Shelf Life Testing

Understanding the shelf life of products is vital for any food manufacturer, and TasteTech is no exception.

For example, our flavour8 technology offers many benefits to manufacturers over and above the use of standard powder flavourings including extended shelf life. The result is that manufacturers have confidence that flavour8 technology will not spoil products or oxidise whilst in storage.

But how do you establish the shelf life of a product?

Testing shelf life

The first thing to understand is what causes food products to go off in the first place. Well for the large part, the thing that causes flavouring products to go off is oxidation. This is a reaction that takes place when oxygen has access to products containing fat or pigments, their chemical composition changes and they begin to break down.

How do you find out how long this process takes? The short answer is you could simply wait around for it to go off. But the reality is that waiting 1 to 2 years (or more) for a powder to go off is not practical when innovation is paramount for companies to remain ahead of the competition.

At TasteTech we use an Anton Paar RapidOxy Oxidation Stability Tester, which is a machine that accelerates the oxidation process by increasing temperature and oxygen pressure. This test works on the principle that as the sample consumes oxygen through oxidation the pressure drops. This decrease in pressure over time can then be correlated to a predicted shelf-life for the product.

How do these results look?

In a recent study of the shelf life of flavour8 (an encapsulated powder flavouring with 50% active material) we used this method and compared the results against those of the un-encapsulated oil.

flavour8 shelf life results

The results from our test were converted to show a relative % drop from the max pressure. We found that at the 50th hour the flavour8 had dropped 0.70%, and the un-encapsulated flavour oil had dropped 2.35%. This shows that flavour8 is approximately 3x more shelf stable than the equivalent un-encapsulated flavour oil. In fact, the encapsulation barrier is doing such an excellent job of inhibiting the oxidation of the flavour8 that it is in the region of 70% better than the un-encapsulated flavour oil.

Why does this matter?

This extended shelf life allows our customers to improve their economy of scale and buy larger quantities, lowering overall costs without it going off on the shelf. It also allows customers the freedom to buy flavours for special editions in the confidence that it will last longer.

To get more information on flavour8 including the full shelf life test results click here or to request a free sample get in touch

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