Emballator Innovation Centre invests in equipment to measure oxygen barrier properties

A new investment in equipment has been made at Emballator Innovation Centre. To better guide customers into the right choice of material, Emballator can now evaluate barrier properties by measurements of the Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR).

Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) is the quantity of oxygen that can pass through a specific area of the packaging material over time. All polymers are permeable to gases to different extents and their barrier properties may impact their suitability for a specific application.

“This equipment is easy to handle and with a sample of only 50×50 mm packaging material from film, sheeting, plastic-coated papers or plastic-packaging we can measure the steady state rate at which oxygen permeates through the material”, says Mats Jeppsson, Innovation Manager at Emballator Innovation Centre.

Barrier properties is not only depending on the material but can also be affected by the processing parameters during production. Temperatures and humidity during transport and storage also affects the barrier properties.

Oxygen can lead to a rapid deterioration of food components. Most of the chemical and biological reactions that generate malodorous compounds and flavour changes require oxygen in order to occur. By decreasing the availability of oxygen within the packaging as much as possible the shelf life can be extended.

”Improving shelf life is one of the main areas for us at the innovation center, in order to help customers to reach their sustainability goals. The data generated from the equipment will support product development, manufacturing, and marketing in many segments such as food, medical, cosmetic and chemicals”, says Mats Jeppsson.

Emballator will be able to guide customers into the right choice of material, considering the specific end-use. The transmission rate of other gases can also be measured. “We help our customers to understand how the oxygen transportation through a material is affected by not only processing parameters but also variations in material properties. In close collaboration with our customers, we design solutions for improving barrier properties while maintaining the circularity and sustainability of the packaging”, says Christian Olsson, Material Specialist at Emballator Innovation Center.

For more information, visit Emballator.com

Written by Dominy Jones

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