Nutritional products are expected to be manufactured with zero tolerance to defects and should reach the consumers in the best and safest possible state. This is a criterion that cannot be ignored due to health and safety regulations. This is because most nutritional products are subject to innate chemical reactions. Defects in the nutritional packaging can cause the products to deteriorate with exposure to oxygen, moisture and bacteria. Fats and other infant nutrients can go rancid and inert.
Among other nutritional products, the standard of quality within dehydrated dairy industry is most critical. Even a minute defect in the package can deteriorate product quality, making it unfit for consumption. This is especially true for protein-based powders which are manufactured under controlled conditions to prevent spoilage and retain its nutritional purpose throughout its shelf life.
The protein content in most dairy products allows bacteria to consume majority of oxygen content before an increase in oxygen is detected by gas testing equipment. Leaks as small as 10-20 microns will only increase the oxygen content to levels below 3%, which cannot be detected using conventional testing methods. However, such leaks can dramatically decrease the typical 12 to 24 months shelf life of protein-based products. Oxygen and moisture ingress into the package will rapidly degrade the product prior to use, changing flavor, texture, and ultimately turning any valuable product into a liability.
Since conventional testing methods like water bath or dye ingress fall short of detecting such defects, it is important to apply techniques that offer high sensitivity leak testing and quality assurance.
Ensuring package integrity with Vacuum Decay technology
Vacuum Decay technology is a Container Closure Integrity test method with proven capability of non-destructively testing packaging at the production line with unmatched reliability and sensitivity. Non-destructive testing not only allows a greater understanding of package quality, but also reduces waste as compared to destructive test methods. Waste reduction in turn results in higher return on investment and brings operations closer to green initiatives.
Vacuum Decay technology operates by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, which is equipped with an external vacuum source. Single or dual vacuum transducer technology is used to monitor the test chamber for both the level of vacuum as well as the change in vacuum over a predetermined test time. The changes in absolute and differential vacuum indicate the presence of leaks and defects within the package. PTI’s VeriPac Series a practical alternative and significant improvement to destructive test methods and can precisely detect leaks as small as 5 microns, identifying process issues before they become critical, avoiding catastrophic quality deviations.
Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology:
- Non-destructive technology
- ASTM Test Method F2338, FDA Consensus Standard and referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines
- Accurate, repeatable results
- Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data
- Completely tool-less with no changeover to test different packaging formats
- Identifies which cavity is defective
- Eliminates destructive, subjective testing methods
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