Shelf-Life of Pre-packaged Food Products An Industry Perspective. Dr. Ahmet Anbarci Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Kraft Foods CEEMA Region Dubai International Food Safety Conference 24-26 February, 2009. Agenda. Kraft Foods in short Shelf-life – Definition, Dimensions
Dr. Ahmet Anbarci
Scientific & Regulatory Affairs
Kraft Foods CEEMA Region
Dubai International Food Safety Conference
24-26 February, 2009
Worldwide headquarters in Northfield, Illinois, U.S.
Sales in more than 155 Countries
Operations in 70 Countries
With approximately 100,000 employees, more than 180 manufacturing and processing facilities
11 global or geographic Research and Development Centers around the world
9 Brands over $1 billion annual revenue
50+ Brands over $100 million
40+ Brands over 100 years old
Region headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Key markets in the region:
Bulgaria, Egypt, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as other Middle East & Africa Markets
Some key region brands:
Kraft cheeses; Tang powdered beverages; Alpen Gold, Karuna, Korona and Milka chocolates; Estrella and Cipso salted snacks; Rasco biscuits; Carte Noire, Jacobs, MaxwellHouse and Nova Brasilia coffees.
Kraft Foods in GCC
Kraft Foods RD&Q is the owner of shelf-life and has the responsibility, expertise and the infrastructure for establishing products’ shelf-life.
Geographic / Local
Madison, Battle Creek, Melbourne, Curitiba and 50 other smaller centers
Functions in Munich
Munich – Geographic Scope
West, Central, East Europe, Middle East and Africa
Munich – Product Role
Cheese/Dairy, Convenient Meals, Refreshment Beverages, Grocery, Chocolate Confectionery, Savory Snacks, (Quality & Safety for Coffee)
Kraft Product Safety & Quality Assurance Guiding Principles
In addition we believe in:
Shelf-life evaluation and management is an essential part of successful food quality management. Ideally, shelf-life is an integral part of an overall Quality Management System through the entire value chain.
Objective: “All Kraft Food businesses shall have a process in place for establishing and managing the shelf-life of all products.”Scope: “Shelf-life evaluation applies globally to all KF businesses and categories. Key elements are parameters, procedures, storage conditions, shelf-life management and modification of shelf-life.”
RD&Q is responsible for the “design” and establishing shelf-life; Category Product Development Groups lead, relevant RD&Q functions as listed below support the process. Other parties along value chain consulted as required, e.g. Manufacturing.
Shelf-life testing is a vital part of new product development. Existing products are re-evaluated, if an extension of shelf-life is targeted or any changes are considered. Re-evaluation may also be triggered by consumer complaints or quality issues.
Testing protocols - Sampling - Testing conditions - Testing period - Schedule, intervals - Attributes, parameters - Methods - Record keeping
Close to reality conditions pursued - Full shelf-life testing and beyond - Representative samples - Representative storage conditions - Consumer relevant sensory testing - Consumer research, if required
Considering the complexity inherent to shelf-life, i.e. many parameters, their interaction, possible combinations (vs. the time we have in this forum), only some selected aspects/examples will follow.
Time of LAG phase determines maximum shelf life possible.
LAG phase can vary depending on other parameters and can be extended by improved sanitation, processing, storage conditions, preservatives, modified atmosphere or some emerging technology.
Internal Sensory Testing
Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)
Consumer Acceptance Testing
Same category, different types, processing, storage conditions, packaging, ……
=> Shelf-life’s in a range of few to 18 months.
Glass Jar for West, Central, East Europe, Middle East and Africa
C o s t s
Metalised laminateAspects/Examples: Packaging with the right protection
High protection and other factors help to achieve a long shelf-life:
Processed Cheese in a glass jar with a proven shelf-life of 12 months.
Considering the complexity of shelf-life, limits set for shelf-life of packaged foods would either be overcomplicated (wide array, needs regular updating) or a weak compromise, most likely at category minimum. Risks and disadvantages for all appear to outweigh any advantages.
The food industry should perform due-diligence to judge, test and establish the shelf-life for each single product they manufacture, regardless how strict or wide the limits set by regulations may be.
Food companies in general have to have their products’ data and expertise and to know about the nature, details and limits of their products.
Shelf-life limits set for packaged food are open to abuse and do not appear to add value, safety or quality of especially packaged food.
Shelf-life limits may be an unnecessary hurdle, especially for long tested products with a good record in country of origin or in other markets.