A new, fully automated, leak testing system has been developed to help food processors ensure that individual modified atmosphere packages (MAP) are not going out the door with undetected micro leaks.

To answer processor demands for improved package integrity and shelf-life monitoring, Dansensor (dansensor.com), a MOCON Inc. company, is unveiling the LeakProtego at the IFFA tradeshow in Frankfurt, May 7-12. The first-of-its-kind online system has been engineered to test for potential leaks at levels lower than previously possible. This is of particular significance for processors who are pushing the shelf life envelope.

“Leaks degrade shelf life, compromise product safety and negatively impact brand image. We wanted to develop a concept that provides food processors with package integrity information further upstream to facilitate cost savings,” says Karsten Kejlhof, vice president of sales and marketing, MOCON.

Currently, most food processors test for leaks further down the line when the product has already been placed into cases or shipping crates. Solving the problem at that stage becomes more labor intensive and costly.

Dansensor’s LeakProtego uses a patent-pending sensing system with CO2 as a trace gas to detect leaks down to 50 microns. The technology relies on modular units, each of which can test up to 12 packages per minute. Multiple modules can be combined so that individual package testing can keep up with MAP equipment output. The modules provide processors with critical information such as individual leak size and rate so that production line modifications can be made quickly.