The importance of food packaging shelf life studies
Food manufacturers must be able to guarantee the quality of their products within the use-by and sell-by dates that they present on their packaging. They can achieve this with an effective packaging shelf life study.
So, what’s shelf life then?
Shelf life is a commonly used expression…but what does it actually mean? Simply put, it’s the durable life of a prepackaged product. It marks the period that commences the day in which a prepackaged product is presented for retail sale; ending at the point in which it no longer meets the normal wholesomeness, palatability, nutritional value, and any other qualities by the manufacturer.
Why are packaging shelf life studies necessary?
Foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, ingredients, and supplements deteriorate over the course of their shelf life.
This will lead to big changes in flavor, scent, texture, appearance and nutritional value, and efficacy. If a company’s damaged products reach the consumer – at best they could ruin a lunch, at worst they could poison someone!
When a consumer buys a product, they have an expectation of quality. So, you can think of the packaging shelf life as the manufacturer’s guarantee that they won’t be disappointed – if they buy a product within the timescales presented. Without packaging shelf life studies, the customer would have to rely on sight and touch alone – they’d be guessing at the quality. There would be no way of indicating if the edibles are actually edible… or even safe to eat.
What’s involved in a shelf life test?
So, as you can see, shelf life studies are important for food producers whose goods are packaged under a modified atmosphere. In this industry it’s essential to control oxygen levels and inhibit the growth of microorganisms if you want to prolong the shelf life of your products.
Shelf life studies delve into how your food items deteriorate over time so that you can choose packaging that’s fit for purpose. In your warehouse, throughout the supply chain, and on your retailer’s shelves, effective headspace gas analysis of food packaging is an important check that your products aren’t unduly affected by oxygen and carbon dioxide ingress.
There are many ways to undertake shelf-life studies and determine the impact of a number of environmental contaminants and variables. An oxygen gas analyzer will monitor the oxygen content of your packaging.
Don’t get let on the shelf! Headspace test your packaging
At Industrial Physics we know a thing or two about packaging shelf life studies. Whether you are looking for an oxygen and carbon dioxide headspace gas analyzer or need to learn more about the best ways to undertake process gas analysis, get in touch today.