Close-up of a drink can top with visible shelf life label

What is Shelf life testing?

The term “shelf life” refers to the amount of time a product is stored before it starts decomposing or becomes hazardous for use. Shelf life testing is important for analysing and establishing how long a product will stay safe, effective, and satisfy its original quality criteria when stored under defined circumstances. The product undergoes exposure to environmental elements such as temperature, humidity, and light to imitate real-world storage circumstances. Through systematic analysis, it helps manufacturers and regulators assess the product’s stability over time, ensuring it maintains its desired attributes until its specified life ends.

How shelf life indicated on foods?

A food label usually includes an expiry date, either a best-before or a use-by date.
• A food item’s best-before date indicates the maximum amount of time that it is reasonable to assume it will maintain its finest qualities, such freshness.
For instance, canned, dried and frozen foods among others have bests-before dates.

Use-by-date is the longest period of time a food can stay safe for consumption under prescribed storage conditions. Therefore, such foods could cause you poisoning when taken after the expiry period. Some of these are chilled dairy products, cooked meat and prepared salads that have use-by dates.

Importance of Shelf life testing of Food products

This testing is a crucial element in ensuring product quality as it evaluates whether an item can remain at its original stage of safety and quality during a specific period in time. This technique is critical for several reasons:

Quality assurance:

Shelf life testing ensures the safety of products and maintains desired quality traits such as flavor, appearance, and nutritive value until the expiry of the anticipated shelf life.

Regulatory Compliance:

Regulations and standards require many businesses to certify the shelf life of some items. Businesses must adhere to these essential laws for legal reasons and safety reasons associated with products.

Waste Reduction:

In the above-mentioned example, exact shelf life testing helps companies plan production schedules, minimize unsold inventories, and reduce product waste.

Consumer Trust:

Repeatedly proving that a product is safe and of high quality creates customer trust and loyalty towards the brand.


Such data from the shelf life testing could help in improving product composition and packaging, thus enabling companies to develop competitively on a long-term basis.

Shelf life studies are critically important in new product development. Moreover, these attributes have a significant life cycle role in product quality beyond the scope of labelling regulation.

Establishing product shelf life is documenting proof that shows that the shelf life of food is correct and that it will remain safe and/or intact until that shelf life ends. It also significantly lowers the probability of complaints related to quality, which helps to establish it as a quality product in the market, thereby improving product brand value.

CVR Labs SHELF LIFE Testing Services

CVR labs provide shelf life testing services. our specialists will work with you on study protocol development and will be participating in all steps of shelf life study execution.

  • Protocol development
  • Selecting the test parameters for every product.
  • Shelf life study of the product in storage conditions.
  • Stability studies and reports compilation

A key determinant when it comes to food safety is the length of time for which a food product can be stored and still remain safe. Food manufacturers must carefully indicate the use by or best before date on their products to comply with regulations and protect their brand and consumers. Cosmetics, foods and beverages, medical devices, medicines, and explosives as well as pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, etc. As a result, they are under its control.

It is the outcome of physical, microbiological and chemical processes influenced by any of the many potential triggers. This also includes factors such as characteristics of a product, quality of ingredients, moisture content or acidity level and external factors including storage, transportation and type of packaging material.

Our experts can provide customized service that takes into account the formulation of the product, storage, and packaging of the foods. Shelf life testing helps define clear expiry dates of your products to ensure that the quality remains fit for consumption even after the product is no longer produced.

CVR Labs, accredited to the international standard for quality management systems as per ISO/IEC 17025: The year 2017 has up-to-date and sophisticated shelf life testing methods and technologies. This implies that you can count on high-quality, economical service that produces reliable results for shelf life testing to show conformity with statutory regulations.

Testing Parameters Of Shelf Life Testing

Shelf life study involves detailed chemical and physical, as well as microbiological analysis of food product quality and hygiene.

Moisture Content
Total Viable Count
Water Activity
Yeasts and Moulds
Alcoholic Acidity
Peroxide Value
E. coli
Acid Value
Staphylococcus Aureus
Free Fatty Acids (FFA)
Bacillus Cereus
Lactic Acid Bacteria

CVR Labs can perform Shelf Life studies for various categories of food products.

Category & Products:


  • Cereal and Cereal Products
  • Milk and Dairy Products
  • Ready-to-eat food products
  • Ready to Cook food products
  • Spices and condiments
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (non-alcoholic carbonated, carbonated water)
  • Fruits and Vegetable Products
  • Frozen Raw Meat Products
  • Bakery & Confectionery products
  • Nutraceuticals


  • Raw and processed or finished food grain whole and powdered products – rice, wheat, maize, chana, wheat flour, infant food, soya flour, corn flour, besan, cornflakes, sattu, suji, dalia, barley, malt-based foods.
  • Cheese, dairy-whitener, SMP, sweets, paneer, ice-creams, yoghurts, butter etc.
  • Examples include snacks, energy drinks, energy bars, cake, and others.
  • Khichadi, dosa batter, dhokla, poha, and so on.
  • Sachets of powdered chilli, amchoor, imli, methi, haldi, clove, cardamon, coriander, black pepper, masala blends, cumin, dal chini, soy sauce and the like.
  • Artificial syrups for fruit syrups, sharbat, squashes, crushes, and dispensers, among other uses.
  • Raw, processed, etc., fruits and related products.
  • Sugar crystals, caster sugar, cane sugar, gur, icing sugar.
  • Mutton, Chicken, Prawns, Fish etc.
  • Biscuits, hard-boiled confectionery, biscuits, sweets namkeen, toffee and lozenges. Bubble gum etc.
  • Health Supplements, Capsules etc.

It is the shelf life testing process that facilitates the evaluation of how long food products would last and their quality. Confirms that the products remain safe and maintain their desired attributes over the stated shelf life, CVR Labs provides complete shelf life testing, which helps businesses to meet regulations, reduce waste and also create a loyal market base. Our knowledge of physical, chemical and also microbiological characteristics optimizes the quality to ensure the correct results.

Contact us for more information about our shelf life testing services, Our team of experts is ready to assist you with your shelf life testing needs and provide tailored solutions for your business.

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