The Use of Systech Illinois` Gaspace Headspace Gas Analysers in the Pre-Packed Meat Industry - Case Study

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Courtesy of Systech Instruments Ltd

Our Gaspace headspace gas analyzers play a key role in quality assurance for Tulip International’s Modified Atmosphere Packaging of pre-packed meat.

Tulip International's cooked meats division is one of the largest producers of pre-packed bacon in the UK.

Some of the output is vacuum packed, but the majority is packed in rigid, modified atmosphere packs (MAP) because the product looks more attractive and is easier to display and store.

Keeping the packaging atmosphere within specification is critical

With the automatic slicing and packing equipment producing a 200 gram, MAP pack every two seconds, it is essential that the nitrogen and carbon dioxide atmosphere in the packs is maintained within specification at less than 0.3% oxygen.

To ensure that all production is within specification, between three and eight packs, depending on pack size, are tested at start up and then every hour using Systech headspace gas analyzers. If the oxygen content of the gas mix atmosphere is out of specification, the whole of the previous hour's production has to be repacked.

Gaspace headspace gas analyzers are easy to use for quality control

Tulip's Quality Auditor says, 'Gaspace analyzer is the ideal instrument for the job as the test is simply a matter of inserting the probe into the pack and pressing a button. The result, shown in less than five seconds on the LED display, gives the percentage of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen and needs no interpretation. It's either in spec or it's not.'

Tulip cannot afford to take chances with quality and according to Senior Technical Manager the six Gaspace headspace gas analysis instruments are a vital part of the company's quality assurance regime.

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