Gas Analysers

MAT1000 series

Controlling Modified Atmosphere Packaging

In order to be successful on the market, manufacturers of sensitive or perishable products must be able to guarantee first-class quality over a long period of time. This applies, in particular, to the food industry but also the electronics, pharmaceutical or cosmetics industry.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) plays a decisive role in this. Typical protective gases are nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) as well as a mixture of these gases. These are natural components of the ambient air but in modified concentrations that need to be checked. In most food packages, the oxygen concentration is reduced while the carbon dioxide concentration is increased in order to inhibit the growth of aerobic microorganisms. That also allows you to slow down oxidation processes that change the ingredients and thus the taste and colour of the products. Other foodstuff, however, requires a certain oxygen content inside the packaging so it can stay fresh or keep its colour.

But protective gases are not only used in the food industry. Electronic components are also packaged under nitrogen in order to prevent oxidation and corrosion processes. The same applies to pharmaceutical or cosmetic products, for example, in vials or blister packages. In addition, the modified atmosphere stabilises the packaging providing the product with a mechanical protection.

The gas analysers of the MAT1000 series

Quality assurance and ever increasing consumer requirements make it necessary to control modified atmosphere packaging on a regular basis. Gas analysers must deliver fast, reliable measurement results and be easily integrated into the work process – just like our devices from the MAT1000 series. They are used by many companies for the quality inspection in the lab but also at the production line if sensitive or perishable products are filled or packaged. Our Modified Atmosphere Testers (MAT) are suitable for both the random sampling and the permanent monitoring of the gas mixture used on packaging machines. Their solid metal housing with an interchangeable protective cover offers protection against impact and dirt from the outside.

Analysis of headspace volume

In order to check the mixture ratio of the protective gases inside a package, a self-adhesive septum is applied to a sampling point. The suction needle of the gas analyser is then inserted through the septum into the headspace of the package. A simple touch on the touch-screen of the device will ensure that the required sample is automatically drawn in. Within a very short time, the oxygen and carbon dioxide content is measured, the nitrogen content calculated, and the results are shown on the display.