September 22, 2014

Oxygen content in packaging

Vacuum packed dental mold.jpg

Manufacturers of medical devices and food products will often use packaging with a reduced oxygen level in the region of the product to minimize oxidation of the product and increase shelf-life. Inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, may be flushed through the packaging, or vacuum may be pulled on the packaging.

Alternatively, an iron-based oxygen scavenger can be placed in the packaging. The packaging often uses a barrier film to inhibit the diffusion of oxygen through the packaging. This film is often a composite structure of multiple layers of plastics and metals.

Determination of the oxygen level in the packaging is a useful way to determine the efficacy of the
packaging process, and to monitor the packaging integrity over time. CPG has developed a technique to quantify the oxygen content in packaged components down to oxygen concentrations in the parts per million.  This technique is discussed in this application note.