Purdue University Graduate School

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Innovative Method for Rapid Determination of Shelf-Life in Packaged Food and Beverages

posted on 2022-12-01, 20:29 authored by Anbuhkani MuniandyAnbuhkani Muniandy

Temperature is the common accelerant that is used for shelf-life determination of shelf-stable food because it is easy to use and there are models such as Q10 and Arrhenius, which are available for shelf-life prediction. The accelerated shelf-life test (ASLT) still requires months of analysis time as it only uses temperature as the accelerant. Oxygen pressure as an accelerant has not been given much attention even though many studies have shown the negative impact of oxygen on the shelf-life of food. An effective analysis method with multiple accelerants has the potential for the development of a rapid shelf-life determination method. Hence, this research focused on the invention of a rapid method, named the Ultra-Accelerated Shelf-Life Test (UASLT) that combines oxygen pressure and temperature as accelerants and the development of shelf-life prediction model(s). The study hypothesized that the application of elevated oxygen pressure and elevated temperature (40C) increases the amount of oxygen diffusing into packaged food which leads to rapid degradation of nutrients that further reduces the overall shelf-life analysis time compared to the ASLT method. A custom-made high-pressure chamber with a 100% oxygen environment at 40C was designed and developed as part of the UASLT method. The impact of the application of oxygen pressure on oxygen diffusivity in polymeric food packaging materials was investigated on three packages with different oxygen permeability properties. The application of oxygen pressure significantly increased the rate of oxygen transfer and the oxygen diffusivity values for all packaging materials compared to the counterparts that were not exposed to the pressure. A shelf-stable model food fortified with vitamins A, B1, C and D3 was developed to investigate the effectiveness of the UASLT method in degrading the quality indicators in the model foods in a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) container. PET was chosen as it was the most permeable to oxygen. Model food was also subjected to ASLT conditions at the same temperature without additional pressure and at room temperature (control). A degradation of 27.1 ± 1.9%, 13.9± 2.1%, 35.8 ± 1.0%, and 35.4 ± 0.7% were seen in vitamins A, B1, C and D3, respectively, in just 50 days. Slower degradation was observed with samples kept under the ASLT conditions for 105 days and reached a degradation of 24.0 ± 2.0%, 4.9 ± 6.1%, 32.0 ± 3.1% and 25.1 ± 1.5% for vitamin A, B1, C and D3, respectively. The control samples that were studied for 210 days showed 14.9 ± 5.0%, 2.0 ± 2.2%, 13.8 ± 2.2% and 10.6% ± 0.8% degradation in vitamins A, B1, C and D3, respectively. The increase in the dE values due to browning in samples kept at the UASLT, ASLT and control conditions were 11.67 ± 0.09, 7.49 ± 0.19 and 2.51 ± 0.11, respectively. The degradation of vitamins A, C, D3 was analyzed using the 1st order kinetic and the rate constant,    (day-1) was used to develop four prediction models. Vitamin B1 values were omitted from the kinetic analysis due to insufficient degradation. Two temperature-oxygen diffusion models were developed by correlating oxygen diffusivity and   . Comparisons were made with the temperature-based models of    and Arrhenius. The predicted    values across the models were in the range of 0.051-0.054 day-1,0.080-0.088 day-1 and 0.048-0.051 day-1, for vitamin A, C and D3, respectively. The    values estimated for vitamins A, C, and D3 were 2.16, 2.63 and 2.62, respectively. The predicted shelf-life of vitamin A, C and D3 to undergo 25% reduction was in the range of 404 to 551, 321-353 and 529-583 days across all models, respectively. The shelf-life predicted from the temperature-oxygen diffusion models was close to the temperature models indicating the potential to be paired with the UASLT method. Experimental verification is needed to analyze the errors in the prediction. The addition of oxygen pressure further reduced the shelf-life analysis time by 50% compared to ASLT. Elevated external oxygen pressure can be used as an accelerant along with elevated temperatures (40C) for rapid shelf-life testing of packaged foods. This novel approach has potential application in the food industry for faster shelf-life analysis of food.


USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project 1023114


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Food Science

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dharmendra K. Mishra

Additional Committee Member 2

Carlos Corvalan

Additional Committee Member 3

Lavanya Reddivari

Additional Committee Member 4

Ferhan Ozadali

Additional Committee Member 5

Patnarin Benyathiar