Getting Serious about Shelf-life

When it comes to shelf-life there is a lot of science, practice, and myths. The Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Tasmanian Branch, Seedlab Tasmania and the University of Tasmania, are presenting a Webinar on the 10th of March, online live, aiming to debunk the science behind shelf-life.

Our diverse range of speakers from academia to industry will offer insights into the concepts of shelf-life, with a refresher on the essential microbiological and sensory concepts behind it, different techniques of extending the shelf-life of your products and how to test it in a laboratory setting. 

This event will be of interest for small business operators, students and professionals who want to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts of shelf-life and offers an opportunity for virtual networking with the speakers and attendees after the event.

Presenters includeProfessor Tom Ross from UTas, who will speak on extending shelf life whilst keeping quality attributes.  Jodie Hill, of Sensory Solutions will speak on the sensory aspects of shelf-life. Jasmine Lacis-Lee, of BVAQ will talk through the laboratory testing of shelf-life, and Dr Matthew Wilson, UTas, will talk about extending shelf life through ingredients and packaging. There will be plenty of time allowed for questions and discussion. Register here, tickets cost just $25 (free for Seedlab Alumni)

Jasmine Lacis-Lee said “There are so many things that need to be considered when we say the word “shelf life”, this workshop is a must if you would like to understand the complexity and some of the things you need to know to determine what the shelf life of your product might be.”

Longer Shelf-life Opens up Shelf-space

We’ve reported earlier on the benefits some of our Seedlab participants have seen as a result of working on producing safe food, and extending the shelf-life where possible.  I popped into Hill Street Grocer at Blackmans Bay recently, where Rob Atkinson of Thai Larder was sampling their range of three Thai curry sauces. These are fresh curry sauces made by Ann and Rob, using traditional recipes Ann was taught by her family, and Tasmanian ingredients.  Even die hard chilli spice fans are blown away by them.

Ann and Rob use traditional cooking processes, and solid food safe handling procedures to pack their plant-based authentic curry sauces, and have proven a refrigerated shelf-life of over 60 days as a result.  There is big news afoot with statewide distribution starting in Woolworths in May, for a new two serve pack. This evolution means Rob and Ann are now both full time in their business, and are able to invest in a new packaging format which will be ready soon.

A Variety of Gins

Sarah Gunn and Paul Munday of Summerleas Gin featured at the recent Variety of Gins at the Botanical Gardens. Three hundred guests enjoyed the cocktails, raising money for Variety, the Children’s charity. Sarah developed the Summerleas Blush cocktail especially for the event, with their award-winning Navy strength gin, Aperol and pink grapefruit, garnished with frozen blueberries.

Amanda Hinds, one of the Seedlab Team attended the event, and said: “It was a stellar night, and Sarahs cocktail was a standout, with a beautiful flavour, professionally presented in a martini glass. The event was a great celebration of our gin makers, and it was fabulous to see so many Tasmanians out enjoying such a balmy night”.

Summerleas has long recognised the world-wide shortage of juniper berries and are due to harvest their first berries in August to November this year. Sarah said “at first we will only be able to supply our own needs but in the long term we be able to reliably supply the Tasmanian distilling industry. In 2021 many Tasmanian distilleries ran out of Juniper and luckily we had extra and were able to help them out”. All three of the Summerleas gins won Silver Medals at the prestigious Australian Distilled Spirits Awards in 2021 and 2022. Sarah and Paul are working hard to broaden their distribution base, they can currently be found in Destination Cellars, Hop Vine and Still, select Cellarbrations stores and country markets Willie Smith’s, Kingston Beach, Woodbridge, Franklin, and cocktail bars like Society, Salamanca, Gold Bar and Salty Dog, Kingston.