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New accessories for oxygen test system

MOCON, Inc., manufacturer of package integrity instrumentation, is announcing three new accessories for its OpTech oxygen test system for food and pharmaceutical applications.

The OpTech technology 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 very little headspace—such as blisters and food packages with limited headspace—and the new ImPULSE™ sensor that has been engineered to work with opaque materials as well as with retort applications.

In addition to production line usage, the instrument's light weight and portability now makes it suitable for package testing throughout the distribution chain all the way to retail, if results from real life conditions are desired.

The second new option is a needle attachment (with fluorescing sensor material applied to its tip) for the OpTech® reader. By inserting the needle into very small headspace packages which cannot accommodate traditional testing methods, an accurate reading of oxygen concentration can be made without extracting a sample.

In addition to headspace measurement, it is also possible to measure the dissolved oxygen concentration in a liquid product with the needle attachment during the same test. This option works well in both laboratory and field testing scenarios.

The third option is a “first of its kind,” 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. The sensing material also is located on the self-sealing side.

When the package is punctured, a small hole is created. Oxygen from inside the package is now exposed to the sensor, which is sealed from the external environment. A reading is then taken through the transparent “head” of the tack. This system allows for measurements to be taken over time to determine the longer term effects of oxygen in a package.
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