Product Stability

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How Storage Conditions, Product Stability, and the Manufacturer's Warranty Work to Determine your LabDiet® Shelf Life

 Storage conditions and dietary characteristics affect the nutrient stability of laboratory animal diets. Such non-dietary factors include, but may not be limited to, lighting, oxygen, temperature, and moisture. Antioxidants and fat in diet formulations can also affect the overall stability. Our extensive data prove that the manufacturer’s warranty of LabDiet® products can be extended beyond the recommendations in the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals by storing products under climate-controlled conditions. Irradiation can also extend the stability of a diet by preventing growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Extension of your diet usage by controlled storage varies depending on the type of diet. The recommended shelf life based on proved product stability for our LabDiet® and TestDiet® products is provided below. A quick-reference table is included along with a detailed description of each category of our products. 
Product Recommended Shelf Life
LabDiet® Standard Products9 months  
PicoLab® & IsoPro® Irradiated Diets9 months to One Year 
LabDiet® Non-human Primate (Stabilized Vitamin C) 9 months 
LabDiet® Guinea Pig Products (Stabilized Vitamin C) 9 months 
TestDiet® Custom Diets 6 months 
LabDiet® & TestDiet® Irradiated Enrichment items* 24 months

*Enrichment products provide nutritional supplementation but are not intended for use as the sole source of nutrients for animals. Non-irradiated enrichment items have a 1-year shelf life while irradiated products have a 2-year shelf life. 

LabDiet® Standard Products: 
The manufacturer’s warranty on product stability of LabDiet® products is 9 months from the date of manufacture. Our diets are formulated and warrantied to meet and/or safely exceed the animals’ minimum nutrient requirement for 9 months from the date of manufacturer, which accounts for any potential normal and expected nutrient degradation over that time period. Diets requiring vitamin C (primate, guinea pig, etc.) also have a guarantee of 9 months from the date of manufacture as they contain a stabilized form of vitamin C, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate. Cereal grain LabDiet® products should be stored under conditions of < 72°F/21°C and ≤ 50% relative humidity. 

Dietary Enrichment Products: 
Dietary enrichment products provide supplemental nutrients but are typically not designed to be nutritionally complete diets. Dietary enrichment products should be stored under conditions of < 72°F/21°C and ≤ 50% relative humidity. Because they are typically not the sole source of the animals’ daily ration, the assured product stability or shelf-life for our enrichment products is one year from the date of manufacture; all irradiated enrichment products are assured for stability up to 24 months. 

TestDiet® Custom Diets: 
The manufacturer’s warranty on product stability and storage conditions for TestDiet® custom products vary depending on the exact formulation; many contain high levels of dietary fat, sensitive compounds, and purified, unstable forms of vitamins. Consequently, the guarantee for nutrient stability of custom diets is generally 6 months from the date of manufacture. However, the nutrient stability may be longer for certain diet formulations, and optimal storage conditions can extend the shelf life. Custom diets should be stored under conditions of < 39°F/4°C and ≤ 50% relative humidity. If these storage conditions are not available at your facility, please consult with a LabDiet® nutritionist for further assistance. 

LabDiet® laboratory animal feed products are formulated with precision. The current issue of the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and USDA facility inspectors suggest using products within a 6 month from the date of manufacture. The below excerpt from THE GUIDE references manufacturers’ recommendations should be considered: 

Most natural-ingredient, dry laboratory animal diets stored properly can be used up to 6 months after manufacture. Refrigeration preserves nutritional quality and lengthens shelf life, but food storage time should be reduced to the lowest practical period and the manufacturer’s recommendations considered. 2011. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. p66. 

As stated earlier, we are confident that LabDiet® products maintain their nutritional integrity and remain palatable and safe for 9 months. However, the contents of this publication do not supersede or override the decisions, protocols, and/or procedures of the inspection agencies, laboratory animal governing bodies, or directors or managers of lab animal facilities at research institutions. Our intention is to provide information about how our feeds are formulated and how product stability can be extended, if desired. To review data supporting the stability of our products, please visit the Product Stability section at 

If questions or concerns arise, please do not hesitate to contact one of our LabDiet® Team members by emailing 

George Signature
George Nugent 
Director, LabDiet® 

Carrie Signature
Carrie Schultz, Ph.D 
Manager, Technical Services, LabDiet® 

June 28 2016