SGS's food shelf life testing service can assist food manufacturers to comply with legal or commercial requirements by confirming that the product is labeled with the appropriate "use by/expiry date" and/or "best before" date.

  The "Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation " regulates that the food companies should use Chinese and common symbols to clearly indicate the expiry date in the container or outer packaging of food. The expiry date of the food represents the deadline for maintaining the value of the product, and as food distribution and sales become more and more diverse. How to sufficiently evaluate the expiry date of the food to ensure that the food avoids spoilage, corruption (spoilage) or other violations of food hygiene management regulations within the expiry date is crucial.


The definition of Expiry date, shelf life, and best before

1. Expiry date

  The expiry date is the time point, which represents the final date that the food can maintain the product value under certain storage conditions, such as "expiry date: YYYYMMDD". The expiry date is a statutory mandatory labeling item. According to Article 22 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, the container or outer packaging of food and food ingredients should be clearly marked with the expiry date in Chinese and common symbols.

2. Shelf life

  The shelf life is a time range, which represents during a period that the food can maintain the product value under certain storage conditions, such as "shelf life: two years". The shelf life is required to be compulsorily labelled in certain food categories, such as fresh milk, skimmed milk, evaporated milk, sweetened whole condensed milk, sweetened condensed skimmed milk, cream, flavored milk, fermented milk, synthetic milk and other liquid milk products should be marked with the shelf life.

3. Best before

  Best before, this term is more common in foods from Japan. It usually represents the time when the food can maintain the best flavor and quality, but it does not mean that it will become corrupted (spoilage) and inedible after this time. Because the best before has not been given the statutory definition in Taiwan. Therefore,  When food companies label the expiry date of imported food, they can only request the manufacturer to provide relevant information that is equivalent to the definition of Taiwan’s “expiry date” If it is not possible to provide relevant information that is equivalent to the definition of " expiry date " in Taiwan, the dates of "best before" shall be regarded as " expiry date ".


How to formulate the shelf life and expiry date of food?

  The quality of food changes will be affected by the raw materials used, the manufacturing process, and the transportation, storage and sales environment. Therefore, when formulating the expiry date of the food, it is necessary to fully consider various objective indicators that cause food deterioration and design a shelf-life evaluation and sampling plan. The Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare issued guidelines for the evaluation of the expiry date of commercially available packaged foods on April 24, 2013, suggesting six steps for the evaluation of the expiry date.


When do I need to perform a shelf-life evaluation?

  Compared with the rule of thumb or the shelf life and expiry date established by comparing homogeneous products on the market, the shelf-life evaluation of food is a relatively objective and scientific method of evaluating shelf life and expiry date. A too long shelf life will increase the risk of spoilage before its expiry date and a too short shelf life will reduce the circulation time of the product and cause excessive product recycling and waste. Therefore, in order to avoid risks and waste, we recommend that the companies perform shelf-life evaluation under the following conditions.

  New products: Before new products launch in the market, perform a shelf-life evaluation to establish an expiry date.

  Alteration of the product: if the formula is changed or the processing method is changed, confirm whether there is a change in the expiry date.

  Buyer acknowledgement: The buyer confirms whether the claimed shelf life of the seller’s products is reasonable.


What are the advantages of cooperating with SGS for fshelf-life evaluation of food?

1. Complete sample storage and analysis energy( A full capacity for sample storage and a completed capability of analysis)

  SGS has many years of experience in food test SGS has a wide capability of microbiological and chemical tests as well as a storage space with temperature and humidity control, which can meet the customers’ requirements with specific conditions. We have also set standard organoleptic evaluation lab room where can assist the companies in the complete implementation of various evaluation indicators.

  Our hardware facilities: 4 refrigerators, 3 freezers, 12 compartments of constant temperature and humidity storage space and a sensory evaluation laboratory (including 10 locations of evaluation rooms)

2. Quality requirements

  SGS is an accredited laboratory of the Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. From sample introduction, storage, sampling and testing, to data recording and report output, we follow the ISO/IEC 17025 laboratory quality management system. Regularly record and calibrate the room temperature, standardized testing service process, electronic management of data and related records are SGS's quality requirements.


What is the service process of SGS food  shelf-life evaluation of food?

  SGS's food shelf-life evaluation of food is a project service. We will propose a shelf-life evaluation plan based on the product type, sales status, regulatory requirements and expected time of the company. Assist the company to fully evaluate the risk factors of the product during the storage process and formulate the shelf life and expiry date of the product.

Taipei_Food Service
02-2299-3279  #6650~6668
4F., No. 125, Wugong Rd., Wugu Dist., New Taipei City 248016 , Taiwan
Taichung_Food Service
04-2359-1515  #2701~2704
No. 9, Gongyequ 14th Rd., Xitun Dist., Taichung City 407271 , Taiwan
Kaohsiung_Food Service
07-301-2121  #3251~3255
No. 61, Kaifa Rd., Nanzi Processing Export Zone, Nanzi Dist., Kaohsiung City 811637 , Taiwan