Making Science work for the Food Industry Institute of Food Research

Quality Throughout Shelf-life Cluster

AimUse by date label

To investigate the mechanisms underlying product deterioration to enable the development of rational strategies for the maintenance of quality throughout product shelf-life.


We combine the practical experience of industrial members with the research and knowledge of IFR to give new insights allowing:

  • Identification of factors limiting shelf-life
  • Understanding of the complex interactions between quality and safety
  • Prediction of shelf-life of new products
  • Shelf-life extension whilst maintaining nutritional quality and safety

Who Attends?

This Cluster is attended by food scientists and technologists with interests in the extension of shelf-life and the improvement or maintenance of product quality throughout existing shelf-life.

IFR Skill Base Underlying the Cluster

  • Biological stability: texture change in vegetable tissues, microstructures, instrumental measures of quality as measures of shelf life extension
  • Microbiological stability: spoilage bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi
  • Physical stability: crystallisation, physical aging, effect on microbial stability, composition (water movement, syneresis, aw), microstructures
  • Chemical stability: maintenance and protection of nutritional value; Maillard reactions (enzymic modification of shelf life); lipid oxidation (taints, colour changes)
  • Colloidal stability: dispersions and emulsions; multi-phase foods; structured foods
  • Mathematical modelling: quantifying and predicting changes during storage; time temperature integration of reaction/change
  • Consumer science: understanding the perception and behaviour of consumers

Cluster Activities

  • Themed meetings throughout the year, to discuss topics identified by members
  • Relevant web pages and alerts via ‘F&HN Brief’

Top of page


About the Food & Health Network | Events |Key IFR contacts | Members' section
© copyright Institute of Food Research |Accessibility

Bobby WorldWide Approved

  Food & Health Network, IFR Enterprises Ltd,
Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UA, UK
Email: Tel: +44 (0) 1603 255000 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 507723