Witt Gas Techniques Ltd, the Warrington based gas safety, control, mixing and analysis equipment supplier, has announced the launch of its LabOx product, a brand new non-invasive O2 measurement analyser for use with Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) in the food processing and packaging industries.

LabOx is designed to measure the oxygen concentration in sealed packages including blister packs using multiple checks over a period of time, with the added ability of being able to measure oxygen in headspace and dissolved liquids. The device measures oxygen levels using oxygen quenching of a fluorescent dye in transparent, translucent and semi-transparent packages, bottles or containers - as long as the material can transmit light in the 470nm and 610nm range.

The system can be used in R&D and Quality Control departments for oxygen permeation, shelf life, oxidation and oxygen scavenger studies as well as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) integrity, including fresh food, wine, beverage and pharmaceutical packaging.

LabOx allows packaging companies to monitor every package as it comes off the production line and passes through the distribution chain, without the need to continually extract samples, open or destroy bottles or sealed closures and reducing operating costs and expensive returns as a result.

The measurement procedure is based on fluorescent quenching of a fluorescent dye immobilised in a polymer in the form of an OxyDot™ placed inside the bottle or package. The dye absorbs light in the blue region of the spectrum and fluoresces with the red region of the spectrum allowing fast (≤0.1 seconds) multiple measurements on the same package.

Meanwhile, Witt-Gasetechnik has revealed that in future it will be fitting standard digital controllers in its mixing, metering and analysis units for technical gases, with the first controllers to be launched this spring.

The new Gas Control 100 processors will replace the program control units previously produced.

“The chips act as control centre, performing all calculations and controlling the interfaces. Units equipped with these controllers offer more functions than previous product supplied by Witt,” explains Project Manager Martin Bender

The first device equipped with Gas Control 100 will be the new gas analyzer MAPY which will be available from March 2008, and the portable control unit for carbon dioxide, oxygen and helium replaces the MFA series.