GEA OxyCheck

Stop waste and ensure food security with GEA OxyCheck, the world’s first non-invasive quality assurance system that checks every Modified Atmosphere package.

GEA OxyCheck MAP packaging

GEA OxyCheck is an in-line quality control system that checks the oxygen (O2) content and seal integrity of every single Modified Atmosphere Pack (MAP) that leaves your thermoformer. It eliminates the need for time-consuming sample testing that wastes packaging material, contents and only tests a small percentage of the packs.

Consumers, retailers and producers all benefit

Consumers want safe, fresh and healthy packaged foods, retailers seek prolonged shelf-life and excellent visual appeal, and food producers must deliver products in accordance with agreed quality specifications. All will benefit from the new GEA OxyCheck, which has an essential role in ensuring food in Modified Atmosphere Packs (MAP) reaches the consumer in perfect condition. 

In-line quality control system for MAP on GEA thermoformers

The GEA OxyCheck uses non-invasive technology to accurately measure the O2 content in sealed packs immediately after they are sealed on a GEA PowerPak thermoformer. Unlike common techniques, which only inspect sample packages randomly taken from the line, the GEA OxyCheck inspects every single package without damaging the film or breaking the seal. A second measurement station on the thermoformer re-checks the O2 content to recognize leakage. Packages that don’t meet the specifications are automatically rejected and do not enter the supply chain. 

Unique sensor spot technology

The system uses a unique sensor spot printed on the inner side of a lidding film. The spot is food safe and conforms to all relevant regulations for material having food contact.  The GEA OxyCheck uses the fluorescence properties of a special dye in the spot. The thermoformer-mounted optical sensors project light on the sensor spot and measures the wavelength of the light that fluoresces from the dye to accurately determine the O2 content.

Why measure oxygen?

The main gases used in MAP are carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2), however there is always some residual oxygen, typically a fraction of a percent. The amount of oxygen is very critical due to the fact that it causes a process of decay and shortens the shelf life of a perishable product. By measuring the oxygen level inside the packaging, a conclusion can be made if the food shelf life and food safety are within the expected norm.

OxyCheck sensor spot

GEA OxyCheck Packing Sensor

Key benefits

  • 100 percent certainty because every pack is inspected for O2 content
  • No packaging material or contents are wasted thanks to non-invasive measurement technique
  • Fast and efficient, thanks to being an in-line automated process
  • No time wasted for tracing when an out-of-specification pack first occurred
  • Significantly reduced risk that an out-of-specification pack leaves your site

For new and existing GEA thermoformers

The application is now available for GEA PowerPak horizontal thermoformers as an option on new machines and a retro-fit upgrade on the existing PowerPak NT machine generation with MAP capability. The GEA PowerPak has a rated speed of up to 20 cycles per minute, and the GEA OxyCheck operates at this line speed meaning throughput of the thermoformer is practically not affected by the in-line MAP quality control system.

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