Food Preservation Technology Book from C.H.I.P.S.

Sensory Shelf Life Estimation of Food Products
by Guillermo Hough

Complying with food regulations and, more importantly, quality standards, requires practical and reliable methods to estimate a product’s shelf life. Emphasizing the importance of the consumer’s perception of when food has reached the end of its shelf life, Sensory Shelf Life Estimation of Food Products provides a tool for adequately predicting sensory shelf life (SSL).


  • Explains how to design a shelf life estimation experiment
  • Develops the application of survival analysis statistics to SSL prediction using acceptance/rejection data obtained from consumers
  • Presents instructions, code and downloadable example files to be used with the freely available R-statistical package
  • Details the cut-off point methodology as an alternative to survival analysis.
  • Covers non-linear and survival analysis modeling of Arrhenius’ equation to obtain adequate predictions of activation energies
  • Includes an R-function to perform a non-linear regression to better estimate activation energy
  • Describes extensions of survival analysis statistics to other food applications



  • Sensory Shelf Life Definition
  • Labeling Regulations
  • Shelf Life of Foods Is Sensory Shelf Life
  • Importance of the Consumer in Defining Food Quality
  • Books on Shelf Life of Foods

Principles of Sensory Evaluation

  • Definition of Sensory Evaluation
  • Sensory Analysis: Trained Panels versus Experts
  • General Requirements and Conditions for Sensory Tests
  • Physiological Factors
  • Psychological Factors
  • Sensory Evaluation Methods

Design of Sensory Shelf-Life Experiments

  • Initial Considerations
  • Approximations of Shelf-Life Values

Survival Analysis Applied to Sensory Shelf Life

  • What is Survival Analysis?
  • Censoring
  • Survival and Failure Functions
  • Shelf Life Centered on the Product or on Its Interaction with the Consumer?
  • Experimental Data Used to Illustrate the Methodology
  • Censoring in Shelf-Life Data
  • Model to Estimate the Rejection Function
  • Calculations Using the R Statistical Package
  • Interpretation of Shelf-Life Calculations
  • An Additional Example
  • Should Consumers be Informed?
  • Is There a Way to Deal with Totally New Products?

Survival Analysis Continued: Number of Consumers, Current Status Data, and Covariates

  • Number of Consumers
  • Current Status Data
  • Introducing Covariates in the Model

Cut-Off Point Methodology

  • When is the Survival Statistics Methodology Difficult to Apply?
  • Basics of the Cut-Off Point Methodology
  • Approaches in Establishing a COP
  • Methodology to Measure the COP
  • Instrumental Cut-Off Points
  • Caveats for Using COP Methodology

Accelerated Storage

  • Arrhenius Equation and Activation Energy
  • The Use of Q10
  • Survival Analysis Accelerated Storage Model
  • Potential Pitfalls of Accelerated Shelf-Life Testing
  • Conclusion on Accelerated Testing

Other Applications of Survival Analysis in Food Quality

  • Consumer Tolerance Limits to a Sensory Defect
  • Optimum Concentration of Ingredients in Food Products
  • Optimum Salt Level in French Bread
  • Internal Cooking Temperature of Beef
  • Optimum Ripening Times of Fruits


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Sensory Shelf Life Estimation of Food Products
by Guillermo Hough
2010 • 264 pages • $148.95 + shipping
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