Leak Detection: 6 Quality Control Guidelines of the Food We Eat

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Proper leak detection equipment is essential to ensuring the safety and value of the food we produce and consume. Essentially a means of quality control, leak detectors inspect the integrity of many different types of packages, including: three sided pouches, stand-up pouches, side gusset pouches, bottom seal pouches, rigid trays with lidding material flushed with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and any other food packaging.

1. The necessity of leak detection equipment

Packages should be absolutely leak tight. However, even with the utmost care in the process, faulty packaged products cannot be avoided 100 per cent of the time. Defects in the sealing process or in the material can easily lead to leaks, and another they might be microscopically small, they can still be incredibly dangerous. Luckily, the food processing industry has, over many years, developed package leak detection and seal integrity testing of packaging has established itself as an integral part of quality assurance.

2. Types of leak detection equipment

Depending on the types of package that is being evaluated, different technology might work better to determine the integrity of the material. To optimize quality assurance, you have the choice between package leak detection equipment for random or in-line tests – on a CO2 detection basis or as a bubble tester using a water bath.

3. What causes a leak

Seal integrity can be compromised for a number of different reasons. For example, particles of the product being packaged may come between the tray and the seal. Another potential source of a breach in seal integrity is that the heating element that creates the thermal seal may be defective or misaligned, or there may be issues with the pressure, heat and duration of the sealing process.

It is vital for quality control and quality assurance that leak detection equipment works as quickly and as accurately as possible. If seal integrity problems go undetected, issues are likely to arise with the product resulting in unwanted returns and potential damage to the relationship with a customer.

4. Seal integrity testing in a water bath

Water bath evaluation allows the detection of even the smallest leaks without the use of trace gases. Using this method, the package is placed in a chamber filled with water, and the air space is evacuated above the water level with the aid of a pneumatically operated nozzle, compressing the package under water. Air or fill gas escapes at the leak point, and heads upwards to the surface of the water as bubbles. With this bubble test, it is also possible to determine where precisely the package is leaking. This is particularly important to identify which element of the packaging process is faulty, for example whether there is a material defect or if the seal integrity is defective.

5. Leak detection of packages with CO2 as a trace gas

Other integrity testing systems rely on CO2 to detect a leak. The use of CO2 is a particularly cost-effective method compared to helium or hydrogen. Products which are packaged under protective gas contain CO2 in most cases as a component of the protective atmosphere – other products produce CO2 themselves. An adjustable vacuum is generated in the measuring chamber. The pressure difference between the package and the chamber results in CO2 escaping through the leaks. This increases the CO2 concentration within the chamber. The sensitive CO2 sensor responds to this increase and thus detects even the smallest leaks.

6. It’s just not worth the risk

Unfortunately, preventative measures can be easy to forgo when there doesn’t appear to be a problem. When it comes to the safety and quality of food though, it is simply not worth the risk. To ensure quality control and integrity of the seals, products coming off the packaging line must regularly undergo tests by package leak detector equipment.


6 Tips to Properly Upkeep Your Leak Detection Equipment

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Leak detection equipment is a must in the food manufacturing industry to help monitor the quality and integrity of packaging. Below are six tips that will assist your upkeep of the equipment and provide a dependable method of catching problems before they affect the quality of products hitting the market.

1. Diligent Quality Control

As much as you want to trust that your leak detection equipment is infallible, problems can arise. It is essential to have a balance of human hands and eyes to check the products routinely for packaging quality diligently. The products will only arrive in as good a condition as the packaging allows. It is one way to notice problems in your leak detection system early.

2. Follow Recommended Maintenance Schedules

The manufacturer of your detection equipment will have the best advice on the best maintenance schedule to keep operations running smoothly. Take the time to check with the manufacturer, or their representative and follow the advice closely. You do not want to inadvertently void a warranty through improperly providing needed upkeep and maintenance. You need to understand what is necessary to meet warranty requirements fully.

3. Use Trusted Maintenance Technicians

Do not trust your detection equipment to any technician that will show up with a phone call. Use one appropriately trained, licensed, and experienced with your particular equipment. Contact the manufacturer for guidance if you have trouble finding one local. It is possible they know of professionals that you are unaware operating in the vicinity.

4. Check Equipment Regularly

It is not unusual to put off routine vehicle maintenance until the “check engine” light starts flashing. It is not how you should deal with your equipment. Leak detection equipment is sensitive and should have regular maintenance and testing done to make sure it is performing to the degree necessary to guarantee food quality and safety. Discuss a sensible maintenance schedule with your technician.

5. Consider Automated Maintenance Reminders and Testers

Time tends to fly by when things are hectic. Forgetting the routine maintenance of your detection equipment can happen without proper reminders. Plan to set up an automated system to alert of testing and routine maintenance schedules. It can make it less stressful in managing maintenance and testing needs.

6. Never Let Problems Go Unchecked

Call in a technician and have your equipment checked if you experience any problems. Serious issues often start as a small problem now and again. It is worth taking a careful approach to keep your detection equipment operating as it should.

Taking care of your leak detection equipment is the smart way to protect your investment. It is your ongoing efforts to provide top-quality products that make a difference.

Four Reasons Why You Need to Upgrade Your Leak Detection Equipment

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Investing in new leak detection equipment for your business may not seem like a critical matter. After all, you may believe that your current packaging equipment and processes are stellar. Perhaps you already have leak detection equipment that your team has been using for years. Despite these possible factors, the reality is that your business may benefit substantially by upgrading your equipment soon. These are some of the primary reasons why you should consider making an upgrade.

1. Product Liability Concerns

Product packaging leaks can have tremendous and devastating impacts on your business. For example, a leaky package could result in food poisoning, public relations issues, legal challenges and more. These are all factors that could potentially spell disaster for your business, and they could be avoided if you upgrade the equipment that your team uses for leak detection.

2. Enhanced Technology

As is the case with other types of equipment, new technology may be available with equipment that detects leaky packaging. This updated technology could help your team to more quickly and accurately identify packaging leaks. Product packaging is simply not an area that you can afford to skimp on. Taking advantage of new technology that is now available is essential.

3. Affordable Innovation

You may think that it would cost a fortune to upgrade your equipment, but this is not necessarily true. New innovations are increasingly affordable. If you have not yet taken advantage of the latest features and benefits associated with the most updated and current equipment models available, now may be the time to do so.

4. Changing Needs

Over time, your product packaging may change. Perhaps the industry standards regarding packaging have evolved. Your needs for leak detection equipment may not be the same as they were a few years ago when you initially invested in your current equipment. Assessing your current needs and comparing those needs with the most modern equipment models available can tell you more about the need to invest in upgraded equipment.

In order to run your business in the most cost-effective and profitable manner, you must contain expenses as much as possible. However, this does not mean that you should not make upgrades when they are reasonable and beneficial. Using outdated equipment that no longer provides you with superior benefits can be detrimental in several ways. Now is a great time to learn more about the latest models of leak detection equipment available so that you can begin taking advantage of its benefits.

Top 4 Ways of Ensuring The Integrity of Seals

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Food packaging plays an important role in protecting the food inside from elements in the environment which could damage it. The integrity of the food packaging is as good as its seals. It is the reason why most leak detection tests focus on testing the packaging’s seals. Some tests require the use of Leak Detection Equipment while others don’t.

1. Dye Penetration Method

A dye penetration test is one of the simplest tests that you can use to determine the integrity of a seal. Another key advantage of this method is that you will be able to determine the specific area where the seal is weak. You can use this method to promote the perfections of seals too because they are key to a good looking packaging. In this test, you will leave a colored dye to be in contact with the seal for a specified period. After that, you will visually inspect if it managed to penetrate into the seals in the packaging.

2. Burst Point Method

A key characteristic of good seals is strength. It is because most food packaging will contain some air. As you know, the pressure of enclosed air is directly proportional to the temperature. It means when the temperature rises the pressure inside the packaging will rise. Therefore, if the seal is not strong, it could break and start leaking. Otherwise, it can burst and spill its contents. It is a failure that anyone would not desire to happen to their preferred food packaging.

In this test, you will use a Leak Detection Equipment to determine the pressure at which the seal starts to fail. After that, you can strengthen them or reduce the amount of air you enclose in the packaging.

3. Helium Sniff Method

Here, you will use a helium sniffer as the Leak Detection Equipment. It is a simple method for detecting leaks in a package. First, you will fill the package with pressurized helium. After that, you will scan the package using the helium sniffer equipment. If there are any leaks, the equipment will detect a leakage of helium. It is a good method for pinpointing the exact location where the leakage is occurring.

4. Bubble Method

A bubble method is a simple way of detecting any leakages. A key benefit of this method is that it does not require the use of complex equipment. First, you will need to pressurize the package with air. If the package has a small opening, you can just use your mouth, just as you blow a balloon. After that, you will submerge the whole package in water. If the packaging you are testing is leaking, you will see some bubbles.

5 Methods You Could Employ To Detect Food Leaks

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Food leaks are a health hazard. If not addressed early, there are challenges your company may face. The impact of the food leak could also set back the company millions of dollars in potential lawsuits and PR costs to fix a damaged reputation. Such negative consequences are avoidable. By using any of the following methods of leak detection or leak detection equipment, the food enterprise is in a position to deal with the leak on time and thus avert any harm to the consumer.

1. Bubble Test

The application of this test is quite simple. All you need to do is take the product and submerge it in water. You are sure to see bubbles if the packaging is compromised. This, therefore, confirms the presence of a leak in the packaging material.

2. Pressure Decay Test

Over the years, science has helped detect leaks in products. One such method is the pressure decay test. This technique requires one to place the product in a chamber and charge it with nitrogen gas or dry air at a specified pressure. The pressure is recorded, and the product is observed over a specified time. Any drop in pressure confirms a leak in the material. This method has proven to be reliable as it is free from bias and is affordable.

3. Vacuum Decay Test

In this test the packaging material is placed in a vacuum and pressure is applied. At a steady pressure, the measurement is recorded. Any pressure build-up within the space is noted, and this forms the basis for the conclusion of a leaking product. It should be noted that, for this test to be successful, the packaging material used should survive in a vacuum.

4. Ultrasonic Measurement

Leaks produce different sounds. The sound frequency generated is a measure of how severe the leak is. An ultrasonic detector details the frequency of the sound. The device is handheld and comes fitted with a headset, a sensitive nozzle, and a meter. Thanks to this leak detection equipment, any leak is discovered and the rate established before the product shipment to the market is done.

5. Helium Sniff Test

It is good to identify whether there is a leak in the packaging material as well as the rate of the leak. However, certain situations call for you to identify the source of the leak. A leak detection equipment called the helium sniffer is sure to do this. The test begins with charging the packaging material with pressurized helium. The surface is scanned, and the helium sniffer will identify any leak.

It is the responsibility of any food company to ensure that all safety measures are in place. As such, these methods help ensure that the food is safe for the final consumer.

Top 4 Leak Detection Methods in Food Packaging

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During grocery shopping, not many people bother to inspect the packaging of food products to see if there are any leaks. Though it’s in the best interests of the manufacturer to ensure that there are no leaks in packaged foods, leak detection methods are not always 100 percent accurate. However, some are more accurate than others. Here are top 5 leak detection methods used in food packaging:

1. Bubble Emission Leak Test

Some food packages contain some amount of air or gas. The bubble test is the most suitable leak detection method for food packages with a certain level of gas or air inside. The method involves drawing a vacuum in the package such that its completely submerge in water and observing the appearance of bubbles.

If bubbles appear, the seal is said to be compromised. During the bubble emission leak test, you can tell the location of the leak by singling out the area with the highest bubble propagation. If the leak can’t be visually located, it becomes very hard to fix.

2. Ultrasonic Measurement

A leak in food packaging must produce a sound. The level of sound produced depends on the size of the leak. The sound produced can be of either high frequency or low frequency. Small leaks — which is mostly what we are looking for in food packaging — produces a high-frequency sound which in turn can be detected with an ultrasonic leak detection equipment.

3. Pressure Decay Test

If there is a leak in packaging material, the internal pressure of the object reduces. To carry out the pressure decay test, the packaging material has to be charged with nitrogen or dry air at a given pressure level before testing the leak. The pressure level recorded is monitored for some time and if it reduces, its concluded that there is a leak.

4. Dry Chamber Flexible Package Test

This test is most suitable when testing for leaks in food packages containing liquid contents. In this method, the package under testing is put in a dry chamber and placed on an absorbent material. A vacuum is then drawn based on operator specification, and if the absorbent material becomes wet, the packaging is said to be compromised.

If food products are not properly packaged, they go bad in a matter of days. In Canada, if a company is suspected of stocking poorly packaged food products, it stands to face dire consequences from the relevant authorities. Food packaging should be done in the best way possible to maintain quality and protect the company’s brand.

Looking For An Insight To The Expansion In The Market For Leak Detection Equipment? Well, Look No Further!

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Leaks can be good. But only if you’re a GOT fan and it’s the latest episode that you’re getting to see in advance. Any other kind of leak just damages your financial situation and market reputation. As in any case, prevention is much better than cure and this is where leak detection equipment comes into the picture.


how to detect water leaks

Leak detection is, simply put, a method where leak detectors are used to check the existence of leak in a given commodity. The commodity could be packaged food, air conditioning, refrigerants, water or gas pipes or even leaks in pools.

A leak can lead to huge monetary and reputational losses which adversely affect the manufacturers, contractors, retailers and even the end consumers.


Leak Detection Equipment

It prevents loss of money from large-scale recall of damaged products. It is also an insurance policy against a possible costly lawsuit which can affect your brand reputation adversely.

A quality assurance for both customers and retailers with guaranteed freshness along with an increase in shelf of the product. With an increase in demand for RTE(Ready To Eat) food products, there is a demand for higher safety procedures in packaging which can be fulfilled by leak detection.

In case of gas or chemical leaks, leak detection is absolutely necessary and safeguards you against possible loss of life too.

At an individual level, it can decrease your water bill resulting from leaky faucets or pool leaks. Besides, these leaks only get worse over time leading to your money, literally going down the drain.


The leak detection method depends purely upon the accuracy required and the kind of product. A mix of various leak detection methods can be used to get the best possible results.

Following are some of the leak detection methods commonly used:


Since pressure in an important element in a sealed container, application of high pressure makes the leak more noticeable (Over-pressure technique). Tins and cans are also submerged in water to make the leaks show up in the shape of bubbles and is known as underwater bubble emission.

Uses: mainly food containers


This method mainly comprises the detection of elements such as hydrogen, radioisotopes, or helium which are added to the system and detected externally. Gas sniffing is a method which uses helium detectors which senses the presence of helium on the container.

Uses: Mainly for food and other air tight containers.


In this method, acoustic vibration waves are used to propagate high pressure gases and fluid leaks. This requires the use of an ultrasonic microphone. This method is usually combined with the other methods to give the most accurate results.

Uses: High pressure gas and water leaks, refrigerants, etc.


This method is used to track surface breaking defects in metals, ceramics, or plastics. It is based on the concept of surface tension.

Uses: In plastic or metal bodied machines, ceramic tanks, pools,etc.

Apart from installing the leak detection equipment, it is imperative to keep the maintenance of theequipment up-to-date. A well-planned system and schedule must be followed for this purpose.

It is seen that the cost of setting up leak detection is a one-time cost and quite low as compared to the possible losses. However, as a business owner or even an individual who is investing in leak prevention equipment, you should research well before investing in any kind of equipment as per your own specific needs.

Top 4 Methods of Leak Detection and Advantages

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Leak detection is a method where leak detectors are used to check the existence of a leak in a given commodity. The technique involves sealing of containers to detect any form of leakage. There are several detection methods, which are classified, as internal, or external. However, the technique used depends on where the leak detection equipment is placed.

Leaks are known to be the last effects after corrosion. The deteriorated container tends to break, exposing the contents in the container. Luckily, with the help of the sophisticated technology of leak detection equipments, corrosion is discovered before it gets to a level of exposing the materials. The detection method incorporated depends on the type of element used. There are four commonly used methods of Leak detection types (LDS)

Methods of Leak Detection System

The incorporation of leak detection equipments depends on the type of materials to be tested more so on the detection method and the detection mechanism used. The methods include:

1. Pressure Method

Pressure is an important element in a sealed container. For this reason, Leak detection equipments greatly depend on the available pressure in the sealed containers. A pressure drop or an increase in a vacuum chamber indicates that there are high chances of a leakage in a given container. Application of high pressure in the containers can make the leak to be more noticeable. Additionally, coating the outside of a tin with soapy water makes the detection noticeable since bubbles will be formed on the leaked areas.

2. Chemical Detection Method

Majority of leak detection mechanism involves the detection of elements such as hydrogen, radioisotopes, or helium. The elements are added in the system and detected externally using a suitable method. In addition, gases can also be used-the method is known as gas sniffing. Gas sniffing involves the use of helium detectors whereby the equipment is capable of sensing or sniffing out the presence of helium on the containers. Helium detection is the most used method in leak detection due its effectiveness and ease of functionality. Further, Helium detectors functionality is enhanced due to the use of mass spectrometry it incorporates.

3. Acoustic Methods

This method uses acoustic vibration waves. The waves are capable of propagating high-pressure gasses and fluid leaks. However, this method requires the technicalities of an ultrasonic microphone. The highly sensitive microphone is able to pick up the loudest of the noise emanating from the acoustic vibration waves. Additionally, for efficient and more accurate result, acoustic method in conjunction with other methods offers incredible results.

4. Dry penetration method

Dry penetration is also known as penetrant testing (PT). It is a commonly used method used to locate and track surface breaking defects in metals, ceramics, or plastics. The general basis of this methodology lies in the chemistry of understanding surface tension. The penetrant is applied on ferrous and non-ferrous materials to detect forging or welding surface defects. The defects are usually as a result of leaks, hairline cracks, or surface porosity.

Advantages of Leak Detection in Food Packaging

Guarantee of food freshness to retailers and consumers is a key aspect in food packaging. For this reason, package leak detection is a competitive advantage to guarantee longer shelf life and an appealing presentation to the consumer. Below are several advantages of using leak detection equipment in packaging food products:
• Guarantees freshness to all users of the product
• Quality assurance in the documentation of food products makes it easy for consumers and retailers to purchase the products.
• Prevents needless returns, loss of prestige, and loss of consumers

Tips for Maintenance of Leak Equipment for Detecting Leaks in Food Packaging

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Food packaging helps to keep contaminants out of processed, fresh and frozen food. The packaging also protects the food from situational problems such as moisture loss, freezer burn and physical damage. In order to ensure that the leak equipment that is used for detecting leaks in food packaging is in good condition, manufacturing and packing facility managers should follow these maintenance tips.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule
Most pieces of leak equipment come with an owner’s manual. The owner’s manual should detail the manufacturer’s specifications for maintenance. The maintenance requirements and frequency of each action should be explained. If the equipment has a manufacturer’s warranty, it is important that the maintenance schedule be followed in order to maintain the terms and conditions of the warranty. Some pieces of leak detection equipment must be serviced and repaired by factory-trained technicians. Be sure to find out if this is the case for your equipment. If it is, only use a qualifying technician to do the repairs.

Regularly Test the Leak Detection Equipment
It is also important for the leak equipment to be tested on a regular basis. The frequency of equipment testing should depend on the throughput of your facility. It might also depend on the manufacturer’s specifications. Each piece of leak detection equipment will have different testing requirements. Be sure to put the machine through testing conditions that are similar to the real-world conditions, such as testing it first thing in the morning after the machine has not been in use over a weekend or holiday. It should also be tested after it has been working for many hours, such as at the end of of an 8-hour shift.

Set Up an Automated System for Maintenance and Testing Reminders
If your facility’s leak equipment is automated, consider setting up an automated system to alert you to the need for maintenance. For example, if the manufacturer specifies that maintenance of the unit is needed after the equipment checks 10,000 units, have the equipment alert you at the 9,000 units point. If you want to implement a system of randomized testing of the leak detection system, program the system to generate a random number and test the system after that many units have been processed. Be sure to keep all of the results from your testing. You may need to have the records in order to prove that your facility has been diligent with the testing and maintenance of the food packaging systems.

Handling leak Detection for food packaging

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Food manufacturers stand to incur substantial losses whenever their food products test positive for even very small leaks. In fact, if the food products have already been dispatched, fixing the leak problems can be an extremely expensive ordeal for the company. If the leaks are not detected in real-time during the packaging process, then the food company will have to do a food recall which gravely hurts the company’s reputation. In order to avoid harming the brand reputation of your food products, you should consider investing in leak equipment that will help your packaging staff handle the food leakage beforehand.

It’s also important to understand how the leakage is detected. The detection is pretty simple because it’s all about when the packaging defect meets an already determined criterion. For instance, the pressures generated with the packaging when they are being distributed and the consequent relationship between the micro-organisms and the leak size.

Canned Goods

Leak spoilage happens when micro-organisms enter the container of canned food causing contamination. Research has proved that leak spoilage is the main cause of post-process contamination resulting in loss of sterility in the product. Hence most of the food poisoning incidents that occur at the consumption stage are caused by this type of post-process contamination.

Flexible and Semi-Rigid Packaging

Although this was developed as an option for canning, it can also experience leakage. The various layers of polymers and metals used in making the packages are designed in such a way that they offer sturdy barrier features. A leak occurs in the flexible and semi-rigid packaging when food gets entrapped in the seals or when they wrinkle slightly causing holes on the seal area of the package. In other words, the seal contamination, in this case, is mechanical and is due to poor control of the sealing structures. You should ensure that high standards of the material being used have been met because if temporary holes appear in the packaging material, leaks can also occur.

The pinholes in these types of packaging can be controlled by avoiding burst and seal creep. These are simple defects that often occur during the storage and distribution of the packages. To maintain sterility of these type of package, sealability, and peelability ought to be observed.

How Leaks Are Discovered

Besides employing all your QA/QC processes such as searching for abnormalities via sight and touch, you should consider investing in a credible leak equipment for detecting the leaks. Leaks can cause big problems to the reputation of your brand and should be controlled by all possible means.