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Shelf-Life Testing

Protect Your Food Brand’s Safety and Reputation with Shelf-life Testing!

In today’s competitive market, ensuring the safety, quality, and longevity of your products is paramount to maintaining consumer trust and brand reputation. We understand the challenges you face in delivering safe and palatable products while also optimising costs and minimising waste.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce our comprehensive shelf-life testing services tailored specifically for food companies like yours. Here’s how our services can benefit your business:

Why should you send your product for Shelf-Life Testing?

  1. Mandatory Labelling Requirement: In today’s market, consumers are more vigilant about what they consume. With regulatory bodies mandating accurate shelf-life labeling, it’s crucial to ensure compliance. Our Shelf-Life Testing guarantees precise and compliant labeling, helping you meet regulatory standards effortlessly.
  2. Ensure your Product is Safe: Safety is paramount in the food industry. Our rigorous testing protocols ensure that your products maintain their quality and safety throughout their shelf life. From microbiological to chemical or physical analysis, we leave no stone unturned in ensuring that your products reach consumers in the safest condition possible.
  3. Ensure your Product is Palatable: Quality and taste are what keep consumers coming back for more. Our Shelf-Life Testing not only focuses on safety but also on maintaining the sensory attributes of your products. With our comprehensive testing, you can rest assured that your products will retain their flavour, texture, and aroma, delighting consumers with every bite.
  4. Cost Saving: By accurately determining the Shelf Life Testing of your products, you can reduce food wastage and lower restocking costs for retailers. Minimising waste not only benefits your bottom line but also allow your consumers to enjoy your product for a longer duration.
  5. Saving Your Brand Reputation: Your brand’s reputation is built on trust. Any compromise in product quality can have detrimental effects on your brand image. Our Shelf-Life Testing acts as a shield, protecting your brand reputation by ensuring that only the highest quality products reach the market. By consistently delivering safe and superior products, you’ll strengthen consumer trust and loyalty, safeguarding your brand reputation for years to come.

Don’t leave the safety, quality, and reputation of your products to chance. Partner with us for comprehensive Shelf-Life Testing and take the first step towards elevating your brand to new heights of success.

Contact us today to learn more about how our Shelf-Life Testing can benefit your business!

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Boosting Shelf-Life: A Key Strategy to Reduce Inventory Costs and Increase Retailer Acceptance

In the competitive world of food production, extending the shelf-life of products is essential. Not only does it help reduce inventory costs, but it also increases the likelihood of retailer acceptance, ensuring your products stay fresh and appealing longer. Implement these strategies today to enhance your product’s shelf-life and see the positive impact on your bottom line. Here are five key strategies to achieve this:

1. Reformulation

Reformulation involves modifying the composition of your products to enhance their longevity. Here are several effective techniques:

  • Changing pH: Adjusting the pH levels can inhibit the growth of spoilage organisms and pathogens. For instance, lowering the pH through the addition of natural acids can create an environment less conducive to bacterial growth.
  • Adding Probiotic Cultures: Incorporating probiotics can extend shelf-life by outcompeting harmful bacteria, thereby improving both the safety and health benefits of the product.
  • Substituting Perishable Ingredients: Replacing ingredients that spoil quickly with those that have a longer shelf-life can make a significant difference. For example, using dried fruits instead of fresh ones in certain recipes.
  • Reducing Moisture: Moisture is a breeding ground for microbes. Techniques such as drying or dehydrating ingredients help reduce water activity, thereby extending shelf-life.

2. Adding Natural Preservatives

Natural preservatives are an excellent choice for extending shelf-life while maintaining consumer trust and product appeal. Options include:

  • Salt and Sugar: Traditional preservatives that draw moisture out of foods, thus inhibiting microbial growth.
  • Vinegar and Citric Acid: These acids lower pH, creating an inhospitable environment for spoilage organisms.
  • Natural Extracts: Ingredients like rosemary extract and grapefruit seed extract have antimicrobial properties that help preserve food.

3. Adding Antioxidants

Oxidation is a primary cause of spoilage, leading to rancidity and loss of nutritional value. Adding antioxidants can help prevent this:

  • Vitamin E (Tocopherols): Often used in oils and fats to prevent oxidation.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Commonly used in fruit products to maintain color and freshness.
  • Herbal Extracts: Natural sources like green tea and oregano extract provide powerful antioxidant benefits.

4. Change Packaging Conditions

Innovative packaging solutions can significantly extend the shelf-life of your products:

  • Vacuum Sealing: Removes air, slowing down the oxidation process and microbial growth.
  • Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP): Involves altering the atmosphere inside the packaging to slow spoilage. For example, replacing oxygen with nitrogen or carbon dioxide.
  • Barrier Packaging: Using materials that block out light, oxygen, and moisture to protect the product.

5. Ensure Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Following HACCP Principles

Implementing robust Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and adhering to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles are critical for ensuring food safety and extending shelf-life:

  • Sanitation: Regular and thorough cleaning of equipment and facilities to prevent contamination.
  • Hygiene: Ensuring that all personnel follow strict hygiene protocols to avoid introducing contaminants.
  • Quality Control: Continuous monitoring and testing for potential spoilage indicators and pathogens to maintain high standards.

Best Before Date vs Used By Date

“Best Before” date is about quality while the “Used By” date is about safety. It’s essential to pay attention to both labels to ensure food is both safe and enjoyable to eat.

Best Before Date

The “Best Before” date indicates the period during which the food product will be at its best quality in terms of flavour, texture, and nutritional value. It is commonly found on non-perishable items like canned goods, dry goods, and packaged snacks. After the best before date has passed, the food is still safe to eat, but its quality may start to decline. It might lose freshness, taste, or texture, but it generally remains safe for consumption for some time after the best before date.

Common Test Parameters

  • pH
  • Water Activity
  • Moisture
  • Lipid Oxidation [pV, AV, Totox]
  • Brix
  • Fats
  • Viscosity
  • Density
  • Sample Back Request – this is not a test parameter but clients can request for their samples to be sent back

Used By Date

Used By Date: This date is more critical for perishable items such as fresh meat, dairy products, and ready-to-eat meals. The “Used By” date is a safety guideline indicating the last date recommended for the consumption of the product for health and safety reasons. Consuming the product after this date might pose a risk of food-borne illness or spoilage, so it’s generally advised to discard the food once the “Used By” date has passed.

Common Test Packages

  • RTE Package 1
    • Bacillus Cereus
    • Clostridium Perfringens
    • Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus Aureus
    • Enterobacteriaceae
    • Escherichia Coli
    • Listeria Monocytogenes
    • Salmonella
    • Total Yeast and Mould Count
  • RTC Package 1
    • Total Plate Count
    • Escherichia Coli
    • Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus Aureus
    • Salmonella
    • Listeria Monocytogenes
    • Total Yeast and Mould Count
  • RTE Package 2
    • Bacillus Cereus
    • Clostridium Perfringens
    • Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus Aureus
    • Enterobacteriaceae
    • Escherichia Coli

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