No one likes to think about harmful chemicals or outside materials seeping into the food that they eat.
Unfortunately, however, such leaks are a real concern for those in the food industry, as well as for consumers. The good news, though, is that there is a wide array of leak detection equipment currently on the market that is specifically designed for use with food products and food packaging.
You can make use of this equipment in addition to following simple tips for detecting and reducing leaks in food packaging. If you can do that, you should get great results and ultimately experience much fewer (if any) leakage issues.
1. Consider the Altitude Simulation Technique
To start off with, one of the best ways to test for and find leaks in food packaging is through a technique known as the altitude simulation technique.
With this method, you can test foods and their packaging at various altitudes using a vacuum chamber.
While this method is beneficial for a wide range of situations and for many different packaging types, it is particularly effective if you will be shipping food by plane or by other methods that involve severe altitude changes.
Via this method, you can protect against leaks no matter what your shipping process may involve.
2. Avoid Plastic Packaging
Something else you may want to consider, if you are really serious about avoiding leakage, is to ditch plastic packaging for your food products altogether.
While it is certainly true that not all plastic packaging is bad, it is also true that plastic tends to be one of the worst culprits when it comes to “springing a leak” or, vice versa, to letting harmful chemicals seep into food.
If you want to be truly safe and eliminate a lot of worry and hassle, then abandoning plastic packaging altogether is not a bad idea.
3. Try Ultrasonic Sealing
If you’re truly serious about leakage detection and prevention, then you may want to consider a more advanced technological solution: ultrasonic sealing.
This modern sealing method allows you to seal food packaging via a vibration process. This process can get rid of any contamination, if present, and keep further contamination from happening, all within just a few seconds of use.
While this method may be costly, it is certainly worthwhile due to its effectiveness and the peace of mind it offers.
4. Try the Bubble Emission Test
One final thing you may wish to try is the “bubble emission test,” which allows you to check for any packaging leaks by submerging the packaging in water.
Obviously, if bubbles appear once submerged, the packaging is not leak-proof and will need some work, making this a very simple, affordable, and surprisingly effective method to test your packaging.
As you can see, there are many great ways to detect and avoid leakage in food packaging. By following these tips, you can ensure your food products are as safe and as healthy as you designed them to be.
Most manufacturers will use airtight food packaging. It is because air lowers the shelf life of food and it can have a negative impact on its quality. It is the reason why it is critical that they use Leak Detection Equipment to ensure the integrity of the packaging they are using.
1. Vacuum Decay
In this method, there will removal of any content in some part of the packaging material completely and stabilizing the pressure in that area. After that, you will use equipment to measure any changes in pressure after the stabilization. However, you can only use this method for the packaging materials that can survive in vacuums. A key benefit of this method is that temperature changes cannot affect its integrity.
2. Pressure Decay
The pressure decay test works on a concept opposite to that of the vacuum decay. It works on a scientific concept that anticipates the internal pressure of packaging material to reduce when there is a leak. Before the test begins, you will fill the material will dry nitrogen at a specific pressure. After that, all you have to do is monitor the pressure. If the pressure does not reduce with time, it means that packaging is not leaking. If the opposite happens, then the packaging is leaking.
3. Bubble Method
The bubble test is one of the simplest tests that an individual can use to detect if a food packaging is leaking. Also, it does not require the use of complex Leak Detection Equipment compared to the other tests. In this method, you will need to pressurize the packaging using air. You should take care to ensure that you do not put excess pressure such that it bursts. After that, you will submerge it into a container filled with water. If the packaging is small, it would be better to submerge it in a transparent container. After that, you will observe for any bubbles. If it is leaking, you will witness the emergence of bubbles. A key benefit of this method is that you can pinpoint accurately the area where the leak is coming.
4. Ultrasonic Test
All leaks will produce sounds. The reason why you cannot hear them most of the times is that their frequency is too low or too high for your ears to pick. It is the reason why in this test you will need to use an ultrasound to detect if there are any sounds. Ultrasound detectors are very portable devices which you can comfortably hold in your hand. Some will have headphones, a nozzle for adjusting the sensitivity, and a meter. Other detectors have the capability of measuring the leak rate.
If food that is sold to the public for consumption is not sealed properly, it could lead to a variety of negative consequences for your company. Although leak detection equipment may be expensive for a business, it may be cheaper than the penalties associated with selling a tainted product.
1. Companies May Face Class-Action Lawsuits
If improperly sealed food makes customers sick, they may file a lawsuit against your company. Depending on how many people get sick, customers may band together and sue as a class. This may increase the time and money that it takes to defend the company against such claims. It may also increase the award that customers receive for medical bills, money spent on spoiled food and other damages.
2. Government Agencies May Investigate the Matter
The FDA has jurisdiction over cases in which food was not properly packaged. If it finds that your business was negligent in not following protocols to keep customers safe, it could levy a significant fine. OSHA may also want to conduct an investigation to determine if other workplace rules were violated. For instance, it may want to know if food was improperly packaged because equipment was broken or otherwise not functioning properly. If this is the case, it could result in fines or other penalties for breaking workplace safety rules.
3. The Brand May Be Tarnished
Few people are going to want to buy products from a brand that has shown a blatant lack of respect for its customers. Even if the issue was limited to a certain product or only impacted a certain geographic area, people don’t want to risk their health. If there is another option that they know is safe, they will take that one instead. This may be especially true for those who are buying food for their children.
4. Product May Need To Be Destroyed
Instead of selling chicken, cereal or other foods to customers, it may need to be thrown away if it may cause a health hazard. This could result in thousands of dollars or more worth of product being wasted. The resulting lost revenues could mean lower profit margins or missed profit or revenue estimates. Ultimately, shareholders who are angry at losing money may call for the CEO to resign or simply sell off their stakes entirely.
Failing to package food in a safe manner consistent with existing regulations may be disastrous for a company. Therefore, be sure to have quality leak detection equipment on hand to prevent these situations from occurring. It may also be best to have humans check goods before they are shipped to ensure that they don’t pose a risk to anyone.
It is paramount that you have good packaging for your food. The package performs a critical role or preserving the quality of the food before it reaches the customer. Therefore, it is important that firms acquire the latest leak detection equipment to ensure the integrity of their packaging. There are different methods of detecting leaks.
1. Trace Gas Method
The trace gas method is a simple method to determine if a package is leaking. You will perform it in an airtight chamber. It is critical to avoid contamination of the trace gas which will indicate the presence of the leak. A gas sensor in the chamber will indicate the concentration of the trace gas in the chamber. If the packaging is faulty, there will be an increase in its concentration in the chamber. The method is useful for detecting micro-leakages.
2. Altitude Simulation Method
When you design packages for your food, you should be aware that users can carry them on planes. It is critical that the seals can withstand the pressure changes that come with high altitudes. There is a high possibility of the seals failing during taking off and when the plane is landing. It is because during this times the altitude changes rapidly. You can carry out the test in a wet or dry chamber depending on the contents. After that, you will use a vacuum versus altitude to determine the ability to withstand the changes in altitude.
3. Dry Chamber Testing
When you have a liquid product, you will place it in a package that has a little head space. The head space refers to the space in the container that the liquid does not occupy which is filled with air. You will place the package in a dry chamber and then place the chamber on a material that is absorbent. A common absorbent is a paper towel. After that, you will draw a vacuum. The amount of vacuum that you draw will depend on the specifications set by the operator. In case the packaging is faulty, the absorbent will get wet when you draw the vacuum. You can use this test even for packages that have no head space.
4. Bubble Emission Method
The bubble emission method is useful for testing packages that have some volume of air. It involves placing the package in an airtight chamber while completely submerged in water. After that, you will draw a vacuum in the chamber. If the seals in the package are compromised, you will see the emission of bubbles in the water. An advantage of the method is that you will be able to pinpoint the area that is leaking.
Many people are always reluctant about changing or inspecting the food packaging material they use when they are off to the grocery. While this is true, food packaging materials should be checked for leaks to ensure you don’t run into havoc. However, consumers must rely on the lead detection equipment to detect any form of leaks in their food packaging equipment. You should also know that the leak detection method used by the manufacturers is not always 100 percent correct. Food poisoning, in some cases, emanates from leaks in the food packages because it can come into microorganisms that contaminate the food. The consumer must always be aware of the equipment and method that can be used to detect leaks in food packaging material to solve this problem.
Let us look at the following methods used to test leaks.
1. Ultrasonic Measurement
As a consumer, you should know that all leaks produce sounds related to their size. The sound’s frequency can be low or high depending on the leaks. Small leaks always produce a higher frequency. Therefore, you can make use of the ultrasonic leak detector to detect the high-frequency sounds from the food product packages. The ultrasonic leak detectors are small, hand-held gadgets that that are accompanied by a meter, a pair of headphones, and a sensitive adjustment nozzle. You can easily measure for leaks in the food packaging material for any leaks found. Also, the leaking rate of the material can be identified by the leak packaging material.
2. Bubble Test
Unlike the previous method that makes use of the ultrasonic measurement, this method uses a simple application. If you suspect any leakage of the food product package material, the package will be pressured by the customer. In the end, you will also submerge it in the water. If you see any form of bubbles from the water, it is clear that there are leaks. The rate of bubble development denotes the leak extent.
3. Pressure Decay
According to some laws in the scientific world, the leak packaging material pressure reduces the internal object pressure. Before you test for any leak in the package, therefore, the material must be changed using some amount of dry air such as nitrogen at that dry level. You will monitor the temperature for some time. When the material pressure comes down, it confirms that the food packaging material shows some leakages. Because it is simple, reliable, and compact, many people prefer using this method. Also, the method is relatively free from bias and cheap.
4. Vacuum Decay
When you talk about the vacuum test, you are talking about the opposite of the pressure decay method. It also involves the evacuation of the package material parts. This means you stabilize its pressure. You measure any form of pressure building up in the packaging material. However, not any packaging material can be subjected to this measurement. Therefore, you must work to develop certain conditions for certain types of material. Because you can’t affect it by any form of temperature fluctuations, the food packages can survive in a vacuum. This is one of the best methods used in identifying sensitive leaks as the best leak detection equipment.
5. Helium Sniff
For this procedure to amount to effectiveness, a helium sniffer can be used as a leak detection equipment to determine the occurrence of leaks in the food package material. The pressure of helium is directed to the food packaging material with enough force. You scan the surface for any helium leaks using the helium sniffer. The concentration of helium in the area will increase if the surface leaks. This is an efficient method as it identifies the leak location.
Food companies can suffer massive losses when their products are rejected because they are not sealed correctly. Leaks in the packaging expose food to air, which can compromise its quality or shorten the period to expiry. It is essential for companies to invest in leak detection equipment that will help identify these leaks and prevent rejection of products in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Technological advancements in the food production industry have improved and simplified the processes of leak detection in packaging. This has, in turn, reduced the losses incurred by firms as a result of rejected products. Here are some of the improvements that have resulted from the adoption of technology in leak detection.
1. Miniaturization and Network Integration
Gone are the days when leak detection equipment and sensors were big and bulky. Technology has led to the introduction of small automated leak detectors and sensors that can be integrated into packaging and plumbing systems. Additionally, detectors are now wireless. This means that you can incorporate them into both the packaging system and a network and have great results. Automation has made it easy for companies to monitor the functioning of leak detectors through computer devices, and this has led to a significant increase inefficiency and accuracy in leak detection.
2. Process Automation
Before the introduction of technology in leak detection, the process used to be extremely labor intensive, and companies required a lot of resources in order to detect and prevent leakages. Workers had to inspect all the packages by hand before preparing them for shipping. Not only was this time-consuming, but it was also inaccurate and inefficient. Leak detection equipment has automated the processes, which has eliminated the need for extensive labor involvement. The use of automated sensors increases speed and accuracy in the process. Besides reducing losses, these improvements have also cut down costs for packaging companies and led to improved efficiency in their operations.
3. Timeliness in Leak Detection
Traditional leak detection equipment could only detect gross leaks in packaging after containers had already been packaged, warehoused, and shipped to the retail stores. Such mishaps often led to substantial losses for food companies. However, today’s systems can provide early warning signs before the products get to the consumer. Processes such as online leak testing for bottles and containers protect the process from random issues that cannot be identified through sampling. Also, the equipment not only detects leaks, but they can also isolate the likely points of origin-whether it’s due to malfunctions in certain stages of the process or the quality of the packaging. This way, it is possible to prevent any amounts of leaks at the right time.
4. Instant Notifications Help Protect Business Reputation
Obtaining real-time results in leak detection is essential in promoting efficiency and reducing losses in the food packaging industry. If the company doesn’t instantly identify the leaks as they occur, then it may have to recall the products once they have been shipped to the consumer. This can hurt the company’s reputation, lead to losses due to rejection, and increase the chances of facing liability lawsuits. Since today’s leak detection equipment allows real-time detection of leaks, they ensure that these issues are handled within the warehouse before the products are dispatched into the market.
Technology has streamlined the process of leak detection by introducing advanced equipment and automated processes. Further innovations in the industry are bound to bring about more sophisticated systems that will improve the detection of leaks in food packaging. These will save companies a significant amount of money that is always lost directly or indirectly due to the way in which the products are received in the market.
During the production of food products, manufacturers go through meticulous processes of ensuring that their products are perfect at the packaging stage. They are required to abide by the set standards regarding the integrity of food packaging. However, during the manufacturing process, small leaks can occur on the packaging, and these affect the general quality of the product. Leak detection equipment identifies these leaks, increase the shelf life of foodstuffs, and minimize the chances of loss due to product rejection.
The equipment used in leak detection comes in various types and utilize different technologies; usually depending on the food commodities being packaged. There’s a need to consider the following factors before choosing the appropriate equipment for the warehouse.
Reliability of Equipment
Manufacturing plants and packaging warehouses are usually fast-paced with time restraints and packaging requirements. Speed and efficiency describe these environments as workers have to keep up with the continuously running conveyor belts and other equipment. It is important to invest in reliable leak detection equipment that can deliver accurate results without making mistakes. Supervisors don’t have the time to run multiple tests due to the inefficiency of equipment. If the initial results are inaccurate, one can end up presenting flawed food products in the market.
Leak detection systems in warehouses comprise of large mechanisms with detection monitors. The best ones can perform tests on various types of packaging in less than a minute. Invest in such equipment that can handle the pressures and time constraints without compromising on accuracy.
Ability to Detect Leak Source
Food products go through various manufacturing stages. As they go through the different processes, they can be compromised due to the quality of the material used for the packaging, cap, or seal. Sometimes, even the strongest materials can tear and open or develop micro leaks as they go through the processing and production stages. You need leak detection equipment that not only identifies the leak, but it can pinpoint where the source of the leaks.
After testing, the manufacturer should be able to know if the leak is as a result of flaws in the turnout process or the quality of the product packaging. With this knowledge, one can quickly fix the problem and prevent future incidences of leaks. However, if the equipment cannot identify where the leak is resulting from, one may end up fixing the wrong problem and handling many similar leaks in the future.
If leaks aren’t detected in real time during processing, the manufacturer may be forced to recall the product after it has already hit the shelves in grocery stores and supermarkets. This can damage the reputation of a brand and cause millions of losses to the company. Utilizing quality leak detection equipment is the best way to test the quality of foodstuff and strength and integrity of its packaging.
Food packaging is not something we often think about while out shopping. Instead, we usually grab and pay for items packaged in tightly sealed bags. While most of us can easily recognize the smell and appearance of spoiled food, it is not a common occurrence in large supermarkets and grocery stores. As a result, the thought that we might ingest contaminants, impurities, or become ill from the food in these outlets will rarely cross our minds. Even though we probably do not understand the entire process of food packaging and how it works, our trust results from the fact that the leak detection equipment and technology used rarely fail.
Until it goes through a process of inspection, regulators keep food from reaching the shelves of large supermarkets and grocery stores. Leak detection, usually performed during the packaging process, is part of this operation. You need to use high-quality leak detection equipment to perform effective inspections. The apparatus used needs to be reliable and accurate, enough to discover the leaks in a multitude of bags repeatedly.
Most of the packaged foods displayed on supermarkets come from large warehouses. Thanks to time restraints and packing requirements, the environment in large warehouses is usually fast-paced. Workers are expected to move fast and keep up with the huge conveyor belts that run continuously. In such a setting, you need reliable leak detection equipment that can handle this level of stress. The leak testers used in warehouses are usually large industrial mechanisms that have detection monitors. Such units have the ability to perform full tests on various types of packages in as little as half a minute.
Pinpointing potential issues
In addition to identifying the location of a leak, leak detection systems are meant to determine the cause of that leak. Industrialists need to know whether the leaks are a result of processing or production tasks. Although food packaging manufacturers usually choose the strongest materials for their products, sealing issues can still arise. Regardless of the strength of a package, it can still tear and open in the process of moving it from one place to another. Leak detection equipment lets manufacturers know whether it is their product packaging or turn-out process that is flawed.
The importance of testing
Packages usually go through numerous tests before reaching the supermarket. Pressure checks and bubble testing are some of the most effective tests. While pressure checks test the integrity and strength of packages, bubble testing identifies the small holes that are excellent entranceways for bacteria. Processing will cease without such tests, as a result of which products won’t make it to the market.
You can recognize a fresh product by looking at its packaging and seal. Air-filled packages will deflate slightly if they have been on display for some time while vacuum-sealed consumables will look unpleasant when rotting.
The most ideal way to decide whether you have a leak in your pipes framework, is by first checking your water meter. You can do so manually or by using Leak Equipment.
1. Ensure no water is being leaked inside or outside of your home.
2. Find your water meter and check the break marker to check whether it is moving. Contingent upon the brand of your meter, the hole marker could be a little triangular molded dial or a little silver wheel that turns when water is moving through the meter.
3. On the off chance that the dial is moving, odds are, you have a leak.
Or, then again, you can likewise take a meter notation and hold up 1 or 2 hours and take another meter reading(ensure no water is utilized amid this time). In the event that the perusing has transformed, you have a break. And it is time to use Leak Equipment.
After you have verified that you have a release, the following stride is to decide whether the break is inside or outside of your home.
1. Find your home’s basic stopper valve and stop the water at the valve. Ordinarily, you will locate the stop valve in the storm cellar or carport straightforwardly behind an open air spigot, or outside beneath an open air fixture.
2. Once more, check the hole marker for development or utilize the meter perusing technique, making a point not to utilize any water amid this period.
On the off chance that you can’t find the hole, you may need to call a handyman. Some other cases that may be encountered are:
Spilling spigots are for the most part a consequence of a ragged elastic washer. The washer on a sink is typically situated under the handle. These are moderately simple to supplant, on the off chance that you have the correct apparatuses. It requires stopping the water under the sink or at the fundamental shutoff valve and evacuating the handle.
Latrine breaks can squander several gallons and generally are noiseless. Indeed, even a little break can indicate a considerable measure of squandered water and cash after some time. Luckily, most can holes are simple and cheap to repair.
Flapper Valve Leaks
The most well-known explanation behind a spilling can is one that has a shamefully working or fixing flapper. The flapper is the elastic valve in the base of the tank that lifts up when the can is flushed.
Customers purchasing packaged food items might take the time to look at expiration dates, but it is rare that the package integrity crosses their minds. There are times it is obvious that a package is open and not safe to buy, but a small pinhole or tear in the packaging material might not be so easy to detect. Avoiding this problem can be as easy as using leak equipment that tests the integrity of the packaging right off the line.
Integrity of Food Packaging
Food items can make it all the way from raw material and processing with top quality, but fail in the end through packaging problems. Leak detection equipment is important in the food manufacturing industry to guarantee customers the product is both safe and of the best quality. The intense over-sight given to the food industry demands rigid controls of every phase in the creation of products that are sold on the market for public consumption.
Testing for Packaging Consistency
There will always be the occasion that a package does not get properly sealed. Limiting these instances are the goal of using leak detection equipment devices. Every food manufacturer strives to have all packaging equipment operating in a consistent manner. Monitoring is the only way to guarantee this is happening.
Discovering Packaging Equipment Problems Early
Foods can be prepared as an end-product in many forms. There are powdered, baked, fresh, frozen, flexible sealed, rigid sealed and even resealable products. The product will only be as good as the package integrity. Package failure can make products dangerous to eat. This can set the manufacturer up for expensive recalls or lawsuits. Discovering a packaging equipment problem right away is the best solution. Fixes can be made to ensure all products are getting packaged the right way the first time.
Leak Detection Equipment That Is Easy to Use
Leak equipment is not that difficult to operate. It can be used as a consistent quality management tool. A specified number of samples can be pulled and tested from each packaged batch of food items. The equipment will detect problems, if any exist. The equipment is normally flexible enough to handle all types of food packaging materials and test for needed specifications.
Non-Destructive Testing Methods
Methods of testing can be employed that allow for faulty packaged foods to be tested in such a way that it is non-destructive. The food items can be sent back down the line to be re-packaged in the correct manner. This saves the manufacturer money and product. This brings ultimate food safety measures without a lot of hassle and food waste.
Contact food safety testing equipment professionals to see what package integrity testing equipment would be perfect for your business.