Sensory Shelf Life Estimation of Food Products: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sensory Shelf Life Estimation of Food Products

1st Edition

By Guillermo Hough

CRC Press

264 pages | 63 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781420092912
pub: 2010-05-25
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429147180
pub: 2010-05-25
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Complying with food regulations and, more importantly, quality standards, requires practical and reliable methods to estimate a product’s shelf life. Emphasizing the importance of the consumer’s perception of when food has reached the end of its shelf life, Sensory Shelf Life Estimation of Food Products provides a tool for adequately predicting sensory shelf life (SSL).

The book delineates the basics of sensory analysis and how it applies to shelf-life studies and includes discussions of experimental design aspects, survival analysis methodology, and its extensions. It provides detailed instructions and software functions for performing SSL estimations, accompanied by data sets and the R Statistical Package functions that are available for download. The author presents the cut-off point methodology used to estimate SSL when the survival analysis methods get complicated. He includes a chapter on accelerated storage covering kinetics, calculations of prediction confidence intervals and potential pitfalls. He also examines extensions of survival analysis statistics to other areas of food quality such as optimum concentration of ingredients and optimum cooking temperatures.

Microbiologically stable foods, such as biscuits or mayonnaise, will have their shelf-life defined by the changes in their sensory properties. Many fresh foods, such as yogurt or pasta, after relatively prolonged storage may be microbiologically safe to eat but rejected due to changes in their sensory properties. Shelf life in most food products is determined by sensory issues instead of microbiological or chemical concerns. This book offers key techniques for experimental design, storage, consumer testing procedures, and calculations. It includes methods for accelerated storage experiments, thoroughly explains statistical data treatment, and includes practical examples.

Table of Contents


Sensory Shelf Life Definition

Labeling Regulations

Shelf Life of Foods Is Sensory Shelf Life

Importance of the Consumer in Defining Food Quality

Books on Shelf Life of Foods


Principles of Sensory Evaluation


Definition of Sensory Evaluation

Sensory Analysis: Trained Panels versus Experts

General Requirements and Conditions for Sensory Tests

Physiological Factors

Psychological Factors

Sensory Evaluation Methods


Design of Sensory Shelf-Life Experiments

Initial Considerations

Approximations of Shelf-Life Values


Survival Analysis Applied to Sensory Shelf Life

What is Survival Analysis?


Survival and Failure Functions

Shelf Life Centered on the Product or on Its Interaction with the Consumer?

Experimental Data Used to Illustrate the Methodology

Censoring in Shelf-Life Data

Model to Estimate the Rejection Function

Calculations Using the R Statistical Package

Interpretation of Shelf-Life Calculations

An Additional Example

Should Consumers be Informed?

Is There a Way to Deal with Totally New Products?


Survival Analysis Continued: Number of Consumers, Current Status Data, and Covariates

Number of Consumers

Current Status Data

Introducing Covariates in the Model


Cut-Off Point Methodology

When is the Survival Statistics Methodology Difficult to Apply?

Basics of the Cut-Off Point Methodology

Approaches in Establishing a COP

Methodology to Measure the COP

Instrumental Cut-Off Points

Caveats for Using COP Methodology


Accelerated Storage


Arrhenius Equation and Activation Energy

The Use of Q10

Survival Analysis Accelerated Storage Model

Potential Pitfalls of Accelerated Shelf-Life Testing

Conclusion on Accelerated Testing


Other Applications of Survival Analysis in Food Quality

Consumer Tolerance Limits to a Sensory Defect

Optimum Concentration of Ingredients in Food Products

Optimum Salt Level in French Bread

Internal Cooking Temperature of Beef

Optimum Ripening Times of Fruits



About the Author

A research scientist with the Commission de Ivestigaciones Cientificas, Guillermo Hough is a renowned academic in sensory/consumer sciences. Dr. Hough conducts his research in the area of sensory science and has become an expert in the field of sensory shelf life, having published 20 refereed articles on this theme. A dynamic speaker at international conferences and symposiums, he also lead the collaborative Ibero-American project (CYTED program), which stated the basics for the estimation and modelization of sensory shelf life. His course on sensory science and shelf life has been very popular in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, New York and Paris. His group is in close contact with local and regional food companies, performing a wide range of sensory tests and panel testing. Dr. Hough works at the Instituto Superior Experimental de Tecnologia Alimentaria in the small town of Nueve de Julio, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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