The GammaLab is a bench-top leak detector and O2 analyser dedicated to Industries using Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) to pack food products. It has been specially designed for Factories who want to safely optimize the shelf life of their products, while complying to Food Safety Management Systems like ISO 22000 & HACCP.
It is made up of an AlphaLeakTester and a GammaTower.
The GammaLab is used for leak testing, altitude simulation, and O2 measurement.
The altitude simulation is designed to identify the altitude at which your packaging will start to leak when subjected to pressure differences such as during air transport.
GammaLab and MAP: after the product has been packaged under MAP, the manufacturer prints the shelf-life on the packaging. Implicitly, this a promise that the safety, taste, appearance, crunchiness… in short, the consumability of the product will be guaranteed until the last day of the shelf life.
This promise will be fulfilled only if the original gas recipe injected into the packaging remains uncompromised till the end, meaning that the exchange between the outside atmosphere and the gas inside the package through leaks is limited.
There are two extreme pitfalls to be avoided:
- Not carrying out an air tightness check of the packaging and just hoping for the best.
- setting maximum leakage rates too strictly, which will result in very high product rejection rates and will unnecessarily generate high costs.
It is also important to stress that the value of the maximum allowable leak cannot be zero. Zero leak does not exist. What needs to be determined is the leak value above which the gas recipe has altered too much, leading the manufacturer to decide that the characteristics of the product have subsequently excessively changed, and therefore do not fulfil the promised quality levels to his customers.
The purpose of the GammaLab is to assist manufacturers to identify this value.
To achieve this, the manufacturer will select samples from his production line, store them, and test them after a period of time with a GammaLab. Values like the leak (in cc/mn) and the O2 levels will be recorded.
For each package, he will then review each important characteristic of the products (appearance, taste, crunchiness….) and decide whether the product fulfils the Quality level promised to his customers. It is the same process as when the product was originally qualified.
By carrying this procedure out with a sufficient number of samples, the Manufacturer will identify the value of the leak (in cc/mn) above which a packaged product should be rejected. The Manufacturer will also be able to determine what should be the minimum O2 content at the end of the shelf life to achieve sufficient preservation.
In addition, the Manufacturer will need to anticipate what kind of stress the packaging will be exposed to until it is consumed, for example, should the product be transported by air, or stacked in a carton and have the weight of the other products on top of it. It may be necessary to simulate these stresses and check the O2 and leak levels after stress exposure.
Eventually, what should be identified is the maximum allowable leak that will preserve enough of the gas recipe until the last day of the shelf life to fulfil the promised quality to the end Customer.
Once this value is determined, the manufacturer is able to monitor his production, either manually with a GammaLab, or automatically with an AlphaPro or a GammaPro.
Just place a sample under the perforating tower of the GammaLab, adjust the tower manually downwards until it is in contact with the sample, and perforation starts automatically, followed by the O2 test and the leak test or the altitude test.
You can check as many samples as you wish, all the results will be recorded.
The O2 analysis is performed first, immediately followed by the leak test (it is a destructive test).
Full digital results are immediately available (the GammaLab will measure leaks > 5 μm), visible on the screen, and can be instantly transmitted to your computer via a USB connection. Analyse the results on a pivot table, and visualise the results on a Gauss chart.
Warranty: 3 years.