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How to prevent food going stale

04 August 2010

The shelflife of food is determined by oxygen – sometime it needs to be excluded, sometimes included; often the rate of flow through the packaging needs to be controlled so foods can respire

The critical function for both quality control and the development of new packaging designs is to control the oxygen permeability. No easy task when the process of manufacture itself can actually increase it by a factor of four!

Fortunately Versaperm has a solution – its new-version permeability meter can measure permeability quickly and accurately – often giving results in as little as 30 minutes, whereas traditional gravimetric tests can take weeks. The meter can also measure permeability for Water vapour, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, Argon and most other gasses and vapours.

Food packaging materials are critically dependent on the specific foods they need to preserve. If it allows too much, or too little, Oxygen or Carbon Dioxide to escape, it can lead to oxygen concentrations that cause stress, taints, fermented “off” flavours and even a health hazard. And the permeability is not just important for fresh fruit and vegetables, but also for packaged or frozen foods or even those traditionally sold in pouches or sachets.

Versaperm’s permeability meter is typically accurate in the parts per million range. It offers automated control and can cope with several samples at a time and it can test both the packaging material and the finished package.


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