The packaging of products under protective atmosphere (MAP) has long been proven in various industrial sectors. With this type of packaging, the natural ambient air in the packaging is replaced by a gas or gas mixture, often nitrogen and carbon dioxide (more rarely carbon monoxide or argon).
In the pharmaceutical industry, too, "modified atmosphere packaging" optimizes the shelf life of tablets, powders, ointments and similar products in blister packs, vials, cans and similar types of packaging - right through to biotechnological packaging such as that used for laboratory kits.
Pharmaceuticals’ packaging is usually done under nitrogen, as it is an inert gas with a high degree of purity and inhibits the oxidation and growth of aerobic microorganisms. The determination of any possible residual oxygen content in the packaging is also of great importance for quality assurance purposes.
The particular challenge in determining the residual oxygen content with gas analyzers is the often low gas volumes involved in each pharmaceutical package. The gas volume of the headspace is often only a few milliliters: gas analyzers with a particularly low sample gas requirement and high accuracy are therefore required for quality assurance.
Gas analyzers from WITT for quality assurance of pharmaceutical packaging
WITT gas analyzers are fast, precise and reliable. Portable or mobile analyzers, which can be used directly on the packaging line, are particularly suited to mobile sample gas analysis. The handy one-handed gas analyzer OXYBABY® is particularly suitable for the pharmaceutical industry: With its extremely low sample gas requirement of only 2 ml oxygen, it is ideally suited for gas analysis of blisters and vials with small headspace. In addition to the oxygen content, the OXYBABY® 6.0 can also optionally determine the CO2 concentration and calculate the nitrogen content.
Leak test of pharmaceutical packaging
Pharmaceutical MAP packaging must be leak-proof so that no protective gas escapes unnoticed. Such an escape would endanger the shelf life of the packaged products or even allows moisture to penetrate the packaging.
WITT has the LEAK-MASTER EASY® in its range for testing the leak-tightness of these products on a random sample basis. This simple water-based leak tester enables the detection and location of leaks in the packaging with a simple visual inspection. The packaging is placed in a chamber filled with water. The air space above the water level is evacuated by means of compressed air. The resulting negative pressure causes air or filling gas to escape at leaking points and bubble upwards, clearly visible. Even checking the tightness of vacuum packaging is possible with the optional vacuum set.