Here at GPAL, our Special Testing Department personalizes its shelf life studies to be specific to your product to best gauge the quality based off of your ingredients, processing, storage conditions and packaging.
Shelf life is the recommended, maximum time a food product can be stored. GPAL’s Shelf Life Studies quantify if the product is acceptable for distribution, storage and display, and the ensures length of time it may be stored before becoming unfit for use, consumption or sale.
The concept of the expiration date is related. An expiration date as it applies to selected food products is a previously determined date after which something should no longer be used if it exceeds the anticipated shelf life for perishable goods. The “sell by date” is another term often referred to as an expiration date. Most foods are still safe to consume after the expiration date. Although a food product has passed its shelf life, it might still be safe but the quality is no longer guaranteed.
Specific tests measure changes in food products that could significantly affect the quality of the product. Properly conducted Shelf Life Studies have shown that a reduction in the rate of deterioration in many food products can ensure a longer shelf life. A food product should be safe, retain acceptable quality and meet nutritional labeling requirements. There may be physiological, biochemical and bacteriological actions and reactions taking place within in a food product which can affect shelf life. The addition of antioxidants, antimicrobials and novel packaging processes are some of the food preservation methods used to extend the shelf life of a food product.
To determine if a food product is acceptable for consumption, GPAL examines such factors as organoleptic properties (i.e., texture, odor, appearance), microbial spoilage and chemical changes to the product during storage. View our Service Catalog for additional special testing we offers to our customers.
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