As one of the nation's largest environmental, food and consumer products testing laboratories, LA Testing has been providing quality analytical services for our clients for many years. As LA Testing and parent company EMSL Analytical, Inc. have expanded over the years, so have the various testing capabilities.
LA Testing is pleased to now be providing Shelf Life Studies for its clientele. The key elements of shelf life testing include physical, chemical, microbiological and sensory attributes of a product. In addition, it is necessary to distinguish whether real-time studies, accelerated studies or both will be conducted.
When real-time studies are conducted, the product is typically held in a controlled environment considered to be ‘normal’ for an extended period of time that is longer than what is anticipated to be within the lifespan of the product. Alternatively, when accelerated studies are conducted, an attempt to accelerate the ‘aging’ of the product is implemented.
Determining the shelf life of a product entails studying over varying, documented time increments the interactions between a food product, its packaging and the storage environment. Shelf life testing is conducted to determine the length of time that a food product will maintain its safety and quality.
Why conduct a Shelf Life Study?
The list below outlines a few key factors that should be considered when deciding whether or not to conduct a shelf life study:
• monitoring the effects of changes in processing and formulations in a product
• determining ideal conditions for food products
• isolating issues relating to decay/spoilage
• identifying ideal packaging and storage environments
• maintaining cost-effectiveness by eliminating waste
• ensuring that products are safe to use while measuring longevity
• ensuring that initial quality attributes are maintained for life of a product
• measuring and ensure the nutritional quality of a product