Shelf Life and Stability Testing Services

Delivering real business benefits across key segments

Delivering real business benefits across key segments

Shelf life studies play a critical role in the development of new products. They are not only important for meeting the regulatory requirements of labelling the product with an expiry date, best before date, etcetera but play a much larger role in the product quality life-cycle.

Food Shelf Life Stability testing is a very important and very big part of today’s food industry. Food manufacturers need to accurately determine the "use by" or "best before" dates for their products in order to meet strict regulations and to keep their brand and consumers safe. Shelf life testing of products claims must be backed by reliable data in order to meet the requirements of FSSAI.

Food spoilage and deterioration are concerning issues that continue to cause trouble and excess waste for food industries and consumers. A best before date is applicable to food where deterioration affects consumer acceptance without impacting on health and safety. Many product changes will affect consumer acceptance, including:

• Rancidity
• Texture changes
• moisture loss
• Moisture gain
• Staling
• Flavour loss
• Light induced changes
• Enzymatic browning
• Chemical browning
• Microbial spoilage

Understanding the major factors that affect a product’s stability, such as storage variability, ingredient quality, processing aids, and packaging can help food and beverage developers continuously provide high quality and safe products for their customers.

Every product is unique, which is why we tailor each and every study to ensure that the shelf life determination is sound. We consider a number of factors when setting up the testing protocol for a given study:

  • Absence of microbiological growth: mold growth, aerobic bacteria, pathogenic organisms :
  • Aerobic Plate Count
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Yeast
  • Mold
  • Total Coliforms and E. coli
  • Mesophilic and Thermophilic Spore formers
  • Salmonella
  • Lactic Acid Bacteria
  • Alicyclobacillus
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Water Activity and pH
  • Micronutrient stability - Degradation of vitamins, nutraceutical active ingredients, and other unstable compounds, as well as loss or gain of moisture.
  • Rancidity - Stability of oils and fatty acids:
  • Organoleptic stability: Monitoring of color, texture, aroma, packaging, and/or taste as the product ages
  • Integrity of the packing materials: Absence of leakage, Bulging or any other defect observed during the storage shall be tested at every test point


Specific Conditions:

Using state-of-the-art stability chambers our shelf life testing ensures that products are kept at specific temperatures and humidity levels throughout the duration of the study.

Our stability and shelf life laboratories offer multiple atmospheric conditions including the six standard conditions below:








25ºC/ 60% RH


30ºC / 65% RH


30ºC / 75% RH


40ºC / 75% RH

Our Experience Includes:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Animal feed and pet food
  • Non Food – Home and personal care products
  • Human food 
    • Food additives and ingredients 
    • Dairy products 
    • Salts and Sugars
    • Juice & Beverage products 
    • Frozen foods 
    • Confectionary and candies 
    • Assorted snacks
    • Spices and Sauces
    • Bakery

TUV SUD South Asia Pvt. Ltd has a dedicated shelf life study experts who is also available for consultation with regards to the sensory attributes and quality of the product. 

Micronutrient stability :-

Micronutrient stability is an important aspect in shelf life studies. We have micronutrients (Vitamins and Mineral) experts with equipped laboratory set up to analyze all type micronutrients.

Rancidity :-

Free Fatty Acids (FFA) testing determines the number of fatty acids that have been liberated from their triglyceride structure.  Free fatty acids can produce strong flavors and odors at relatively low levels. Free fatty acids are hydrolytic rancidity (not oxidation) products and can be caused by microbial activity.

Peroxide Value (PV) testing determines the number of peroxides in the lipids. Peroxides are the initial indicators of lipid oxidation. Peroxides will continue to react and produce secondary products such as aldehydes.

p-Anisidine (p-AV) testing indicates the number of aldehydes in the lipids. This test is often paired with PV, as aldehydes are the secondary indicators of oxidation. Aldehydes can produce strong objectionable flavors and odors at relatively low levels.


TBA Rancidity (TBAR) also measures aldehydes (primarily malondialdehyde) created during the oxidation of lipids. This analysis is primarily useful for low-fat samples, as the whole sample can be analyzed rather than just the extracted lipids.


Organoleptic stability

The term organoleptic properties refers to the aspects of food, water or other substances that an individual experiences via the senses. Sensory Evaluation is a scientific discipline used to evoke, measure, analyze, and interpret those responses to products that are perceived by the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste.

Aspects such as color, texture, aroma, packaging, separation, stratification, and taste can all be tracked throughout a product’s shelf-life.

Visual appearance and Organoleptic sensory Small Panel: 2-4 person group evaluating appearance, aroma, and texture

Visual appearance and Organoleptic sensory Medium Panel: 5-6 person group evaluating appearance, aroma, and texture

Visual appearance and Organoleptic sensory Large Panel: 10 person group evaluating appearance, aroma, and texture



TÜV SÜD’s range of food testing services are delivered through a network of highly sophisticated laboratories with professionals having deep domain knowledge and experience. Our labs are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to help you mitigate risks by determining the root cause of the problem and identify areas of improvement in your processes and supply chains.

Our state-of-the-art laboratories are in Bengaluru, Gurugram and Vizag with specialist knowledge of regulations and testing expertise means that we ensure your products comply with international and national requirements, including Chinese, Japanese, US FDA and EU standards.

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