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Extensions of the concept of food product shelf-life: 1. Effective shelf-life

Extensions of the concept of food product shelf-life: 1. Effective shelf-life

Alimentaria 30(246): 19-24

To have a practical significance, a model for food product shelf-life must be a measure of consumer satisfaction at the time of product consumption. To have such a measure, two different things have to be considered: Time until product spoilage and time until product consumption. When both distributions are known, the probability of spoilage at the time of consumption can be calculated. But in classical shelf-life definitions, only the spoilage distribution has been considered. Most usually shelf life is defined as the time until a given degree of spoilage is reached. The probability of failure for a given time has been also used as a definition. In this paper, probability distributions of time to spoilage and time until consumption are used to define and calculate shelf-life. This approach can be specially useful to translate consumer expectations into product and distribution design.

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