Accelerated Shelf Life Testing (ASLT)

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Accelerated shelf life test is an accelerated aging test that helps determine the shelf life of a product. The test provides quick results by exposing the product to elevated temperature and humidity levels which accelerates its deterioration.


Accelerated Shelf Life Testing 

An accelerated shelf life test is a stability test that helps manufacturers determine a product’s expiration date. Though stability tests of a product can be done through real-time analysis, this is a rather time consuming process. Accelerated testing, on the other hand, exposes the product to elevated levels of temperature and humidity for a specified time, which accelerates the product’s deterioration. The time required for the product to deteriorate to a given level is then converted to its real-life shelf life through appropriate conversions. ASLT utilizes the Arrhenius equation to determine the shelf life of single factor tests (testing one condition: temperature, humidity, pH, etc).

Accelerated Shelf Life Testing Equipment

The accelerated shelf life testing is done in stability chambers. The humidity and temperature of the chambers can be controlled. The chambers can be of three types: walk-in type, reach-in type, and benchtop chambers. How the chambers regulate the temperature and humidity also varies. It can either be done through an atomizer, a water bath, a steam generation system, or a two temperature system. 

Accelerated Shelf Life Testing of Medical Devices

Medical devices undergo rigorous testing before they can be sold in the market. To shorten their launch time, medical devices are tested for their shelf life through accelerated shelf life testing. The ASTM F1980 standard for accelerated aging of sterile medical device packages provides guidelines for this test.

Video 01: Accelerated shelf life testing of food products

Common Uses of Accelerated Shelf Life Testing

  • Determine the expiration date of products.
  • Determine the operation stability of products.
  • Troubleshooting product failures.

Advantages of Accelerated Shelf Life Testing

  • Accelerates product development.
  • Access product stability in extreme conditions. 

Limitation of Accelerated Shelf Life Testing

  • The test produces chemical byproducts which don’t usually occur under normal operating conditions. 
  • The Arrhenius equation does not provide accurate results for some tests.

Industrial Application of Accelerated Shelf Life Testing

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food and beverages
  • Medical devices
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