Shelf life is when food is stored that the quality of food and its nutrients remain intact and fresh. It is also safe to eat. In the industry of food manufacturing, the shelf-life plays a significant part in determining the health of the product. In the food industry, the food is constantly exposed to the ever-changing environmental conditions. It will usually lose its shelf-life. Hence it is vital to perform a regular shelf-life assessment or store as bottled and jarred packaged goods.
The majority of consumers today want to buy premium fresh food items that are of the highest quality and would prefer that they remain fresh for a longer duration. There are a variety of processing techniques used by businesses to prolong the shelf-life of their food items.
Below are some routine ways that are normally used by companies to boost the shelf-life of their products.
A variety of processing techniques can increase the shelf life of food products. The most generally used techniques include pasteurization, sterilization, and fermentation. Techniques that are scientifically developed, such as pasteurization or thermal processing, involve applying a gentle heat treatment under 100-degree Celsius to food items to eliminate the bacteria present in the product.
Another technique used in the processing of food is Blanching, in which the food is treated with moderate heat and boiling or hot water. The primary goal of this process is to generate the inactivation of enzymes. This technique is mostly used for things such as vegetables. Fruits aren’t usually handled with this method.
There are traditional methods of processing to preserve food, such as drying, canning, sugaring, curing, pickling, or vacuum-packaging. Based on the kind of food items you’ve got, it is essential to select the right method.
The temperature plays a crucial part in determining the shelf life of a food item. Food manufacturers control the temperature at each step of manufacturing and processing. Manufacturing food goods in a temperature-controlled setting is the most commonly used method to improve the shelf life of an palatable product.
At any point in the process of making food products, it is exposed to temperature fluctuations, and the shelf life could be significantly reduced. A temperature-controlled setting is used while the food processing step to give an exact result.
Food Chemicals are extensively used by businesses to increase the shelf-life of their goods. Companies do not apply chemicals directly to their product. However, they do combine them with other methods to ensure that the chemicals don’t affect the quality of the product.
The food manufacturers typically use antioxidants, as well as absorbers of oxygen, in order to lessen the rate of oxidation and increase the shelf life of the food item. Some companies add oxygen absorbers into small bags together with the food packets in order to prolong the time of their food products.
Modified product atmosphere
The packaging of the product may determine its shelf life of a product. The majority of companies that offer fresh food products package their products in a controlled space that is completely free of oxygen. They utilize a “Modified atmosphere packaging” method to protect their final product. This ensures that oxygen does not enter the packaging.
To safeguard the fresh food items, companies add a mixture of various gases that are not oxygen in the packaging, which helps to ensure that food is fresh for a longer period of time. Certain companies also utilize vacuum packing to ensure that their goods like vegetables, fruits and fruits fresh for a long time as well as adding a stylish look to the product and are liked by people who purchase them.
Radiation to the Product
Food irradiation refers to the exposure of the food items and their packaging to the ionizing radiation. This process involves exposing food items to radiation and removing the harmful microorganisms or bacteria that cause food spoilage or cause illness after consumption.
Although the radiation that ionizes never is directly in contact with food, it’s still able to kill living bacteria, infested insects etc. within. This technology enhances the security aspects of food items and is a key factor in extending the shelf-life of the product. The process of irradiation for food products is typically used to pasteurize cans of fruits, milk and vegetables.