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Shelf life of a food product is the period of time under defined conditions of storage, after manufacture or packaging, during which a food product will remain safe and suitable for use. During this time period, a food product should retain its sensory, chemical, physical, functional, microbiological and nutritional characteristics in optimal conditions in such a way that it is acceptable for a consumer.
Hemshell Services uses the latest shelf life testing methods and technology, accreditated to the international standard for quality management (ISO 17025) and approved by Food Safety and Standards Act of India (FSSAI) . Hemshell services offers a detailed Shelf Life Study adhering to the National/International guidelines, as per the requirements for a customized testing activity. We can conduct a range of Chemical, Physical, Microbiology test to quantify the product in terms of colour, taste, texture and nutritional quality to meet industrial safety requirement of food products.

Shelf Life Testing Abilities

Our technical team of microbiology and food science experts provide support for your product development needs, including:

  • Rancidity Testing.
  • Accelerated Shelf Life Study.
  • Moisture, pH and water activity variability, Brix(Sugar level), colour analysis &viscocity.
  • Texture analysis(Food Texture, Testing Firmness, Chewiness, Brittleness, Shearing
    strength, Gumminess, Tenderness, Elasticity).
  • Product stability under varying storage conditions.
  • Microbiological, Chemical and Physical testing.
  • Sensory Evaluation.
  • Technical Consultation and Research.
  • Probiotic Stability throughout shelf-life.
  • Barrier and Package Integrity studies of Packaging Materials and Packages.

Customizable Storage Conditions

Our laboratory offers a large selection of storage conditions, varying in temperature and humidity levels, to fit your product storage needs.

Sensory Evaluation

Examining the changes in sensory quality plays an important role in confirming a product’s shelf life. We evaluate the changes in odor, flavor, appearance, texture, color, and taste and correlate that data with the chemical and microbiological results to verify the target shelf life period of the product.

A texture analysis test is the evaluation of the textural,
mechanical and physical properties of raw ingredients and
finished products primarily for the food industry. It has a
relationship with data provided by sensory evaluation.
Hemshell services leverages a Lloyd Instruments
NexygenPlus texture analysis software captures force,
distance and time during a test which allows the
calculation of parameter such as:


CHEWINESS         WORK                             STICKINESS




Relevant Factors

Quality changes over time and the following factors play a role:

  • Storage temperature
  • Humidity
  • Package protection
  • Product composition
  • Water activity
  • Processing conditions
  • Ingredient quality

Shelf-life of the same food, stored in warehouses in different areas, may not be the same due to different storage temperatures. Since, different storage conditions accelerate some changes but not others, it helps to know before testing what changes are likely to occur.

Shelf Life Study Can Be Carried Out By Two Methods

Real Time Method: This is a direct method and involves storing the product under preselected conditions for a period of time more than the expected shelf life of the product.

  • Store under selected conditions for longer than the expected shelf life
  • Check at regular intervals to see when spoilage begins


  • No calculations
  • See the effects of precise condition


  • Products with a shorter shelf life

Shelf Life Study Can Be Carried Out By Two Methods

Accelerated Study: This is an indirect method and involves storing the product under
accelerated storage conditions like high temperature and humidity. Commercial pressures usually mean that a product must be marketed as quickly as possible after its development. This method therefore is suitable as it consumes less time as compared to the real time method. The results obtained from the accelerated studies are then extrapolated to get the real time shelf life.
In both the cases, the product is tested at periodic intervals to see when the spoilage begins.
By increasing the storage temperature, the trial period is shortened and the rate of deterioration is increased.


  • Avoid running a full length storage trial
  • See the impact of any changes much sooner


  • Products with a longer shelf life

Shelf Life Studies For Beverage Products

Hemshell Services specializes in water potability study for water pouches, bottles , cans , these products should keept at prescribed temperature and environmental condition for certain period of time. At the end of the conditioning time, we have to examined any disagreeable odour or smell. This test is commonly used and in practicality, it’s very helpful to promote product also.
Shelf life study can be conducted for Carbonated Soft Drink products, In that for prescribed time and environmental condition, we have to check the CO content or in other word 2 Gas volume of CO2. This kind of practical study will give us a accurate shelf life for the particular beverage product.

Shelf Life Studies For Film, Laminates & Package Materials

The shelf-life studies were carried out at accelerated conditions of 38 ± 1ºC and 90 ± 2% R.H. and at standard conditions of 27 ± 2ºC and 65 ± 2% R.H+ for the period of 4 months and 12 months respectively for different packaging materials. Ordinary as well as gas flushing are also considered.

A) Selection Of Packaging Materials

Based on the commercial availability of packaging materials, a number of flexible packaging materials, some of which were considered suitable for gas flushing were identified and procured. The selected materials were assessed in the laboratory or basic significant physical, mechanical and physico-chemical properties. The tests conducted are with respect to the following properties :

1) Total Thickness
2) Heat Seal Strength
3) Tensile Strength
4) Percentage Elongation
5) Water Vapour Transmission Rate
6) Oxygen Transmission Rate
The following flexible packaging materials were selected for shelf life studies of the specific products,depending upon the product characteristic.

B) Barrier Properties

Foil and film laminates are used on paperboard to provide protection against wet or aggressive products and to provide a barrier against moisture loss and gas transfer. The construction of the package and its closures are in many cases the factors which limit the total protective function of the package.

The Water Vapour Transmission Rates (WVTR) and Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) of some of the flexible packaging materials, which were assessed for food packaging were
determined in Hemshell Services .

Film/Laminate & Packages Samples

Water Vapour Transmission

Rate-Film/Laminate                                                           ASTM F 1249

Water Vapour Transmission

Rate-PP Fabric/Woven Bag                                                ASTM E 398

Oxygen Transmission

Rate- Film/Laminate                                          ASTM D 3985 (Dry RH)

Oxygen Transmission

Rate- Film/Laminate                                  ASTM F 1927 (Variable RH)


Some of the foods have recently moved away from manual filling into preformed bags and are packed on automatic form-fill-seal machines which may run on fairly high speeds.
Packaging materials must, therefore, be capable of running continuously and efficiently on these machines.

Physical Strength

Due to the high fat content of the Food products and the associated problem of rancidity, in some of the packages, where longer shelf life is the requirement, oxygen inside the package

may be replaced by an inert gas like Nitrogen. The packaging material must be physically strong to withstand the processes of vacuumising/gas flushing.

Seal Integrity

To ensure protection against environmental conditions and to provide a long shelf-life, the seal integrity of the pack must be good enough to prevent leakage and/or prevent entry of the air or moisture through the seal areas.

The above requirements for food packaging are met by plastics to a large extent in various forms such as flexible pouches of films and laminates, plastic containers and trays and as a component in the composite packs.

Additionally, Hemshell Services Provides the following services for shelf life study on Film & Packaging material:

Physical Tests For Film/Laminate Samples

Seal Strength                                                                          ASTM F 88

Bond Strength                                                                       ASTM F 904

Tensile Strength/% Elongation/Modulus/Stiffness        ASTM D 882

Coefficient of Friction static Dynamic with vacuum bed TM D 1894

Hot Tack Test/ SIT                                                               ASTM F 1921

Puncture Resistance Test                                EN 14477/ASTM F-1306

Tear Strength                                                                    ASTM D 1938

Importance of Leak Testing in Shelf Life Determination
Human hair size is in between 80 and 100 microns. A 40 micron hole
in package can have @ 10 bacteria sitting side by side.

A package flushed with pure N2 and 100 micron hole can contain @ 7.5% oxygen in 24 hours at atmospheric pressure which will affect shelf life of inside contents.

State-of-the-art Technology
We are using state of the art computerized Mocon Lippke Leak and burst tester that helps to check the seal leak and pin holes in given package.

Our Expertise In Relevant Products:

  • Packaging Material
  • Packaged and Ready to eat Foods
  • Juices & Beverages
  • Dairy Products
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Confectionary Products
  • Assorted Snacks
  • Carbonated Soft drinks