Standard Guide for Sensory Evaluation Methods to Determine the Sensory Shelf Life of Consumer Products
5.1 Measuring product changes over time serves as a practical basis for establishing the shelf life of a product. This information can also be used to assess the effects of new technology, processing, ingredients, packaging, and so forth, on the product’s shelf life.
5.2 This guide provides a summary of the criteria to be considered and appropriate test methods for determining a product’s sensory shelf life.
5.3 Previous sensory research with similar products, marketing research, product technology, manufacturing considerations, marketing objectives, and other business criteria can all play a part in determining sensory end point criteria.
5.4 The decision risk, end-point determination criteria, and shelf life procedure should be reviewed and agreed to by those involved with the project, that is: R&D, Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Sensory Evaluation, and so forth.
1.1 This guide provides recommended sensory testing approaches and decision criteria for establishing the sensory shelf life of consumed products, including food, personal care, and household products to manage business risk. It describes research considerations including: product selection and handling, appropriate application of specific sensory test methods, selection of test intervals, and data analysis techniques for the determination of a product’s sensory shelf life end-point. This guide will focus on the practical considerations and approaches, risks, and criteria that must be considered in designing, executing, and interpreting sensory shelf life results.
1.2 This guide is not intended to provide a detailed description of how to conduct reliable sensory testing. It assumes knowledge of basic sensory and statistical analysis techniques, focusing instead on special considerations for the specific application of sensory testing method to shelf life determination.
1.3 The shelf life measures in this guide refer to foods, household and personal care products stored as the manufacturer intended and do not account for changes in sensory properties occurring after opening, partial consumption or in-home storage. Once products have been manufactured, packaged and sent through the distribution channels, the condition of the products is not typically under study. However, a company may wish to include such variables in their shelf life studies when there is a need to evaluate the sensory quality of their products as they go through distribution channels and/or in-home storage and use.
1.4 This guide is not intended to address non-sensory issues related to the shelf life of food, including microbial contamination and chemical changes of products associated with aging, nor is it intended to address potential safety issues associated with aging food and non-food consumer products.
1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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