Testing package seal integrity protects food against bacteria, moisture, and oxygen exposure. High-quality seals prevent food spoilage and increase shelf life, saving food companies money and reputation. Businesses can use several technologies, practices, and methods to reinforce the integrity of packaging seals. This article explores the critical aspects of seal integrity testing, with a particular focus on the previously mentioned aspects.
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Best Practices, Methods, and Technologies for Seal Integrity Testing
Package integrity testing is a broad subject that needs a thorough understanding of the requisite technologies, practices, and methods that are part of it. The quality and reliability of a package seal depend on the technology and method utilized. Some technologies outperform others in sustainability and reliability, while others are cheaper and more efficient. To understand which technologies to use for different seal integrity testing projects, stay tuned.
Popular Seal Integrity Testing Methods
Food companies must often choose between destructive and non-destructive seal integrity testing methods in their manufacturing processes. Destructive testing methods are more costly and wasteful as the packages may end up ruined after testing. As for non-destructive methods, they use high-integrity technologies and tools to protect packages and food from damage. Standard non-destructive seal integrity testing methods include:
- Vacuum Decay Testing: This method assesses the seal integrity of flexible packaging by quantifying the change in a vacuum within the seal. It works by creating a vacuum within the package and measuring the difference. A loss indicates the seal leaks, with the leak size depending on the vacuum difference.
- Visual Inspection: This is the most famous method food companies use to determine the integrity of the packaging. A professional is in charge of physically checking the seals for noticeable faults, including fissures, furrows, and creases.
- Bubble Emission: This integrity testing method involves immersing the package in water. The presence of air bubbles shows the presence of a leak.
- Pressure Decay Testing: It is similar to the vacuum testing method, only that it tests pressure decrease. This method is famous for measuring rigid packaging materials.
On the other hand, the destructive seal integrity testing methods include:
- Compression Testing: This seal integrity testing method involves placing a weight over the package. The force needed to compress determines whether the seal has a detectable leak.
- Burst Testing: In this testing method, a professional applies pressure to the package until it bursts. The pressure amount it is able to withstand determines whether it has a leak or not.
- Peel Testing: In this one, professionals use a peel tester to determine the force needed to detach different seal package layers. It’s a famous seal integrity testing method for flexible pouches and films.
Top Seal Integrity Testing Technologies
As the seal integrity industry grows, more technologies are being invented. Recent years have seen the success of fully automated, manual, and semi-automated seal integrity technologies. The usefulness and applicability of all these technologies depend on the packaging type, product volume, and product sensitivity. Top seal integrity testing companies offer a variety of high-quality and efficient solutions such as seal-check.pro/seal-integrity-tester to better serve their customers’ needs.
Manual testing technologies are suitable for small-scale production firms and food industries. These technologies include non-destructive and visual inspection tests and are ideal for checking for leakage and reliability of food packaging seals. Semi-automated seal integrity testing technologies combine automated and manual testing, with the most popular option being vacuum decay. These technologies come in handy in businesses and industries handling medium-scale production.
Fully automated testing systems are more efficient and reliable but also costly. They are primarily suitable for large-scale production because of their speed and high capacities.
Best Seal Integrity Testing Practices
After choosing the right technologies and methods to optimize the reliability and quality of your seals, you must implement the proper practices. Doing this ensures every seal goes through proper integrity testing, verification, and confirmation procedures for optimal accuracy and reliability. The following are practices that will help you improve seal integrity testing:
- Always stick to recommended standard operating procedures for each product category. Set the testing parameters in testing equipment correctly and as per manufacturer specifications.
- Choose and use the right technologies and equipment for every product and packaging. Such guidelines are well-outlined on the testing machine and product package.
- Run internal audits frequently to validate the compliance of the testing processes with compulsory regulations and standards.
- Calibrate your testing equipment before use to ensure they are accurate and efficient.
- Get your testing personnel trained to handle machines properly and record results accurately.
Seal integrity is essential for product creation and distribution because it optimizes packaged products’ quality and safety. The quality of seal integrity test results depends on the practices, methods, and technologies you use. You must choose the right set of technologies and methods for your products for more accurate and efficient integrity testing results. Integrity seal testing machines perform best when well-calibrated and operated by experienced people.