SUPPLIERS of food in modified atmosphere packaging are faced with a sizeable challenge as retail stores continue demanding high quality. For these food suppliers this means that continuous quality control is paramount to avoid returned goods and a damaged reputation.

Witt Gas technologies have stepped in to enable suppliers to enhance their quality control. With speeds up to 15 cycles per minute Witt\\$quot;s Markus Mertens believes that the company\\$quot;s new in line micro leak detection system \\$quot;˜Leak-Master Inline\\$quot; is the solution.

Mertens said: \\$quot;It can be easily synchronised with the cycles of packaging machines and we believe this is the only leak detection system that can do this. With \\$quot;˜Leak-Master Inline\\$quot;, most producing or packaging facilities can quickly test every product that is packed \\$quot;“ this is a significant benefit for quality management in the food industry.

\\$quot;The main factors influencing the speeds are the CO2 concentration in the package and the chamber size,\\$quot; explained Mertens. \\$quot;The gases used for products packed in a modified atmosphere usually include CO2, there are other products that actually give off CO2. The \\$quot;˜Leak-Master Inline\\$quot; uses this CO2 as a trace gas, making it possible to test the newly produced packages for leaks directly after the packaging process.\\$quot;

\\$quot;˜Leak-Master Inline\\$quot; takes individual packages from the packaging machine into the vacuum chamber. A vacuum is produced, leading to a pressure difference between the product and the metering chamber. A CO2 sensor then reacts within seconds to any CO2 leakage, using the extremely high sensitivity of the sensor. If a leak is detected, \\$quot;˜leak-Master Inline\\$quot; activates an alarm signal, which can be used to control a rejecter to take out any faulty packaging automatically.