In order to investigate the propensity for post-process leaker contamination (PPLC) in commercial packaging systems (including metal cans, glass containers, pouches and flexible and semi-flexible plastic containers) and new systems while under development prior to their commercial release, a microbiological challenge test (Biotest) has been developed. In all cases the packaging system under investigation had been designed (by the manufacturer) to provide hermetic seals that would withstand the rigors of thermal processing and thereafter provide protection from PPLC during transit along the manufacturer’s packaging line, throughout the storage and delivery chains and during routine handling by the end-user.
Each Biotest involves the immersion in a concentrated bacterial solution of several thousand commercially filled, sealed and heat processed products. The Biotest is, by design, a severe test which provides comparative data regarding potential failure rates caused by PPLC of the test system and commercially acceptable controls (e.g. metal cans). As part of the package development process, DWC FoodTech has completed Biotests (on over 100,000 units) for national and international food manufacturers across a range of products and packaging media.
DWC FoodTech Pty Ltd uses qualified microbiologists to prepare and implement Biotests. This ensures that solutions of all test cultures are added to the immersion baths at the correct concentrations.
During typical Biotests thousands of containers are submerged in the test solution in large immersion baths.
DWC FoodTech’s standard procedure can enable the inclusion thousands of products into each Biotest by simultaneously using several immersion tanks and completing multiple immersions in each.
DWC FoodTech Pty Ltd organises incubation and monitors performance of the test containers throughout the controlled incubation period following the immersion procedures.
DWC FoodTech’s standard procedures are sufficiently severe to cause leaking containers to fail the Biotest.
If you are interested in having a Biotest conducted at your organisation please contact us.