Shelf-Life Prediction of Chilled Foods
All foods have a finite shelf life. Even foods, which mature with time, will in the end deteriorate, although their life span can exceed 100 years. Definitions of shelf life of food products differ. Some stress the suitability of the product for consump¬tion, others for how long the product can be sold. The Institute of Food Science and Technology emphasizes safety in its definition of shelf life: “The period of time under defined conditions of storage, after manufacture or packing, for which a food product will remain safe and be fit for use” ( http://www.ifst.org ). This definition does not describe what makes a food product “safe” or “fit” for use, but one can say all factors which restrict the shelf life of a food product either affect safety or quality or both.
A definition of safety can be found on the Web site of the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health: “Food safety refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses” ( http://www.nih.gov ). There are many definitions on food quality depending on the field and perspective of the user of the term. Kramer and Twigg (1968) defined food quality “as the composite of characteristics which differentiate individual units and have significance in determining the degree of acceptability of that unit by the user.”
KeywordsShelf Life Quality Deterioration Weibull Model Rubbery State Food Microbiology
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