Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Factors affecting food shelf-life

The term shelf-life is a finite length of time, after manufacture and packaging, during which the food product retains a required level of quality acceptable for consumption.

In general factors that can affect shelf-life are:
*Product considerations: product description, product packaging, preservatives, shelf-life constraints
*Assembly of product
*Storage and distribution
*Legislative requirement

The factors above will influences the types and levels of microorganisms that will be present and the chemical and biochemical reactions that can occurs, in the final product.

There are several main intrinsic factors that influence most types of spoilage. These factors include raw materials, product formulation and compsoition, temperature, pH, water activity, exposure to oxygen and light, and nutrients or chemicals available in the food product.

Extrinsic factors include:
*Heat treatment
*Headspace gas composition
*Relative humidity (Rh)
*Light (UV and IR)
Factors affecting food shelf-life

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