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Predict Packaging Performance to Maximize Product Shelf Life

Many factors impact product shelf life, but moisture is one of the most critical concerns. Effective packaging maintains a product’s water activity regardless of storage humidity, and does so without being too expensive. This presentation explains how computer modeling uses critical water activity and package permeability to predict packaging performance and maximize shelf life.

Date: October 21, 2015
Time: 11 AM EDT (8 AM PDT / 5:00 PM CEST)
Duration: 1 hour
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While many factors impact product shelf life, moisture is one of the biggest concerns. That's why manufactured products are often stored in packaging that features some type of moisture barrier. Determining the ideal packaging, however, can be time consuming and costly. Effective packaging maintains a product's water activity regardless of storage humidity, and does so without being too expensive.

Computer modeling can be used to predict packaging performance under varying storage/humidity conditions. To work, these models require an understanding of the product's critical water activity as well as the packaging's moisture barrier properties. This presentation will describe critical water activity, derive the equations necessary for predictive modeling, and provide application examples for the packaging models.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand how moisture impacts product shelf life
  • Learn what constitutes critical water activity
  • Understand why water vapor transmission rate is important
  • Learn how to predict packaging performance


Brady Carter, Research Scientist, Decagon Devices

A research scientist with Decagon Devices, Brady Carter specializes in water activity and moisture sorption applications. He oversees development of new moisture analysis instrumentation and provides support for current instrumentation. Carter has a Ph.D. and Master's Degree in Cereal Chemistry and Crop Science from Washington State University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Botany from Weber State University. He is a recognized speaker at water activity seminars worldwide.