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Author Topic: How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?  (Read 4659 times)

Offline neilep

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« on: 08/10/2007 19:02:03 »
Dear Sell by/Best Before Experts,

See this Tin of Broad Beans  ?



Hmmmm..yummmy !!..ewe want them..I want them !!..

(well to be honest..it was just the first tin picked up...I don't think my life would be in tatters if I never ate another broad bean)

...and look at this Best Before date...


It's not for ages !!...

How do they determine the " life-span " of tinned goods ?...do they literally just keep tins for years and then open them up to see how delicious they are ?...or do they have a way of speed testing these things ?..and finally..does the contents of the tin affect the lifespan ?


CAN ewe help me ? I want TIN know !!!


« Last Edit: 08/10/2007 19:08:43 by neilep »


 

Offline Alandriel

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #1 on: 08/10/2007 19:12:29 »
I'm so glad you asked. Always wanted to know that myself.

I guess it also has a lot to do with preservatives, additives and lots of other nasties..... ewe!

 

Offline Bored chemist

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #2 on: 08/10/2007 19:37:04 »
Tinned food generally doesn't have many additives. Colours, flavours etc are sometimes added but they don't need preservatives (what did you think the tin was for?)
Of course, if you have something like tinned custard it can be hard to find the real ingredients among the additives.

They have been canning food for ages so they know how long it generally lasts from experience.
 

Offline Alandriel

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #3 on: 08/10/2007 21:30:46 »
The tin is for locking up otherwise perfectly good dry beans for the convenience of not having to soak and then cook them but rather pop them in their can onto the stove - millions of students around the world survive that way  ;D

Canning is a great way to preserve food of course.
Though I'm somehow not too happy when a metal container then contains a lot of acidic stuff (e.g. tomato juice) etc.

But then I'm probably paranoid......  ::)


... talk about paranoya: who is THEY???
 

another_someone

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #4 on: 08/10/2007 21:42:10 »
Canning is a great way to preserve food of course.
Though I'm somehow not too happy when a metal container then contains a lot of acidic stuff (e.g. tomato juice) etc.

Most tins now have a thin plastic lining to prevent the tin leaching into the food (particularly, as you say, if the ingredients are acidic) - you your bigger worry is through the leaching of phthalates into the food rather than the leaching of metals into the food.
 

another_someone

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #5 on: 08/10/2007 21:46:24 »
Most use by dates are fairly meaningless - there are stories of use by dates being put on food X number of days after leaving the factory, so the same food, if it happens to be in tomorrow's batch will have a use by date that is a day later than yesterday's batch, even though they may have started on the production line a few minutes apart.  Even cases of use by dates being changed if they are left lying around in the factory.

In general, most foods will last far longer than their sell by date, although some are more critical (a lot depends on the condition the food is stored - in poorly controlled environments, they may not even last as long as the use by date).
 

Offline Alandriel

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #6 on: 08/10/2007 21:47:48 »
... acid/metal or phthalates leaching.... nope, me not a happy camper.

I use dry beans! Or fresh if at all possible  ;D
 

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How Are ' Best Before' Dates Determined ?
« Reply #6 on: 08/10/2007 21:47:48 »

 

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