Portable analyser measures gas in meat packages

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon dioxide, Oxygen

A hand-held headspace analyser is the first in the field to measure
carbon monoxide levels in modified and controlled-atmosphere
packaging (MAP) for case-ready meat, its manufacturerclaims.

The MAP method works by replacing the air with a mixture of inert gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The package is then heat sealed. The low-oxygen mix extends theshelf-life of the meat, vegetables and other perishable foods by up to 15 days from the normal five days, a big plus at a time when the market is working to ensure food safety and extend theirmarkets.

Mocon's Pac Check Model 333 is specifically developed to give meat processors a portable testing device to make sure they are in compliance with regulatory standards for gas use when packaging meats.

The unit also measures oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, offering meat processors residual analyses for three different gases via one instrument.

The portability of the hand-held Pac Check means it can be used during production, for quality control and for research and development.

Unlike most headspace analyzers where the gas-drawing needle is exposed, the Pac Check features the a probe which houses the needle internally for additional protection.

A "tacky" septum, attached to the bottom of the probe, rests against the package. The needle is actuated by twisting the outer housing which allows it to penetrate the package therebymeasuring the internal gas levels.

Set up and calibration screens are password protected, lowering the chance of operator error. The system also has the ability to store and retrieve product names and link them to measured datawhich is downloadable via a port.

Language options other than English are also available for the tester. The display screen features 128 x 68 LCD-style graphics and is backlit for easy readability.

The screen can also be moved separately, allowing the user to view the data in a variety of positions. A protective rubber "boot," which surrounds the unit and a hand strap both reducethe chance of damage to the instrument.

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