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📚Total number of case-studies: 1 (2 parts)



The concept of food shelf-life has many facets, but above all it has very important implications for food safety, quality and waste control. Packaging plays an essential role: it supports information on shelf life, it extends the shelf life of the food before and after opening. The case study presented (two parts) demonstrates that the shelf life of a packaged food can be predicted from mass transfer principles and therefore integrated into the ecodesign approach of a package. It is in fact a regulatory obligation, the weight of the packaging and thus the mass of waste must be adapted to the shelf life of the food inside. Beyond the dimensioning aspects (wall thickness, geometry), the approach allows to choose the materials and to couple the packaging dimensioning with the characteristics and the formulation of the food. Process conditions and food distribution can also be integrated into the design of the packaging.

The current case-study does not consider directly food spoilage and considers either food products with low or intermediate water activities or fresh foods already protected by their epidermis. Chemical risks are not included.

The trainees can execute sophisticated calculations (non-steady permeation/sorption/diffusion, anisothermal and chained mass transfer) online using the computational platform SFPP3.



📚parts: 2

📕How to determine the shelf-life of a packaged food based on the knowledge of the product and of the mass transfer properties of the packaging (part1/2)
| 📄33 slides | 🏫UZAG-PBF, Zagreb, 🇭🇷 | 🔉English | 🔝

🔖This first part introduces the main concepts and definitions:
  • What is shelf-life? How is related to food safety? Whos is resposible for calculating shelf-life?
  • What are the parameters that most influence the shelf life of food?
  • The principles of direct and indirect determinations of shelf-life.
  • Illustrations with examples of food spoilage.
📙How to determine the shelf-life of a packaged food based on the knowledge of the product and of the mass transfer properties of the packaging (part2/2)
| 📄35 slides | 🏫UZAG-PBF, Zagreb, 🇭🇷 | 🔉English | 🔝

🔖This second part
  • discusses the six steps of the direct determination of shelf-life;
  • illustrates calculations with examples
The following calculations are detailed:
  • Example 1: water vapor permeability of film wraping mushrooms;
  • Example 2: oxygen permeation through a monolayer pouch;
  • Example 3: similar calculations for a tri layer rigid material.
  • Example 4: Shelf-life of packed biscuits knowing the critical water content.
  • Example 5: relation of the duration of a soft bread with its packaging and formulation in polyols (plasticizer and water activity reducer);
  • Example 6: Relation between the packaging material and the shelf-life of mango.
  • Example 7: shelf-life of orange juice packed in sealed glass jars and in brick boxes.



The presented case-studies are not exhaustive and cannot be considered sufficient to validate the safety and the shelf-life of commercial products.

PROJECT FITNess - funded by the European Union's ERASMUS programme (contract 2017-1-FR01-KA202-037441)
Food packaging open courseware for higher education and staff of companies
Partners: Croatia (UZAG-PBF), France (ACTIA, LNE, AGROPARISTECH/INRA, AGROSUP DIJON), Germany (TUM), Portugal (UCP), Spain (CSIC)
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