Consumers increasingly expect products with a long shelf life, good quality and 'natural ingredients'. Food producing companies aim at delivering these high-quality products, but fulfilling these requirements is no easy task. TNO can provide help in prolonging shelf life, without losing the characteristics of a product.
The shelf life of a product depends on its composition, the quality of the raw materials, the production process, the packaging and the storage conditions. Micro-organisms (such as bacteria and fungi) play an important role in decay of food. It is therefore essential to know which micro-organisms are able to grow on a product. The product formulation determines whether and which bacteria can grow on it. The main factors here are acidity, preservation agents used and the water activity of the product.
TNO is currently integrating all aspects which are relevant for food preservation in its novel preservation 2.0 approach. In this approach attention will be paid to diverse aspects such as ingredients, processing conditions, origin of spoilage organisms, hygienic design, post processing and cleaning procedures in order to develop optimal preservation processes.
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