One of the most important safeguards a foodstuff packaging business must mplement is in the field of leak detection equipment. Proper packaging proecedures help to reduce the possibility of your product arriving past peak freshness, or even spoiled. Below are the most effective techniques and equipment industry experts have found to prevent this from taking place.
1. THE VACUUM SEALED CHAMBER
One of the simplest and most foolproof methods, the dry chamber technique helps determine if your liquid product (such as beverages or soups) has been compromised. This method involves placing the packaged liquid into a vacuum sealed chamber, equipped with an absorbent material. If there is any moisture present on the aborbent material, the test is positive for leakage.
2. BUBBLE EMISSION TANKS
Another fairly straightforward piece of equipment is a bubble emission tank. As the name implies, this is a water tank in which the product is placed, and a visual test if performed to determine if any air bubbles are escaping from the sealed product. This is one of the most widely used and traditional methods, and even the most highly technical pieces of equipment still offer some sort of bubble emission test as part of their array of methods.
3. ALTITUDE SIMULATOR
Integral to products that are to be shipped by air, an altitude simulator can detect leaks that may not be noticeable until flying high above the earth. Depending on the contents of the package, an altitude simulator can be used in either a wet or dry tank. The simulator can also alert manufacturers to other possible packaging issues that may arise during transport, such as the packaging collapsing in high altitutdes. This method is also recommended for items that will be shipped over high altitude mountain ranges.
4. IR ABSORPTION SPECTROSCOPY
Today, many retailers (supermarkets especially) are pushing manufacturers to use 100% on-line methods to ensure food safety. An IR Absorption Spectroscope is a type of leak detection equipment that can measure even miniscule amounts of excaping gases from Modified Atmospheric Packaging, which currently accounts for around 40% of the food packaging market. A benefit is that this machine can be used on all outgoing product, not just select samples.
As retailers continue to strive to provide their customers with a superior product, they will want to work with manufacturers who can promise their product will arrive in optimum condition. Use of these techniques and materials can allow manufacturers to make that promise to them, and to stand behind it.