New sensors capable of identifying new molecules are now available, thanks to which it is possible to verify the tightness of in-line sealing not only in products in modified atmosphere, but also in those preserved in alcohol, or in nitrogen or air, with volatile aromas or essences.
Manufacturers increasingly need to implement quality control on their products, with technologies that are easy to use, fast to apply on the production line and accurate in terms of results. A combination of needs that is difficult to put together. For this reason, FT System has developed other technologies, in addition to IR spectroscopy, such as sensors based on nanostructured semiconductors that respond in a variable way depending on a reversible chemical interaction between the surface of the sensor and the gaseous environment that it comes into contact with. Thus, it is possible to identify the presence of volatile organic compounds, not selectively, as in the case of laser spectroscopy, but very effectively for some quality controls in the packaging industry.
The production sectors that can implement these innovative applications are, for example, the packaged bread sector or the confectionery sector. The methods of preservation of these products vary, ranging from CO2 to alcohol, and the presence of microholes on the seal can make the product qualitatively non-compliant. Therefore, in order to meet all the requirements of seal tightness control, it is possible to use different target molecules contained in the package and used in the production process, as different types of sensors are available.
And this is precisely one of the advantages: choosing the right technology according to the product and the target molecules in order to control the tightness of in-line sealing on 100% of the production.
But what are the molecules that the new sensors are able to identify? In addition to CO2, which is contained in MAP-packaged products, it is also possible to detect alcohol and volatile substances such as aromas. An example is coffee, where the seal of capsules or other containers can be verified by using some of the aromas of the coffee itself. If the presence of these molecules is identified in the external area of the package, it means that the package is not correctly sealed, and the quality of the internal product is not guaranteed.
And not only for the food industry: new applications are being developed on various types of products and packages that use added volatile essences. For example, the world of wet wipes: there is no problem with preservation, but certainly the integrity of the package must be guaranteed. With this new sensor technology developed by FT System, it is possible to satisfy various market requirements in the in-line control of seal integrity on 100% of the production.