Manufacturers are responsible for determining the shelf-life of the food they produce. Predictive models can help determine shelf-life but laboratory testing of microbiological, chemical or sensory indicators within a food over time is often necessary.
Our custom-designed shelf-life or stability studies enable the determination of a product’s use-by date. This service is needed for new product formulations, to verify a new production or storage method, or a change in distribution conditions. Studies of this type are designed to help ensure quality throughout the lifecycle of your product.
During the study design phase, our team will assist in evaluating which component of the food product is most likely to fail during storage. For many products, it is the growth of spoilage organisms. In other products, this can include lipid oxidation, color fading or nutrient stability. Off-flavor and odor can also be tested using sensory research.
In specific cases, accelerated protocols can be proposed to anticipate best-before date determination.
We take a case-by-case approach to designing shelf-life and stability studies according to customer requirements, using the following analytical methods:
- Organoleptic parameters: appearance, color, odor, flavor
- Texture using a texture analyzer
- Consumer Acceptability
- Physical-chemical parameters: pH value, viscosity, density, monitoring of ingredient formulation
- Microbiological parameters: microbial count
- Lipid oxidation
- Nutrient stability Screening of aromatic substances to determinate the qualitative and quantitative fragrance alteration