Laser Technology Improves Freshness in Food and Beverage Products

 Increasing demand for freshness in food products is familiar to all of us since it’s likely true for each of us as consumers. Many products are packed using modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), where the product is protected from spoilage by packing under a blanket of inert gas. Assuring freshness in every package or bottle that leaves a packaging line is challenging however, since production speed and efficiency can’t be compromised for package testing. The traditional method for testing packaging is to take an occasional grab sample, but the obvious downside to this approach is that any package may be leaking while the test occurs only on random packages, leaving manufacturers vulnerable to low quality, unsafe food or beverages, reduced profitability and damaged reputation.

All of that has changed, however, with the introduction of a new food and beverage leak detection technology that literally tests EVERY package or bottle on a line to be certain it isn’t leaking. When the system detects a leaking package, it is ejected from the line without slowing down production.

How is this possible after so many years of compromise in food and beverage leak detection? You may have read about some of the amazing things being done with Emerson’s new quantum cascade laser/tunable diode laser (QCL/TDL) systems. This innovative technology can not only detect the purity of gasses for applications like ethylene production in real time, it can also detect leaks in food and beverage packaging. The Rosemount CT4215 Leak Detection System installs directly on the food or beverage production line in a compact, self-contained unit. A wide variety of customizable sampling heads are available for different package type including trays, pouches, bags, bottles and boxes.

The patented QCL technology measures CO2 and other gases used in food and beverage packaging. A high-flow vacuum pump draws air from around the package or bottle and delivers this air to the measurement cell. If gas from a leaking product passes through the measurement cell, it will absorb some of the laser light. Less laser light reaching the detector means there is a leak. Any leak detected will trigger rejection of the package or bottle. The system requires few consumables, is low-cost to operate, and needs only regularly scheduled maintenance. It is easily installed on both new and existing production lines.

The Rosemount CT4215 system gives food and beverage manufacturers a real assurance of freshness. You can read more about this unique technology, HERE.