Current legislation indicates that food producers must decide how the product they manufacture is preserved, consumed, and what its shelf-life is. In addition, they are forced to revalidate the product’s shelf-life if any change in the production, preservation and consumption of the food is applied.

New food production and preservation technologies are available, that aim to maintain a product’s nutritional and organoleptic characteristics for as long as possible, without affecting safety. These technologies act on different products in dissimilar ways, and their use for each one must be validated.

AZTI’s methodology allows the shelf-life of a food product to be determined in a rigorous and effective way, taking its sensory, physical-chemical and microbiological characteristics into consideration (both their evolution and the Challenge test), thereby limiting the customer’s costs.

Increasing the shelf-life of a product by 10-20% leads to significant savings in production and distribution

Benefits for your company / product

  • Implement new products (processes) quickly and safely.
  • Set realistic expiry dates, reducing waste product and sanitary or health issues.
  • Reduce product implementation costs through custom designed expiry date studies.
  • Provide evidence of a product’s safety and quality to competent authorities.

Applicable sectors

  • Distribution companies.
  • Food companies (meat, fishery, vegetable, prepared foods, chocolate, juices, dairy products…sectors).
  • Animal feed companies.
  • Administrations, etc.


The possible health risks are established by analysing the preparation stages of the food product in question. The organoleptic evolution of the product once prepared is evaluated, taking the distribution conditions into account. Previous studies, bibliographical references and predictive microbial growth models are also considered. In this way, specific expiry data studies can be designed for the specific food product, limiting the costs for the customer as much as possible.

Proven track record

  • AZTI has the technical experts and cutting-edge equipment required to apply technologies that improve food processing (high pressure, light pulses, modified atmospheres, etc.).
  • Equipment to preserve the product in the required distribution conditions (temperature, humidity).
  • Experience in designing and carrying out expiry date studies for all kinds of food.
  • Development of a specific design r each product, leading to cost savings.
  • Large bank of field strains and equipment to handle micro-organisms.
  • Extensive experience in suitable food contamination for the challenge test.

Proven solutions

The shelf-life of a range of sliced to order cheeses has been increased. Studies showed that possible microbiological risks did not exist in these cheeses in particular, and the sensory analyses were passed successfully.

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