The OpTech-02 Platinum system uses an optical sensor that will “fluoresce”, or give off light, directly related to the amount of oxygen present in package headspace or dissolved oxygen in a liquid product.
The upgrades include a portability kit to enable mobile testing away from the lab, the ability to test packages with little headspace areas and the ImPULSE sensor that works with opaque materials and retort applications.
The system, which is available from Mocon and Dansensor distributors worldwide, can also be used to detect lead and permeation rates in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
The kit's needle attachment (with fluorescing sensor material applied to its tip) can be inserted into very small headspace packages which cannot accommodate traditional testing methods and an accurate reading of oxygen concentration can be made without extracting a sample.
The enhancements address additional applications requested by users, Doug Lindemann, vice president at Mocon, told FoodProductionDaily.com.
“The invasive needle allows for oxygen analysis in packages with small headspace. The portability kit allows for measurements to be taken on the production floor as well as in the distribution cycle.”
The OpTech-02 Platinum oxygen analyser delivers results in 0.5 seconds and detects oxygen contents from 0.001 to 25%.
The third option is a patent-pending ImPULSE sensor designed to work with packages incorporating opaque materials or retort packages. A tack with the fluorescent sensor material punctures the package and adheres via a self-sealing adhesive.
When asked how the ImPulse sensor works, Lindemann said: “The ImPULSE sensor allows for measuring oxygen real time in a package utilizing the OpTech system. Prior to the ImPULSE sensor, it was required that the packaging material be somewhat clear to obtain a reading from the sensor inside the package.
“Also, the OpTech sensor will not withstand retort temperatures. The ImPULSE sensor, since it is applied immediately after retort, allows for oxygen measurement in these retort packages.”
The firm said the instrument’s light weight and portability make it suitable for package testing throughout the distribution chain, including a retail context, if results from real life conditions are desired.
“Typically, oxygen has the greatest effect on reducing the shelf-life of many food, beverage and pharmaceutical products. Oxygen can enter a package by way of permeation through the material as well as through leaks. Therefore there is a big demand to monitor oxygen as a way to increase shelf-life which has a big influence on company bottom line and consumer preference to a product,” Lindemann added.