Application Note: Shelf Life Simplified: A Water Activity Based Approach
The shelf life of a product is defined as the practical time that it remains desirable to consumers.
It dictates the radius of distribution for the product, how it must be stored, and its best by date. Failure to match this expected shelf life can result in customer complaints, product recalls, and tarnished reputation. Consequently, correctly determining the optimal production process and handling that maximizes the shelf life and then monitoring to make sure those conditions are met is the difference between
profitability and lost revenue. However, correctly determining the shelf life of a product can be a challenging endeavor, often due to a lack of resources and clear guidelines for conducting shelf life testing. The shelf life simplified paradigm takes a pragmatic approach to shelf life determination by using the relationship between water activity and shelf life to guide the process.