There is a growing population of Americans who are focused on improving their bodies and health through physical activity and the use of supplements. Consumers are very aware of what whey protein, vitamins, minerals and other supplements that they take, but they probably never thought about the expiration date. There are several factors that affect the shelf life or expiration date of protein powders and supplements. Most protein products and supplements are labeled to expire one to two years after manufacturing but this isn’t always true. There are vitamins that lose over 40% of their potency after just six months. Exposure to heat, light, air, and moisture can cause them to deteriorate faster. For example, if these products are stored in hot or humid environments, like a car in the summer or locker room, their potency will decrease faster than expected. Further, once a product is opened and no longer sealed, moisture can more easily enter the container and degrade the product.
Accelerated shelf life testing, that is conducted in industrial chambers at Midwest Laboratories, can simulate weeks and months of a shelf life in a faster period of time. As the protein powders and supplements age the potency will decrease, and the person taking them will not be receiving the full intended benefit. Testing the integrity of the container, packaging, and sample will help in better labeling the container and educating the consumer on storage and shelf life and ensure that the products they buy are going to remain as potent as expected. It may also be important to list shelf life both on sealed and open packaging to benefit the consumer. At Midwest Laboratories the accelerated chamber is used to test the shelf life of products with samples being pulled every day, week, or month to track changes that have occurred to products, whether it be aroma, taste, or appearance. If you need to set up your own shelf life, please contact Erin Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org for help!