Accelerated Shelf Life
Shelf-life study is creating the same environment for the product as the regular storage environment which is the store where pet food is ultimately purchased. Changes of oxidative status in the product are evaluated at a specific sampling duration. The ambient shelf-life study means the shelf-life study is performed at ambient condition, usually room temperature (75F). Accelerated shelf-life study means the study will be performed at 40 °C to generate a four times oxidation rate of the same product at room temperature.
Both shelf-life studies are applied at our lab. For accelerated study.
Analytical Capability - Primary Oxidation Product
Primary oxidation product means the primary product generated from oxidation of fats and oil in the pet food or rendering product. The peroxide value is important because this value tells us how much oxidation has happened in the matrix at a certain time, and whether the oxidation is inhibited or is out of control with time.
Analytical Capability - Secondary Oxidation Product
Volatile Aldehydes, Para-Anisidine
The secondary oxidation product is the next step of oxidation on the primary oxidation product. It generates volatile aldehydes and non-volatile aldehydes from peroxides. The volatile aldehydes contribute rancidity to pet food and rendering product, bringing in unpleasant odor to the food matrix. When such rancidity odor is sniffed, it means consumers will feel dissatisfied, unsafe and potentially reject the food.
Analytical Capability - Active Ingredient
The active ingredient test is to determine the level of active ingredients in the product.
Active ingredients act as anti-oxidative roles to inhibit oxidation in fats and oil to extend shelf-life of the product. The addition level of active ingredients is usually very low, at parts-per-million level. We use UHPLC (ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography) and LC-MS (liquid chromatography – mass spectrometer) to determine the low-level active ingredient.
Analytical Capability - Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Protein, fat, moisture, ash
The Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) tests protein, fat, moisture and ash levels in pet food and rendering products using a non-destructive technique. It is a fast method, with just one minute per sample to give us the information we need. NIR saves time compared to traditional benchtop chemistry method.
Analytical Capability - Moisture and Water Activity
Moisture and water activity are properties to describe the dryness and relative humidity of a product. The moisture tells the percentage of water in the product which affects texture and morphology. Water activity is very important because the product will spoil at high levels.
Oxidation Stress Measurement
Rancimat, Oxygen Bomb Test
The oxidation stress measurement test determines the performance of antioxidants in oil or solids. This test applies stress to the matrix, usually heat plus air bubbles to the oil matrix, and heat plus high pressure pure oxygen to solid matrix. The performance of the antioxidant can be evaluated in a short time because oxidation is extremely accelerated under such condition. This measurement helps us evaluate performance of different antioxidants in a specific matrix with short study time.
Sensory Evaluation for Pet Food by Human
Sensory Evaluation for Pet Food (by human) means the Videka team will evaluate pet food product using sensory testing. This is completed by sniffing the aroma and/or odor of pet food throughout the entire shelf-life study and give descriptions of how we feel the change (or no change) of the product. The descriptive words of flavor, aroma and odor will be used so that customers (pet food manufacturers) will receive a real response of their product from consumers.
Microbial Test at Kalamazoo
The Microbial Test can measure microbial loads in foods, and/or foods with pathogen inoculated to evaluate how these pathogens be killed/inhibited of growth with addition of antimicrobial agents. It is important because microbials become a core problem in food safety. Applying antimicrobial agents and testing microbials will help customers minimize risk of food contamination.