Food packaging manufacturers need to check if the packaging is sealed tight and is free of any leaks. That is why leak detection for food packaging is a necessity. Here are some sure-fire methods used to detect packaging leaks.
1. Ultrasonic Measurement
Leaks produce varying sounds depending on their size. Also, the sound frequency can either be high or low. For instance, small leaks produce a high frequency. An ultrasonic leak detector is used to detect these changes in sound.
These detectors are small hand-held gadgets and they come with a meter, a pair of headphones, and a sensitive adjustment nozzle. With this device, leak detection for food packing can be easily measured. Additionally, ultrasonic detectors can also identify the leak rate.
2. Bubble Test
Unlike ultrasonic measurement, the bubble test is one of the simplest methods for detecting leaks in food packaging. To test the packaging material for leaks, submerge the package in a water basin. This is done to check for bubbles. The bubbles emerging from the seal indicates there’s air in it and, thus, that the packaging has been compromised.
This technique is ideal for packaging that contains air. If, after testing, the result confirms that the packaging material is leaking, the product is not good for consumption and it shouldn’t be shipped for sale.
3. Pressure Decay
Another method to detect leaks is by checking the internal pressure of the product. Before testing for the leak, manufacturers charge the packaging material using dry air or nitrogen. Afterward, they monitor the pressure over a specific period of time.
If the pressure reduces by a significant amount, then the package is leaking. This is one of the most commonly used leak detection for food packaging methods because it is relatively cheap, easy and reliable.
4. Vacuum Chamber
This method is popular among food producers that ship their products by air. A vacuum chamber test ensures that the food packaging material can withstand any temperature.
This method of detecting leaks in food packaging is perfect for products that can survive being in a vacuum. Additionally, it is one of the most effective and reliable methods of leak detection in food packaging.
5. Helium Sniff
To get an accurate result using this method, manufacturers require a helium sniffer, a device designed for leak detection. First, the food packaging material is charged with pressurized helium, and then the package is scanned using the leak detection equipment.
If there is any leak, the helium sniffer will identify the area that has been compromised. This method is reliable and efficient since it identifies the area where the air is leaking.
6. Machine Vision Testing Equipment
Machine vision testing equipment comes computer equipped with a camera to scan the food packaging material for leaks. Regardless of the size of the leak, this leak detection equipment will find it.
This technologically advanced equipment leaves no stone unturned. Furthermore, it can determine a jar lid’s position within 0.25 millimetres.
As you can see, there are different methods for leak detection for food packaging. Each method has its own unique benefits. It is recommended to choose the method that best suits the food packaging material as well as the shipping method.