The Food and Environment Laboratories Section at the Dubai Central Laboratory recently adopted a mechanism to design models for the study on testing the validity period of different food products depending on the type of components of the basic materials of the product, methods of processing, packaging and storage, as well as the validity period proposed by the food establishment.
Amin Ahmed Amin, Director of the Dubai Central Laboratory Department, said that the study was aimed at keeping or extending the validity of food products in response to the desire of customers.
Maha Al Hajiri, Head of the Food and Environment Laboratories Section, said that the mechanism of the study is based on measuring the changes in the physical and chemical properties of the foodstuff that occur as a result of the product's impact on the quality factors of the stages of processing, packaging, storage and distribution by monitoring the extent of change in the total bacterial content of the food in microbiological tests using the best traditional and advanced technologies approved according to ISO 17025 laboratory quality system.
She added that Water activity-Aw is one of the most important tests in determining the design of the validity period and the stability of food against damage and corruption.
"It is also the main factor for the growth and proliferation of bacteria and some chemical factors that affect the speed of corruption of food products such as enzymatic colour change, oxidation, breaking vitamins, protein change, starch degradation and transformation into gelatin. The lower the water content in the food product, the longer the shelf life. The shelf life is defined as the period in which the food remains valid and preserves acceptable quality until consumption," Al Hajiri said.