Shelf life validation is a crucial step in getting your product sales-ready. Froghop founder Melanie Loades recently provided an overview – Shelf-Life 101 – of everything you need to know as a food or drink producer.
Shelf life validation: not just safety
As a food producer you have a legal obligation to make your product safe for consumption and to ensure that safety and durability are demonstrable. While this is of paramount importance, there are other benefits to establishing the right shelf-life for your product. It helps to reduce food waste, a commitment shared by all in the food industry. Of course, it also helps to ensure that your product is appealing to consumers when they eat it, so they want to buy it again.
Key factors to consider
Shelf life validation determines the length of time the product will stay within acceptable parameters in terms of microbiology, appearance, odour, taste and nutrient levels. It’s important to know the types of bacteria that cause food poisoning and what levels you’re starting with.
Labelling terminology is vital (and a legal requirement) so you will need to establish whether your product needs a best before, use by or more – and what storing instructions should be included. Bear in mind if your product makes a health benefit claim this factor should hold up for the entirety of the shelf life.
You can catch Shelf-Life 101 on our ‘watch again’ video. What you’ll learn:
- The regulations, requirements and recommendations of labelling
- Shelf life validation and the quality of your product
- Food bugs 101 and shelf-life testing
- How to demonstrate your product’s shelf-life to an Environmental Health Officer
- Do you need to have completed shelf-life testing before you launch your product
- Considerations for multi-serve products, and more