Our services and quality systems

Shelf-life studies and challenge tests

Shelf-life studies for foodstuffs are important in order to gain insight into the degradation of products during the course of time between production and consumption. These studies are extra important for critical ready-to-eat foodstuffs and products that are susceptible to the spread of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) and other pathogens. These are primarily ready-to-eat foodstuffs that are cooled and/or packaged in gas and intended for immediate consumption (without reheating).

Products can then lose their quality through:

  • Microbiological decay, possibly linked to a growth of pathogens
  • Chemical or enzyme activity
  • Changes in organoleptic properties.

Schouten Advies, Nutrilab and shelf-life studies and challenge tests
In cooperation with our sister company Nutrilab, Schouten Advies offers shelf-life studies and challenge tests. We use a result-oriented approach for shelf-life studies that leads to a substantiated shelf-life for your entire assortment. This approach gives substance to the requirements set in (EU) Regulation no. 2073/2005: microbiological criteria for foodstuffs and interpretation document ‘Informatieblad 85’ from the NVWA. This approach also provides insight into whether a challenge test is or is not necessary or whether predictive microbiology (models that predict growth) will provide sufficient substantiation.

The consultants at Schouten Advies and Nutrilab will be glad to assist you in setting up, implementing and maintaining your shelf-life studies. Please contact us at your convenience.

“For us, Schouten Advies is an essential link for complying with all requirements.”
Quality Food Group International
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Would you like our advice? We are known for our short lines of communication and will make sure that one of our consultants gets in touch with you quickly.