Presence of leaks in packaged foods may be dangerous since they contain organisms that contaminate the food. Consumers need to be aware of such leaks, methods, and some of the leak detection equipment to be used to detect them. The following methods can be used to detect the leaks:
1. Bubble Test
This is a quite simple method to apply. If the consumer suspects any leak in food packaging, he should pressure the package and submerge it in a basin of water. If there are bubbles emerging from the water surface it, therefore confirms that the packaging material is leaking.
2. Ultrasonic Measurement
Leaks present will always produce sounds that are relative to their sizes. The sounds also produce frequencies that are either high or low. Smaller leaks will produce high frequency sounds hence need to use the ultrasonic detector to detect the sound.
The ultrasonic detectors are normally held in the hand. They are accompanied by a meter, a pair of headphones, and a sensitive adjustment nozzle. They normally measure the packaging leaks as well as the rate of the leaks.
3. Helium Sniff
A helium sniffer is an effective equipment to detect any leaks. The pressurized helium is charged into the material for food packaging and its surface scanned with a helium sniffer. The sniffer identifies the concentration of atmospheric air of the leaking area. The method is more efficient since it targets the exact location of the leak.
4. Pressure decay
The packaging material is first charged with dry air or nitrogen since the presence of a leak in packaging material reduces the internal pressure of the material. The pressure is then monitored for some time. In case the pressure of the packaging material reduces then it shows the presence of a leak. This method has proven to be simple, reliable and compact. It is also relatively cheap hence preferred by many people.
5. Vacuum Decay Test
It is the opposite of pressure decay testing. It entails evacuation of a certain part of the packaging material completely while the pressure is kept stable. The pressure that builds up after stabilization is the measured. This method is more appropriate since it is not affected by the changes in temperature. However, it requires food packaging material that can survive if placed in a vacuum.
6. Helium spray
This involves the separation of the food packaging material which is then attached to the detector. Helium gas is then sprayed on it. In case of any leaks, the gas will penetrate. Into the material.
It is important for consumers to know ways of detecting leaks in food packaging because these may are harmful to human life.