Preservatives, shelf life and the effect on taste

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Preservatives have been widely used since prehistoric times. Their purpose is to prevent decomposition of foods by microbial growth or development of undesirable chemical changes. Increasing demands for ready to eat fresh food products has led to challenges for food distributors regarding the safety and the quality of foods.

The benefits of the use of preservatives extends shelf life for manufacturers and reduces wastage and product returns from the retailer. Extended product distribution is possible and seasonal products can be stockpiled.

However, the addition of preservatives changes the desired flavour of products. Sensory panels are then required to determine how the flavour of the product has changed from the original flavour standard. Sensory panels are expensive, and time consuming, therefore a rapid analytical approach to determine flavour changes would be beneficial. The FlavourSpec provides this rapid approach with results within minutes.