Blood is donated either as whole blood, with subsequent component processing, or through the use of apheresis devices that extract one or more components and return the rest of the donation to the donor. Blood component therapy supplanted whole blood transfusion in industrialized countries in the middle of the twentieth century and remains the standard of care for the majority of patients receiving a transfusion. Traditionally, blood has been processed into three main blood products: red blood cell concentrates; platelet concentrates; and transfusable plasma. Ensuring that these products are of high quality and that they deliver their intended benefits to patients throughout their shelf-life is a complex task. Further complexity has been added with the development of products stored under nonstandard conditions or subjected to additional manufacturing steps (e.g., cryopreserved platelets, irradiated red cells, and lyophilized plasma). Here we review established and emerging methodologies for assessing blood product quality and address controversies and uncertainties in this thriving and active field of investigation.