The shelf-life of ice cream is determined by when, and under what conditions, a product feature fails. Microbiological, chemical and some physical features rarely change after ice cream is hardened, stored or distributed. However, sensory properties-flavor, body and texture-do change when ice cream is exposed to high temperatures and temperature fluctuations (i.e., heat shock).
A: Accelerated shelf-life testing should be applied to provide an early indication of how well ice cream will maintain its properties during storage and distribution. The information it supplies is important to understand what affects shelf-life and eventual consumer acceptability.