Packaging Factors that Affect Shelf-life 

We have a lot of foods that last a long time, but some, known as high-risk foods, contain the ideal types of conditions necessary to have bacterial growth, such as high amounts of protein and moisture. Often with a “use by” date on them, they’ve become a staple for ensuring you don’t eat anything contaminated. They’re determined and then verified through microbial testing. 

Some examples of this include: 

  • Poultry and cooked meat 
  • Prepared veggies and salads 
  • Smoked salmon 
  • Dairy products 
  • Meat gravies and sauces 
  • Foods that are uncooked or have uncooked egg 
  • Seafoods 
  • Cooked pasta and rice 

There are also low-risk foods, which are of course, those that live longer on the shelf. Anything canned and pickled without the ones that are high-risk tend to be these types. 

Factors that will affect shelf life: 

There are different factors that come with this. 

Some include the intrinsic factors which are within food and not controlled, including: 

  • Water activity 
  • Salt content 
  • pH 
  • oxidation potential 
  • nutrient content 
  • sugar content 

there are also extrinsic methods, such as: 

  • time 
  • temperature 
  • the modified atmospheric packaging and materials 
  • preservatives 

with this in mind, you do need to make sure that you have an idea of the types of packaging you’re giving. 

Packaging transport and the Shelf Life 

Temperature, time, and conditions all play a huge part in maintaining the product’s shelf life. With products having specifics on containing the conditions and temperatures on which products are shipped and stored can play a big part. 

If you store it in a cool, dried, place rather than frozen and chilled, it might impact the overall state of things. 

If the storage and transit of the product is outside these specifications or is not safe, then the product will spoil a lot faster. 

During the product movement from storage to the vehicular transport or from transport to the retailer, the products do need to maintain these conditions. If the temperature goes within the danger zone, it will cause the shelf life of said product to become unsafe. Frozen products will remain quite frozen otherwise the microorganisms will grow if the conditions are favorable. 

It is out of the retailer and manufacturer plans on how customers handle the products after they’re purchased. It’s important to state your storage instructions on these packs and how long the product is after the shelf life is stabilized. Knowing this, along with how long it’s safe post-opening will help, for it will help prevent product spoilage when they’re opened. 

Packaging to Prevent Spoilage 

There are a few ways to help extend the product shelf life. 

First, is modified atmosphere packaging, which is where you add carbon dioxide to different pieces, in order to extend the life. 

Vacuum packaging, where you package them and remove the oxygen from the packaging. 

The sealed plastic of course is what you use for plastic packaging within cereal boxes, and is commonly applied in order to make the cereal stay dry and crispy. 

Finally, there is canning, which of course is used to help with extending the life of those items that are easy to spoil. 

All of these different types of packaging do impact the shelf life of this, and it can definitely do a number of things. 

As a business, determine the right packaging for your product and use it right away. see for yourself the impact this has, and the overall benefits of such, for it will help with the overall success that comes with your packaging decisions and ideas.