MJBizMag August 2020 - 90

Shelf stability
Flower is more sensitive to aging than other cannabis products such as edibles. Courtesy Photo
L
ike any product that is ingested,
cannabis has a shelf life.
Manufacturers of infused
cannabis products such as candies,
beverages and creams need to make sure
their products can withstand time on
store shelves and in customers' homes.
" Shelf-life stability in the world of
cannabis-infused edibles is essentially no
different than it is in the world of regular
food products or dietary supplements, "
said Drew Hathaway, senior scientist
at Commerce City, Colorado-based
Stillwater Brands. " The three key pillars of
shelf-life stability for any industry should
be understanding how your product's
physical, chemical and microbial stability
can potentially change over the full
duration of the product's shelf life. "
WHAT IS SHELF-LIFE
STABILITY?
Shelf stability refers to both the length
of time a product is at its sensory best
and, for foods that spoil over time, a
direct measure of product safety, said
Scott Riefler, chief scientific officer for
Sōrse Technology, a Seattle-based CBD
emulsion ingredient supplier.
" Of course, food safety is the
paramount concern, " Riefler said. " This
is followed by consumers liking the
product, which drives brand loyalty and
repeat business. "
There are three distinct shelf-life terms:
* Best-by date.
* Expiration date.
* Sell-by date.
The best-by date is not the expiration of
shelf life. It's the time frame during which
all the ingredients and product attributes
are at their best, including sensory
characteristics, color fastness and flavor
intensity. Ingestible products-including
cannabis edibles-can be consumed safely
well past their best-by date.
The expiration date indicates when
a food is no longer safe to consume
from a spoilage standpoint or a point
in time when the preservative system is
no longer active and harmful microbial
activity might be present.
88 Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2020
Shelf-life stability is no different
in the cannabis industry than it is
with mainstream food products or
dietary supplements. It's important
to understand how your products'
physical, chemical and microbial
stability change over time to
determine how long they'll last on
store shelves and in customers'
homes. Here's some practical advice
to help navigate the maze:
* Know the difference between the
sell-by date, best-by date and
expiration date.
* Take cues on shelf life from the food
and beverage industry.
* Flower is more sensitive to prolonged
shelf life than live resins or rosins.
* Testing for shelf stability ensures
products provide a consistent and
safe experience for customers.
* Packaging plays a key role because
it provides a barrier between
the product and the surrounding
environment.

MJBizMag August 2020

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