A nondestructive leak detection method developed at Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) was tested for both gas-flushed and vacuum flexible packages. In the method, a gas package containing 0.5 to 5.0% (vol/vol) hydrogen in nitrogen was positioned in a test chamber, a controlled
vacuum was pulled in the chamber through a pipe connected to a hydrogen sensor, and leaking packages were detected by the sensor as increased H2 concentration. The H2 tracer gas (0.5 to 5.0%) was introduced into leaking finished vacuum packages at 200 kPa pressure. Within
I to 4 s the developed test method was able to detect leaks down to 10 to 15 μm and 20 to 30 μm in diameter in commercially manufactured gas-flushed packages filled with roasted meat balls and vacuum packages filled with ground coffee, respectively. Before leak testing, the vacuum packages
were charged with H2 for 30 s. The sensitivity and leak detection time of the test method were improved when the H2 concentration in the package was increased and when the free space in the test chamber was decreased. The evaluated H2 concentrations did not
affect the sensory or microbiological quality of the roasted meat balls. This study clearly demonstrated that the hydrogen tracer gas leak detection method has potential to be further developed as a fast, nondestructive, on-line leak testing apparatus for flexible packages with or without
Document Type: Research Article
VIT Biotechnology and Food Research, P.O. Box 1500, FIN-02044 VIT, Finland
Publication date: September 1, 1998
More about this publication?
IAFP members must first sign in on the right to access full text articles of JFP First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.
Print and online subscriptions are available to Members and Institutional subscribers. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Information can be obtained by calling +1 800.369.6337; +1 515.276.3344; fax: +1 515.276.8655, E-mail: email@example.com or Web site: www.foodprotection.org