3 steps to the perfect Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Modified Atmosphere Packaging is attractive – for food manufacturers and consumers. It offers an appealing product presentation, keeps food fresh for a longer period and increases shelf life. The customer receives safe food without preservatives. Mix the gases correctly, check the gas composition and check the tightness of the packaging – with these three steps you get the perfect protective gas packaging.

Step 1: Use a gas mixer and choose the right one

Instead of pre-mixed gases it is better to integrate a gas mixer into the packaging machines because of three reasons:

– Homogeneity / Quality
Gas mixers produce mixed gas of the highest quality and homogeneity.
– Flexibility
Gas mixers give you full flexibility in terms of mixing ratio, gas quantity and place of use. With gas mixers you can always change the mixture settings in seconds.
– Economics
Single gases are generally cheaper than pre-mixes. Generate your gas mixtures yourself and benefit from lower purchase prices. There is no need for expensive storage of the numerous required gases and gas bottle handling also becomes a thing of the past.

There is no such thing as the best gas mixing technology. Gases can be mixed with mechanical or electrical proportional mixing valves, with pneumatic flow rate controllers, or with mass flow controllers. The mixer should fit to your special product and process type. The selection of the right device for you should be done individually considering criteria such as the amount of gas needed, continuous or discontinuous withdrawal, frequency of mixture change, expandability of the system, manual or automatic control of the system, digital documentation and much more. For this reason, the leading supplier WITT has a wide range of products and offers all available mixing technologies.

Step 2: Check the oxygen level – inline and as sample test

Gas analysers are essential for quality control. The checks can be done either as a continuous analysis directly during the packaging process, or following the packaging process as sample testing. Ideally, you would combine both methods.

For continuous analysis, a gas analysis module is integrated into the gas mixing system. The gas analyser continuously monitors the correct composition of the gas mixture. This ensures the correct gas mixture inside your packaging.

Incidentally, if you use a flow packer, you can even save gas and money with an integrated gas analyser. The gas supply is automatically reduced as long as the measured oxygen concentration is below the set limit. You only use as much gas as is essential for the optimal packaging result.

Sample gas analysis is widely established as a means of quality control. A needle is used to take a sample from the packaging. High-quality gas analysers such as the OXYBABY® from WITT are extremely precise and fast and require only a very small amount of gas. Thus, they are also suitable for packaging with a very small headspace. The OXYBABY® is one of the most widely used measuring instruments worldwide. The special feature: the needle is integrated into the housing. The OXYBABY® can therefore be operated with one hand and is ideal for the mobile packaging test.

Step 3: Don’t forget package leak testing

Leak testing is the important third step. As an entry-level solution for leak testing, the LEAK-MASTER® EASY from WITT is a very simple but highly effective device. The product comes into a water-filled chamber. By means of compressed air, the air space above the water level is evacuated. Due to the resulting pressure difference, air or protective gas escapes at leaks and pearls up visibly. The big advantage of this method: the quality tester can easily see where the packaging is leaky.

The highest level of safety is offered by inline testing done by the LEAK-MASTER® MAPMAX. The MAPMAX is integrated into the packaging line and tests the entire production output using CO2 sensors. It makes sense to focus on the detection of CO2, as this gas features in most inert gas packaging.

Up to 15 test cycles per minute make the MAPMAX unique worldwide for this type of leak test. In addition to single packs, you can also check outer packs and entire boxes.

Just three steps to consider, and you will get perfection in modified atmosphere packaging.

Visit website: www.wittgas.com

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