Edibles Safety Q&A with Scott Riefler, Chief Science Officer for SōRSE
After writing a recent article called “Do Edibles Expire, and How to Best Preserve Them” we received a lot of feedback from our readers asking what the potential risks and dangers may be associated with consuming expired edibles.
So, we decided to connect with an expert in the field to get the latest information on the topic. We interviewed Scott Riefler, Chief Science Officer of SōRSE Technology around the world of edible safety and here are the highlights of the interview:
Can you explain the concept of edibles expiring? Do they all have the same shelf-life?
Cannabis edibles have shelf lives that are similar to their non-cannabis counterparts. If the cannabinoid is introduced in an appropriate manner and in a protected format such as SōRSE water-soluble emulsion, it should not alter the shelf life of the food platform itself. Most edibles have very good shelf lives. That said, they do differ from product to product, which is why it’s important to understand the terminology of packages and labels.
Shelf life terms cover a range of situations and include Expiration date, Sell by Date and Best by Date. The ““Best by” date is exactly that and not an indication of expiration date. Many, if not all materials, can last much longer than their “Best by” date. It is a term used to define when something is at its best, usually a sensory issue such as taste or color fastness. The “Expiration date” indicates that consuming a food after this day may or likely will cause harm.
Expiration dates are usually associated with materials that can spoil. The “Sell by” date is typically associated with food items that require specific storage conditions such as refrigeration.
Can cannabis itself expire? Or is it the other ingredients that are expiring when an edible goes bad?
When an edible goes bad, typically it is the other ingredients in the product that have expired. Cannabis does degrade very slowly, but not in a dangerous way. It is the potency of the THC that diminishes over time.
If you do believe you consumed expired edibles, what is the best course of action?
First, you should determine if you have a reason to be concerned, and the best way to do that is by looking at the package of the item you have consumed for the “Best By” date or the “Expiration date” if you have it on hand.
If you have consumed something past its “Best by” date, you shouldn’t be concerned. If you have consumed something past its “Expiration” date, you need to be aware of the microbial issues. For example, if you have consumed a cupcake or a cookie that you just realized is six months beyond its expiration date, then you would want to focus on the sensory experience you had – did it taste right? Was there any indication of spoilage?
In an extreme case where you experience an upset stomach related to the food platform, you may want to contact your physician who can counsel you on the best course of action. Drinking a lot of water is always a good way to flush out your system.
What are ways that people can learn about edibles and safety?
People need to use the resources available to them to learn about the safety and shelf life of edibles. If you purchase edibles at a dispensary, the budtender should be able to give you information on ingredients, best method for storage, and shelf life. The consumer should feel empowered to reach out to the producer themselves and ask them questions about their products.
One of our core values at SōRSE is educating our customers and consumers who are interested in cannabinoids about the benefits of using the water-soluble emulsions we produce. Edible products that are powered by SōRSE not only offer a positive sensory experience for the consumer, but one that is perfectly dosed; one with a rapid, repeatable lift-off; and one that is uniform and consistent.
Our website (www.sorsetech.com) offers information about our products and our team members for product producers, as well as a blog covering topics a cannabis consumer might find helpful, such as “How to Incorporate CBD into Your Daily Routine,” “The Science Behind a CBD Product,” and “What’s the Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate?”
What has SōRSE done in the edibles space to make them safer?
The company’s mission is to positively impact people’s lives through best in class, water-soluble emulsion science. We take cannabinoid extracts which are oils and convert them into a water-soluble emulsion which allows for seamless integration into products. We can help a producer go from concept to commercialization by offering our expertise using our emulsion in their products.
Our team members have a combined 150+ years of experience working in the food and beverage industry – with over 30 employees dedicated to Research and Development, Quality Assurance, and Product Development. When a product developer comes to us wanting to add cannabinoids to their product, we become a strategic partner that can offer support and guidance in product development, regulatory, quality assurance, and operations.
From a technology standpoint, SōRSE addresses the major hurdles commonly associated with edibles. Paramount is near perfect dosing, ensuring complete uniformity of the THC/CBD in the food or beverage so the first bite or sip has the same level of active as the last; second is greater bioavailability, faster onset and predictable experience times. Pharma-kinetic studies confirm onset within 10 to 20 minutes with a half-life of 90 to 120 minutes. Lastly, our emulsion platform manages the negative bitter sensory of the cannabinoids so the edibles tastes great and can be an enjoyable experience.
We also have comprehensive Risk Analysis and Food Safety Plans that are common in the food industry, which ensure that we meet quality and safety standards at every step of the way as it goes through our system. Risk reduction begins with the supply chain where we only choose products that meet our needs. We have many different process controls and steps along the way that we have to apply. We follow a Food Safety Plan that ensures we meet operational specifications and maintain food safety through that process. Once the production process is completed, the emulsion goes through final testing to ensure it meets our specifications for quality and safety.
SōRSE also conforms to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and has taken the steps to offer Kosher, allergen-free, and natural label compliant products. Our other GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Production Standards include: Certificate of Analysis (COA), GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredients, and SQF (Safe Quality Food).
About Scott Riefler:
Scott joined SōRSE in June 2017 where he and his team developed our water-soluble emulsion technology for cannabinoids. He is a chemist, polymer and material scientist who has spent the past 40 years cultivating and applying technology to a range of commercial applications.
Prior to joining SōRSE, Scott spent 20 years in the field of polymeric advanced materials for aircraft structure, followed by 19 years in the food space as a member of TIC GUMS’ leadership team. Scott is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists and National Association of Flavor and Food Ingredients.
About SōRSE Technology
What product would you like CBD to be in next? “With proper sensory management I would like to see it adopt a ubiquitous form such as a powder which can be added/sprinkled onto any food. Perhaps combining it with salt or non-nutritive sweeteners.”
The SōRSE Technology team is comprised of 150+ years in product development. With of team of over 30 employees dedicated to research and development, quality assurance, and operations, SōRSE supports clients’ production efforts from conception through go-to-market. When you work with SōRSE, you gain more than a CBD supplier – You gain a strategic partner.