Plastic & Packaging

Sensory analysis of odor, taste, vision via instrument for Plastic & Packaging industry.

Instrumental chemical & organoleptic testing of packaging

Plastic and packaging materials must fulfill their protective function without damaging product safety and sensory quality.

Due to an increasing consumer pressure about product safety and quality and stricter regulations surrounding food packaging in particular, plastics and packaging materials are under close scrutiny on the whole chain: from polymer raw materials producers, extruders, packaging converters to final users of the food industry.

Therefore, the sensory properties and chemical composition of food grade packaging and raw materials need to be strictly controlled to guarantee that they will not transfer hazardous compounds or an unpleasant taste or odor to the food products they protect.

Our instrumental solutions for chemical analysis and organoleptic testing of plastics and packaging are designed to rapidly give answers to industrials facing chemical or sensory issues in:

  • • New plastic and packaging product development: competitive packaging benchmarking, influence of additives on the odor of packaging, detection of residual solvents in packaging, detection of residual monomers in polymers, new process monitoring, determination of packaging efficiency for preserving the sensory quality of food products
  • • Quality control of plastic and packaging: sensory conformity testing, odor control, off-odor detection, plastic taste control
  • • Monitoring of customer claims on packaging: identification of the cause of defect

Examples of applications in sensory analysis of Plastics and Packaging

Using our chemical and sensory analysis instruments, a wide variety of applications on raw materials and final packaging have been successfully achieved such as:

  • • Quality control of various polymer pellets: polyethylene (PE, HDPE, LDPE), polypropylene (PP) in correlation with current standards (DIN EN 1622 / NF EN 1622, etc)
  • • HDPE batch to batch consistency checking
  • • Optimization of PE pelletization to avoid the development of off-odors
  • • Scale-up of an product development process prototype to transfer it to another production plant
  • • Optimization of the sterilization process of polyethylene pouches by irradiation to minimize its impact on plastic bags odor
  • • Quantification of residual solvents (hexane, acetone, ethyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, methanol, propanol, toluene, xylene, etc) and toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in plastic films
  • • Detection of residual monomer contaminants in plastic bottles
  • • Evaluation of possible taste transfer from packaging to food product
  • • Odor quality control of synthetic corks used in the wine bottling
  • • Investigation of the chemical origin of a bad smell in paper
  • • Quality control of plastic caps for bottled drinks
  • • Detection of possible contamination from multilaminated films on fruit juice
  • • Selection of the most suitable package among various types of bag-in-box (mono-layer, multi-layer films, etc)
  • • Selection of the packaging type that will best preserve instant coffee aroma
  • • Comparison of the impact of different shutter types on wine aroma ageing
  • • Benchmarking of competitive packaging based on appearance, colors and visual features

Advantages of instrumental sensory analysis in the plastic and packaging industries

  • • A global multi-sensory approach (odor, taste, vision) by combined use of electronic nose, electronic tongue and visual analyzer
  • • Reliable results produced from instrumental measurements that can be correlated with sensory panel evaluation
  • • Fast analysis method for plastic and packaging odor control: direct analysis with no time-consuming sample preparation
  • • Easy-to-understand results giving decision tools for faster production batch release and reduced storage times
  • • A means to decrease internal workload on routine sensory testing
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