Food Shelf Life

Shelf life is “the period of time during which the food product will remain safe; be certain to retain its desired sensory, chemical, physical, microbiological, and functional characteristics; where appropriate, comply with any label declaration of nutrition data, when stored under the recommended conditions.” The shelf life of food products is an important feature for both manufacturers and consumers. The most important factor for shelf life evaluation of food is safety, followed by quality including physical, chemical, and sensorial properties. To prolong the shelf life of foods, it is crucial to minimize the rates of biochemical, enzymatic, and microbial degradation reactions. Commonly, this is achieved by ensuring proper sanitation conditions during slaughter or harvesting, processing foods to reduce water activity and damage enzyme functionality, and providing optimum temperature and relative humidity conditions during storage.

 

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