Although most food companies have a distinct interest in the shelf-life of their food products, little has been done to determine true shelf-life as a function of variable environmental conditions. Research efforts are generally aimed at improving quality with respect to a longer shelf-life. For true shelf-life prediction, especially for refrigerated foods, knowledge of predictive microbiology is needed. Models that describe influences of temperature and water activity on microbial deterioration are compared and the square-root model is found to be the best based on the criteria of r2 and mean square error. Appropriate approaches are presented for prediction of remaining quality or shelf-life of foods undergoing fluctuating temperature conditions. Finally, the Weibull hazard analysis technique for determination of shelf-life is introduced.
- Weibull hazard analysis
- microbial growth