Skip to content

Q1 Permeation Products & Services Newsletter

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Quarter 1 | March 2022




Edible Packaging: The Newest Trend in Sustainability?

As the global initiative to reduce carbon emissions continues to expand, bioplastics have grown extensively in production and use cases. Now, upon the threshold of mass innovation are edible films and coatings (i.e., packaging), which are hyper-degradable, saving up to 87% in carbon emissions. These materials do not require recycling and come from renewable sources. If not consumed, these structures completely biodegrade within 2-6 weeks. Industries that use single-serve portions, such as airline, cruise line, outdoor recreational, and space exploration, give these packaging materials a lot of promise.

R & D sectors have been producing edible packaging—largely comprised of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids—for applications ranging from pre-formed mushroom trays to coffee lids. Seaweed and casein (protein) films have stepped to the forefront in this innovative space. Seaweed films are good for containing liquids and may be formed into pouches for sauces and single-serve beverages. Casein films, along with a few natural additives, may produce oxygen barriers over two orders of magnitude better than conventional plastic wraps. Determining the Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) of these newly designed structures is vital to understanding product shelf life since oxygen is one of the main culprits effecting food and flavor degradation.



The OX-TRAN® 2/12 Wide Range Oxygen Permeation Analyzer

The OX-TRAN 2/12 series of Oxygen Permeation Analyzers were designed to provide reliable Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) test results on a variety of packaging materials, including high transmitter packaging. The series includes two models that were designed for different purposes. The 2/12 R model is highly versatile and can be used for testing a wide OTR range of 0.05 to 28,800 cc/(m2 x day) for barriers and 0.00025 to 144 cc/(pkg × day) for packages. The 2/12 T model is designed to test high transmitters with breathable barriers in an OTR range of 200 to 65,000 cc/(m2 x day), which is beyond the range of traditional oxygen permeation instruments.
Building on the same platform MOCON has developed for its “Next Generation” Permeation Analyzers, the OX-TRAN 2/12 series analyzers offer industry leading features such as fully automated temperature, flow and RH controls, removable cartridges, TruSeal® sample mounting, color touch screens, and automatic test method development with recommendations. These features provide simplified operation, so that experienced technicians and new users can easily obtain accurate and repeatable testing results.
Wide Range of Applications The OX-TRAN 2/12 Series of instruments are available with a variety of test cartridges and accessories that expand the test range and test capabilities. The MOCON exclusive test cartridges provide flexibility to test most sample types including whole packages, paper-based materials and lower barrier films.
With a wide analytical range, the OX-TRAN 2/12 Oxygen Permeation Analyzer series targets barrier film permeation testing for food, beverage, and healthcare packaging applications where affordable, ASTM-compliant tests are needed. The 2/12 series is also well-suited to test the OTR of various barrier and package types including monolayer, multi-layer, and coated films along with coated paper board, pouches, bottles, closures, and more.




Optimizing New Edible OTR Package Materials

When designing new edible barrier materials to replace traditional polymer packaging, it is critical to compare OTR properties between potential barrier candidates, so that one may accurately correlate product freshness with shelf life. Whether you need high or low oxygen barrier function, the best instrument to help you design your new edible films is the OX-TRAN 2/12 R Oxygen Permeation Analyzer.
The 2/12 R’s large testing range allows analysis for low to moderately high O2 barriers—ideal for developing novel packaging materials. From the Barrier Comparison graph (Figure 1), we observe that various structures produce wide ranges of O2 protection. Evaluating potential edible film formulations for OTR performance is the first step toward replacing petroleum-manufactured polymer packaging. As can be observed in Figure 2, the OX-TRAN 2/12 R provides accurate analyses of higher transmitting (e.g., produce) films to lower transmitting structures (e.g., casein protein-based films). Once an edible film material is chosen that meets your barrier requirements, one may also test the converted package for OTR to validate the proposed shelf life. Whole package testing is a critical step to confirm product freshness.

Fig. 1) Barrier Comparison Graph                   Fig. 2) High to Low Transmitter Range



MOCON Permeation Innovation: Exceeding Expectations with our Next Generation Instruments

AMETEK MOCON pioneered permeation testing with the development and release of the OX-TRAN 2/21 instrument over thirty years ago. It quickly became the go-to analyzer for converters and packaging companies to improve their packaging material development while lowering their costs. As the industry evolved, so did MOCON with the introduction of the OX-TRAN 2/22 and OX-TRAN 2/28 over the last couple of years. Click the image below to watch Jeff Jackson, MOCON’s Senior Global Product Manager, explain the enhancements we have made in these new instruments which makes MOCON Permeation Analyzers an indispensable part of your film and packaging development process.

Resource Library
Visit our Resource Library for white papers, application notes, technical notes and videos from the leading experts in permeation.

Read our latest Thought Leadership Article (TLA)!
Standing the Test of Time in Permeation Testing

Upcoming 2022 Q2 Permeation Exhibitions, Conferences and Trade Shows in Europe
April 26-28 Warsaw Pack (Warsaw, Poland)
May 3-6 IPACK-IMA (Milan, Italy)
May 24-27 Hispack (Barcelona, Spain)