Shelf - Life: What It Is, What It Depends On, How To Increase It
What is the Shelf - Life
The words "shelf" and "life" literally mean "shelf or shelf" and "life".
In commodities, shelf-life takes on the meaning of:
"Period that lasts from production to sale, in which it is necessary to keep the total quality of the product intact".
The shelf-life therefore corresponds to the "life of the" food "before purchase.
It applies to food, beverages, cosmetics, drugs, chemicals, devices, explosives, tires, batteries and many other perishable items.
Below we will mainly talk about shelf-life in the food context.
ATTENTION! Shelf-life is not synonymous with: "expiration date", "to be consumed preferably by" and "freshness date", even if they are all related parameters. Shelf-life is not even synonymous with “service life” which, as we will see shortly, corresponds to the duration of the product from the beginning of use; it applies above all to objects, while for food it is preferable to use the words “conservation or shelf life”.
Beyond the shelf-life time, the product is considered unsuitable for sale and consumption.
The shelf-life determines:
- The maximum term of sale.
- The period within which the food is defined as risk-free for the health of the consumer.
Temperature is a very important factor for shelf-life, both as regards chemical processes and the proliferation of microorganisms.