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Shelf Life Testing

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#1 CuriousTom



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Posted 03 July 2018 - 06:16 AM

Hi all,


Does anyone know how to determine the approximate shelf life of a product without going through full laboratory testing?

I've spoken to a company here in the UK that manufactures and bottles sauces for other companies, and they've said that they can either send products away to a lab (at an additional cost), or tell shelf life from the composition of the recipe and the pH of the finished product (their preferred method).

I've asked how they calculate the latter, but they won't really say. They're a legitimate company, so I don't think it's anything dodgy. I don't plan on using them as I'm still small, but I can't really expand on what I do without an idea of shelf life (and preferably not spending at least £4,000 that I don't have!)







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#2 solid7


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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:01 AM

To be able to calculate such a thing, you have to know some stuff.


What you are looking for, is the Arrhenius equation.  It's a differential equation, so it's a tricky bit of calculating. (hence, the calculator, based on whatever info you know)



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#3 salsalady


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Posted 03 July 2018 - 01:17 PM

Are you looking for shelf LIFE or shelf STABLE?


Shelf life is usually in reference to fresh or refrigerated products.  I make a refrigerated salsa, all fresh veggies, no preservatives.  When getting licensed, it was $$$ for shelf life test, which is how long it can stay refrigerated and still be safe to eat.  Some refrigerated 'fresh' salsas have a shelf life of 6 months.  At the time I was going through the process, if I put the expiry date at 30 days or less and "Keep Refrigerated", I didn't have to do any shelf life testing.


Also note there is a difference in Expiration Dates (which means it is no longer safe to eat) and Best By or Best Before dates.  More info here~


Shelf STABLE is what most hot sauces get tested for.  The lab or Mfg will look at the ingredients, do a pH test, look at how the sauce is bottled (hot fill hold, etc...) and determine that when ABC Sauce is make with JHQ ingredients and packed with the HFH process, it is shelf stable.  Shelf stable means being able to be stored unopened at room temperature for an extended period of time.





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#4 CuriousTom



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Posted 03 July 2018 - 01:22 PM

Hi SalsaLady,

Yeah, with those descriptions in mind, it's Shelf Stability I'm looking to work out.



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