Differentiating between them is essential. Even though it seems to deal with similar topics, their particular goals are not the same, and the tools used to analyze the data have nothing in common.
Shelf Life vs. Stability Study Experiments
Shelf-life testing – the failure time of a food product is of primary interest. Failure time is neither an instrumental nor a sensory measurement. Censored failure times can occur.
Shelf life is determined at the ambient temperature and needs to know the behavior of the product. Shelf life refers to the time on the retailer’s shelf as well as the consumer’s shelf. Manufacturers generally attempt to provide the most extended practicable shelf life consistent with costs and the pattern of handling and use by distributors, retailers, and consumers.
Stability Testing – the growth or the degradation of a characteristic over time is of primary concern. Failure time is not directly observable. The data must have the relevant cutoff values.
Another technical challenge is the determination of what the release rate is suitable for a particular product. This decision requires an understanding of the stability of the product.
For example, to reduce microbial growth or lipid oxidation of a food product, it is necessary to study the microbial and oxidative kinetics of the food product exposed to the condition caused by the active compound release. This condition includes the concentration of active compound surrounding the product (which changes with time because the release of active compound from the film decreases with time) and temperature.
The study aims to determine the optimum condition and the target release rate required of the film. The practical stability study is the preliminary step of the survey to get shelf life’s tentative idea.
The product’s stability to be calculated on various temperatures and be stable on every aspect per geographical region or zone. The stability study temperature also decided with product behavior, not packaging.