months shelf-life but on its normal storage condition we can attest that our product shelf-life is far beyond 18 month. We got minor NC and we have to send again sample to other TPL but for this time they will do the full 18-month study.

 

One thing more is that if the evaluator is not familiar with your product about the sensory attributes of your product (like ours) it must be a disaster.

 

regards,

redfox

Hi redfox,

 

Interesting post.

 

May i ask the reason that the TPL (lab?) gave a much shorter shelf-life by ASLT than you believed reasonable ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 redfox

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 11:04 PM

Hello Charles,

 

It maybe depends on the types of product. I attended a seminar about ASLT, product is subjected to different conditions like temp and RH. Since it is a predictive method IMO and IMEX, our product which need refrigeration and readily spoiled when put in an elevated temp, prediction though based in scientific studies of food scientist we in our part still doubt the result of TPL (third party lab). One more thing is that, our product is not common commodities here in PH, unlike candies, biscuits and other common household commodities which evaluator is very familiar about sensory attributes of the product. We doubt that the TPL that conducted the ASLT is not so familiar the sensory attributes of our product, which sensory evaluation is more subjective in nature.

 

We did not question the TPL and their results. We just decided to look another TPL and shelf-life study and verification will be done on the full shelf-life of our product.

 

regards,

redfox



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#9 clover

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 01:53 AM

Hello clover,

 

IMEX, ASLS is not really advisable like our product which needs refrigeration. We sent product to TPL for ASLS, but it ends up only 9 months shelf-life but on its normal storage condition we can attest that our product shelf-life is far beyond 18 month. We got minor NC and we have to send again sample to other TPL but for this time they will do the full 18-month study.

 

One thing more is that if the evaluator is not familiar with your product about the sensory attributes of your product (like ours) it must be a disaster.

 

regards,

redfox

Hi Redfox, 

 

so we could say that ASLT is inaccurate as it's based on a predictive model instead of real-time study, right? I'm assuming evaluator = auditor? Well ,we're mainly producing soups and sauces and while they won't be completely familiar with sensory attributes of our products, I would say that items like clam chowder, tomato sauce, blue cheese sauce ...is pretty predictable in terms of taste. So, why would it be a disaster?

 

And just wondering, what does sensory attribute got to do with shelf-life test? We determine the shelf-life based solely on the microbiological analysis, ensuring it doesn't exceed the microbiological specifications. Maybe in later stages once the shelf-life has been established and verified microbiologically, then we'll move on to sensory monitoring/evaluation of the items over their storage period. Would this way make more sense? 

 

For the record, we're not manufacturing just a small central restaurant. Thanks.



#10 Charles.C

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:32 AM

Hi clover,

 

In theory the methodology for shelf life determination depends on initial evaluations such as  -

 

(1) Is the shelf life required to be based on safety (the latter related to criteria such as PHF, storage conditions (eg temperature). This requires a risk assessment.

 

(2) If the answer to (1) is No, the method is typically based on non-safety characteristic(s) which is/are regarded as "critical" for storage life. Could be sensorial, chemical,or microbiological, or combinations thereof.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#11 redfox

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 02:23 PM

Hello clover,

 

Im speaking about our product which is not sold here in our country since it is exported to US. Therefore the evaluator not familiar about the sensory characteristic of our product. AFAIK, shelf life is not microbial(FS) alone that is being taken into consideration. Like for example potato chips, the microbial might be acceptable at the end of the declared product shelf life, but in terms of quality, it may become rancid due to oxidation (chemical/sensory), crispness is lost due to high RH (texture). Maybe the custumer wont get sick when he consumed that potato chips, but will he eat the rancid and not crispy potato chips?

 

regards,

rexfox






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