17 July 2022 | 3 minutes of reading
The shelf life of fresh pasta: food pasta is an article with a high risk for the growth and proliferation of bacteria therefore it is a highly perishable product.
The term shelf-life indicates the commercial duration of a product from production to sale, the period of time in which fresh pasta maintains the following acceptable characteristics:
The shelf-life (commercial life) begins when the fresh pasta is produced. There are many factors that determine the shelf life of fresh pasta, including:
The shelf-life of fresh pasta is normally indicated on the food label with the words “to be consumed by”.
A food label with the words “to be consumed by” indicates the date on which the fresh pasta will no longer have its initial characteristics and will have lost its quality.
It is the responsibility of the fresh pasta manufacturer to determine the shelf life of the products and consequently to label them correctly. This responsibility also includes the task of affixing the words that determine the shelf-life guarantee, such as “keep refrigerated once opened”.
The shelf-life is usually established during the production of fresh pasta, analyzing the characteristics (intrinsic and extrinsic) that affect its safety and/or quality including the ingredients used, the production process, the type of packaging (vacuum-packed or in modified atmosphere), determining the shelf life of the fresh pasta and the storage conditions of the pasta in which it will be sold.
To increase the shelf-life of fresh pasta, there are various solutions in the field of pasta packaging, among these there is certainly the use of GAS such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2).
The use of fresh pasta packaging in ATM (modified or protective atmosphere, also called the MAP technique or Modified Atmosphere Packaging) refers to the conservation of fresh pasta with the use of GAS for packaging.
This packaging and storage system must be clearly indicated on the food label.
However, the use of fresh pasta packaging in ATMs must not be conceived with a view to restoring the product or improving its quality, but as a technological operation to be combined with further pasta treatments, such as refrigeration, which increases its duration.
The purpose of shelf-life is to help pasta consumers make safe and informed use of the products they have purchased.
The shelf-life can only be considered valid if the product is intact and does not show any signs of damage on the packaging.
The consumer should always follow the storage instructions provided by the manufacturer, paying particular attention to the temperature and use of the product after opening it.
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