Skip to main content
European Commission logo
Enterprise Europe Network

Accelerated shelf-life studies in food products


Profile Type
Technology offer
POD Reference
Term of Validity
4 December 2023 - 3 December 2024
Company's Country
Type of partnership
Commercial agreement with technical assistance
Targeted Countries
All countries
Contact the EEN partner nearest to you for more information.
Find my local partner

General information

Short Summary
A Spanish technological center offers accelerated shelf-life studies in food products. This method allows to predict the behaviour of the products and anticipate their evolution under the usual storage and distribution conditions. To achieve this, an estimate is made using predictive models in which the parameters that most influence its deterioration are modified, such as temperature, humidity, and light, among others.
They seek commercial agreement and/or research and development agreement.
Full Description
The Spanish technological center is specialized in agri-food sector, focusing its lines of action on promoting training, research, and technological development, increasing quality, and improving competitiveness, aimed at cereal processing sectors.

The shelf life of a food is defined as the time during which it remains in physical-chemical, microbiological, and sensory characteristics suitable for consumption. Once any of its quality parameters are altered, the useful life of the product ends. EU regulation 1169/2011 obliges manufacturers to provide shelf-life studies of the food to demonstrate its microbiological stability in the period indicated on the label.

There are various methods to estimate the shelf-life. The first and best known of them is the real-time life study. It is usually used in products whose useful life is less than 6 months. It evaluates the product in optimal storage conditions.

A second method increasingly used in agri-food companies is the study of useful life under accelerated conditions. It is based on the application of predictive models such as the Q10 Factor (temperature coefficient) and the Arrhenius model, which consist of kinetic models based on the relationship between the microorganisms present in the food and the factors that regulate their growth, such as temperature, pH, humidity, water activity, etc. Modifying any of these parameters to values higher than usual causes an acceleration of food degradation. It is generally used in products whose shelf life is above 6 months and, as in real shelf life, the food is subjected to analysis at successive time intervals until the end of shelf life.

The difficulty of this determination under accelerated conditions lies in locating the exact conditions in which to store each type of product so that they are equivalent to real-time conditions. At this point, we have extensive experience accumulated for more than 20 years of work, especially in cereal-based products, that is, bakery products, pastries and cookies, and even raw materials or animal feed.

Thanks to the application of this methodology, food companies can shorten their study times and, therefore, know the behaviour of their products, anticipating other market competitions or improving existing ones through process or formulation modifications.

The center is looking commercial agreement with technical assistance and/or research and development agreement.
Advantages and Innovations
The accelerated useful life evaluation mainly allows to save time, being studies significantly shorter and faster for companies. Secondly, they are also useful to verify the effectiveness of a process, validate changes in product formulations, and even avoid possible product claims.

However, sometimes the results obtained also carry a small margin of error with respect to the real-time useful life. Therefore, it is important to make an adequate selection of the acceleration conditions and the analysis to be carried out on the product at each of the study frequencies.
This is where our company has a great track record backed by large national companies in the cereal sector.

The extensive experience of the center has allowed them to establish the most appropriate equivalences for many products, mainly in the cereal sector. The margins of error for accelerated versus actual shelf life have been reduced by slight adjustments to storage conditions. It is known that the nutritional composition of each product will affect the frequency equivalence.

Although their expertise is in cereals, analysis have also been carried out in other fields, such as meat, with satisfactory equivalence results. The parameters to be analyzed in each of the study frequencies will depend on the product under analysis in each case, including specific physical-chemical, microbiological, and sensory evaluation.
Stage of Development
Already on the market
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGoal 4: Quality EducationGoal 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGoal 3: Good Health and Well-being

Partner Sought

Expected Role of a Partner
The offer is focused to any company or research centre that works with whole wheat flour, especially cereal processing companies (flour mills) and cereal-derived products industries (breads, cookies, biscuits, etc.).

The collaborator must provide the flours that they want to characterize rheologically, and it is recommended that they have information on the behaviour of the dough in order to be able to plot the results of the test and be able to determine the acceptable values in the different parameters obtained.
Type and Size of Partner
R&D InstitutionSME <=10SME 50 - 249UniversityBig companySME 11-49
Type of partnership
Commercial agreement with technical assistance

Call details

Coordinator required


Technology keywords
008003 - Nutrition and Health08001005 - Food Technology08002002 - Food Microbiology / Toxicology / Quality Control08001002 - Food Additives/Ingredients/Functional Food08002001 - Detection and Analysis methods
Market keywords
05009001 - Food & feed ingredients05009004 - Plant health05008002 - Food and feed ingredients09005 - Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry & Related Products
Targeted countries
All countries