As consumers, we expect our food to be protected and packaged correctly. There are different ways companies can check for leaks before sending foodstuffs out for sale in retail markets. Here are 4 methods for leak detection in food packaging.
1. Bubble test
This test is can be used by consumers and manufacturers. It is simple to execute without any specialized leak detection equipment. It involves taking the package and submerging it in water. If any bubble enters the packaging material, it means there is a leak. Consumers should not use food that fails this test, nor should manufacturers sell this kind of food. This can be helpful to manufacturers, so they can determine where the packaging failed, and they can fix it. This will prevent a costly recall.
2. Dry chamber technique
This test is routinely used for liquid products. It involves placing the foodstuff into a chamber and then creating a vacuum. Using an absorbent material, it is tested to see if there is any presence of liquid. If the material shows water, then there is a leak. As with the other techniques, this allows manufacturers to correct the packaging before sending it out to consumers. You may want to consult with the online resources from the Flexpak inc website.
3. Helium sniff or spray test
There is special leak detection equipment that lets manufacturers use helium to detect leaks in packaging. In the sniff test, they infuse the package with helium and then use a special helium detector sniffer to see if any of the gas is escaping. If any gas is detected, the test is failed. The spray test works in an opposite manner as the sniff test. In this test, the helium is sprayed on the packaging and a sensor is used to detect whether the helium got into the packaging. Both kinds of testing allow the manufacturer to pinpoint the source of the leak and make adjustments.
4. Pressure or vacuum decay leak test
The pressure and vacuum decay tests work in basically the same way. Either pressure or a vacuum is created around the packaging. Then, it is measured over time. If there are no leaks, the pressure or vacuum will remain about the same. If there is a leak, they will decrease. The disadvantage to this testing is that it does not identify where the leak is, it only indicates that there is a leak.
Manufacturers need to test packaging to make sure there are no leaks. This enables them to fix any problems before the food products are shipped to be sold to the consumer. Identifying leaks early on saves money on potential recalls. There are several ways to accomplish this and sometimes there is special testing equipment that is needed. Regardless, by testing packaging, manufacturers are keeping the best interests of the consumer at the forefront.