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General information on shelf life for flavouring concentrates.

expiry date


There is no exact law or rule or standardized system for expiration dating, and for some products i.e. chemicals and e-liquids, it is not mandatory to even state a date. 

Food flavourings, on the other hand, are required to be provided with a date of minimum durability or a use-by-date in accordance with the European food flavouring regulations.  

As the European importer, Efuma add a ‘best before’ date plus other required information to an additional CLP label attached to the product. 

The ‘best before’ date is often mistaken by consumers to be the same as an expiration date. However, the ‘best before’ date is not a safety date and does not mean that the product is no longer safe to consume.  

Freshness, nutrients, appearance, and sensory quality parameters slightly change over time. This process will initiate soon after manufacturing. The ‘best before’ date is a quality assurance date and serves as a ‘suggestion’ for when the taste and quality of the product are at their peak.  

This only applies to unopened shelf-stable products. Once a sealed product is exposed to air it is prone to contamination. Thus, the ‘best before’ date no longer applies to it. 


The stability of flavouring concentrates is affected by many parameters including the composition, the manufacturing process, and the storage conditions. How the product is handled also affects the stability. A product stored at high temperature, in direct sunlight and often opened will have a shorter shelf life than a sealed product stored cold and in the dark. 

The product stability is determined by the manufacturer to indicate the period where the quality changes is at an acceptable level. Results are summarized on a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) provided with an ‘Expiry’ date. This date refers to the date where the manufacturer guarantees the product to fulfill specifications of the tested parameters. After this date, the product can be re-tested to confirm if it is still within specification limits, and the ‘Expiry’ date can be prolonged.  

This explains why the ‘Expiry’ date on the CoA is not comparable with the ‘Best before’ date on the CLP label. 

We suggest internal stability studies to determine the stability regarding the specific quality parameters required in accordance with your internal specifications. 

Note that when the flavouring concentrates are mixed to a new product with new characteristics, a shelf life must be determined for this new product independently of the incoming raw materials. 

At Efuma we strive always to have minimum 2.5 months shelf life left on the flavouring concentrates we ship out. If you experience you get a product from Efuma which has a shorter expiry date, don’t hesitate to contact Efuma for returns or replacements. You can always use your common sense or smell/taste the product if you are not sure the concentrate can still be used. 


If you have further questions regarding shelf life for flavouring concentrates, please contact Efuma´s compliance team at 

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