The shelf-life is the technical term used to indicate the maximum time within which a food product can be kept on the market in optimal conditions of quality and safety, following the correct methods of storage and use indicated by the manufacturer on the label.
For most foods, current legislation requires to inform the consumer, indicating on the label the date until which the product maintains its hygiene, health, quality and sensory characteristics close to the original ones.
The purpose of shelf-life is to help consumers to make informed and safe use of food. On the one hand, it helps to prevent the emergence of potential health risks. On the other hand, it helps to avoid unnecessary waste.
The decay of a product, especially if it is composed of many ingredients and rich in proteins and fats, is an irreversible natural phenomenon. This is a cause for concern for those companies seeking to improve the health and durability of the food they market.
Food producers and distributors must be familiar with the microbiological and physical-chemical mechanisms through which “food aging phenomena” occur. Indeed, they are necessary to determine the shelf life, in the form of Expiry Date (DS) or Minimum Storage Term (TMC).
The prerequisites for the shelf life study are the knowledge of the recipe and the production process, the interactions between the chemical-physical and microbiological parameters, and the technologies used to make the product.
One of the most important challenges for FBOs (Food Sector Operators) is the knowledge of available food technologies aimed at extending shelf-life. From a technical-scientific point of view, these technologies guarantee safety and sensory quality with a sustainable and methodological approach.
It is important to rely on specialists with a broad vision of the market and integrated skills in the field, such as the G&A Team. We support customers to sell healthy food, extend shelf life and enhance communication with consumers.
- Process evaluation
- Product evaluation
- Evaluation of the communication
- Product validation
The shelf-life is the period of time within which a food maintains its characteristics governing the processes of degradation of its components.
On the one hand, the evaluation of shelf-life through microbiological, chemical-physical and sensory analytical tests represents a precise responsibility of the FBO (Food Sector Operators). On the other hand, it represents the guarantee of the shelf life. During that, the product maintains the hygienic and qualitative characteristics that make it safe for the consumer until the expiry date (ED) or the minimum shelf life (DMD).