The Jenton Autotester seal tester has been developed to detect at source any leaking of packaging with products such as naan breads and part-baked bread, so it can be removed and repacked.
This potentially reduces waste and the risk of product recalls further down the line.
The newly redeveloped model of seal tester was on show at this week’s Pro2Pac food and drink processing and packaging event in London and is said to be more accurate and easier to use than the older model, as well as having improved control functions.
Richard Little, director of the UK-based Jenton Group, in Hampshire, told BakeryandSnacks.com that the test was non-destructive and could be used with for example, thermoformed packs, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and controlled atmosphere packaging (CAP).
He said: “We test every single pack that comes off the machine.
“We can find leaking packs and reject them on the spot which means they can be re-packed.
“If the pressure pad stops too high, it indicates a pack is over gassed. If it stops too low, it is under gassed.
“If your pressure pad stops, then senses slight movement, it indicates air is being driven out of the pack, therefore it leaks.
“It keeps a track of failures and where the failures have occurred and it can find weaknesses in the packing area.”
He added that supermarkets were very worried about shelf life and if there is mould on bread, for example, it can be “quite dangerous”.
Little said that typically packaging is tested by hand, although there are infrared systems available. However he claimed that the Autotester was a more reliable and consistent alternative to using a human and could minimise the risk of poor product shelf life.
The company has just sold the first new model to a bread company in Canada, but the machinery is intended for a global market, according to Little. The technology is also equally applicable to fresh and packaged meat products, such as hot dogs and burgers.
Cost and installation
It costs less than £40,000 and is said to be very easy to place in the production chain.
Little said: “We have taken away a lot of the framework and dirt traps and we have made it easier to change belts and easier to clean.”
But one of the main differences, compared to the older model, is the control functions.
Little said: “You present it with a good pack and it will calibrate itself from this.
“It will also report the fault pattern back to the operator.”