Nov 2021

Ensure Integrity of Flexible Packages with PTI's VeriPac Flex Series

Ensure Integrity of Flexible Packages with PTI's VeriPac Flex Series

Package integrity is of paramount importance in ensuring that sterility is maintained over a product’s entire shelf life. It is also a critical factor in preventing penetration of microorganisms throughout the distribution process. International Organization for Standardization defines package integrity as "the unimpaired physical condition of the final package."

Flexible pouches are extensively being used in the pharmaceutical and food industry as a primary packaging component. Even a minute breach in the sterile condition of the product is often considered a serious risk, resulting in the disposal of valuable products. Therefore, manufacturers give utmost importance for package integrity testing. Today, the market offers a host of techniques that can evaluate packages both destructively and non-destructively. In this blog we will discuss how VeriPac Flex system effectively evaluates integrity of a wide range of flexible packages.

Flexible package inspection using VeriPac Flex Series

Designed specifically for pouches and other flexible packaging with dry-filled products, VeriPac FLEX series are innovative non-destructive container closure integrity testing (CCIT) systems. Applicable across a wide range of flexible packaging formats, this technology provides unparalleled sensitivity, reliability and practicality in testing without requiring change-over of settings or tooling.

Utilizing the ASTM method for Vacuum decay leak testing (F2338), VeriPac inspection systems provide quantitative data and definitive PASS or FAIL results. PTI offers VeriPac FLEX Systems in several configurations to accommodate various package specifications and test sensitivity requirements. Such configurators for both the leak test instrument and the test chamber capacity enable evaluation of small format sachets and stick packs, up to large bulk size pouches and bags.

Because it eliminates subjectivity, reduces the waste and cost associated with traditional test methods, they are perfect alternatives to destructive package inspection techniques. Infact Vacuum decay leak testing technology has proven to provide a short return on investment when compared to destructive methods, such as the water bath or blue dye leak test. Listed in ISO 11607 and recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing, VeriPac test systems detect critical packaging failures reliably and reveal valuable information on the packaging process.

Understanding the working of VeriPac FLEX systems

Depending on the size of the package, the test operator first connects VeriPac tester to the appropriate FLEX chamber. There are two VeriPac systems namely, integrated flexible test chamber (IFC) and drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) that can be paired with the FLEX chamber to provide different leak detection capability depending on the application. While the integrated flexible test chamber is for sachets or stick packs with low headspace, drawer style test chamber features two standard sizes, the Small (D) or Large (DXL) depending upon the package size and specifications. Customs designs can be manufactured for large package formats and bulk products. The unique difference with VeriPac FLEX systems is how the package is tested. PTI utilizes its flexible membrane that conforms to the package shape and size, eliminating any stress and damage to the film materials.

Benefits of VeriPac FLEX systems

  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Test multiple packages in a single test cycle
  • Cost effective with rapid return on investment
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process
  • ASTM test method and FDA standard
  • Accurate and repeatable results
  • USP < 1207> compliant
veripac flex series, flexible packaging, ccit, container closure integrity testing, vacuum decay technology
Mar 2021

Evaluating Quality Assurance Solutions for Coffee Packaging

Evaluating Quality Assurance Solutions for Coffee Packaging

Fresh coffee is the best coffee. The quality of coffee is directly linked to freshness, and maintaining freshness requires adequate packaging. In simple words, packaging is what holds coffee products and maintains its quality. However, maintaining freshness and shelf life of packaged coffee is often a challenge for manufacturers. The flavors and oils in coffee are oxygen sensitive, while flavor profile being the key differentiator for consumers. External conditions like high temperature, light, or high humidity can increase the rate of staling. Under such conditions, whole beans will lose significant amounts of flavor and develop stale fragrance in 1-2 weeks, while in case of ground coffee the process takes 1-2 days. Compromised package integrity can result in oxidation, flavor degradation, and spoilage. Leaks as small as 10 microns can draw oxygen into the package over its shelf life. If a consumer encounters a product that exhibits oxidation, the bitterness and stale flavor will likely affect the consumer’s decision to repurchase. This explains why manufacturers give prime importance to evaluating integrity of coffee packaging.

Conventionally, water bath was the most popular technique for leak testing coffee products. Although water bath is a simple and effective leak testing method for rigid containers, it fails to meet critical needs associated with flexible coffee packages. Additionally, the cost associated with maintaining standard destructive methods is high. Subjective test results, variable test standards, and higher risks associated with the use of other methods emphasize the need for better alternatives. Hence manufacturers today opt for non-destructive testing methods that eliminate the cost associated with wasted product, and ultimately facilitate better quality control.

Package integrity testing using Vacuum Decay technology

PTI’s Vacuum Decay technology is an ASTM-approved, FDA recognized non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test method with proven capabilities to provide reliable, reproducible, repeatable and accurate quantitative results. It can detect oxygen critical leaks, providing a more reliable and sensitive solution for a range of packaging formats that is designed to protect oxygen sensitive products. This method involves drawing vacuum on the sample package kept in the test chamber, and analyzing the vacuum level for any defect-indicating a leak. VeriPac systems reliably detect leaks as small as 10 microns, identifying process issues before they become critical, avoiding costly quality deviations.

For coffee sachets, stick packs or pouches, PTI’s VeriPac FLEX series offer the highest level test sensitivity, detecting micro leaks into the single digit micron range. These are versatile non-destructive package inspection systems designed specifically for flexible packages. To accommodate various package specifications, the VeriPac FLEX is available in several configurations. Each model achieves a specific range of test sensitivity and various test chamber sizes are available depending upon the package size and characteristics. Hence, VeriPac vacuum decay is a practical alternative and significant improvement to the destructive test methods commonly used for flexible packaging.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology:

  • Reliable and sensitive leak detection of quality critical defects
  • Cost savings
  • Using a non-destructive leak test method allows an increase in the number of product samples tested
  • Rapid test cycle and minimal training required to operate tester
  • Rapid ROI due to substantial cost savings and elimination of product loss
package integrity testing, coffee packaging, ccit, quality assurance solutions, vacuum decay technology, veripac flex series

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