Maintaining shelf life

Marc Martens Marc Martens Facebook Linkedin

Moisture, light and temperature can affect a product’s shelf life. Packaging can maintain it - provided the package has the right tested properties.

Shelf life is the period of time from the date of manufacture that a product is expected to remain within its approved product specification while stored under defined conditions. Storage and shipping conditions in particular can deviate (unexpectedly) and shorten a product’s lifespan. Because certain materials are sensitive to moisture, light and temperature, good packaging helps preventing spoilage.

How to choose the right packaging

The level of protection that packaging has to offer depends on:

  • Environmental conditions during transport and/or storage
  • Travel time to first-use
  • Period of use
  • Handling

These factors determine which packaging type is  suitable and what barrier properties are required.

Material influences shelf life

Not all packaging materials can avert the impact of these factors. Humidity often undermines the strength of cardboard and leads to the corrosion of metal packages and parts. Excessive humidity even encourages mold growth. Metal blocks UV rays but conducts heat. Both plastic and cardboard require colorant in order to block UV light effectively.  Oxygen permeability is another big factor and all three can leach chemicals into product.

Choose security backed by testing

Product spoilage costs time and money. It leads to reputational damage. Choose  security by selecting safe packaging that has been tested for moisture transmission, UV safety, chemical migration, oxygen permeability, stability and strength. Ask a packaging supplier for proof.


CurTec drums, pails and jars are clean, safe and certified by testing.  Do you want advice on how to keep your product on the shelf in optimal condition?

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