LASER SPECTROSCOPY: THE INNOVATIVE APPLICATION FOR NON-INVASIVE DETECTION OF MICRO-ORGANISMS IN PACKAGED LIQUID PRODUCTS
The laser spectroscopy solution developed by Antares Vision Group, which measures the concentration of CO2 in packaging in a non-destructive way, paves the way for new applications to guarantee product quality and optimize control processes
Antares Vision Group has developed various instruments which, through the application of laser spectroscopy, allow companies to detect bacterial contamination in products. These solutions help ensure products are safe before they enter the market, enable more effective product management, and facilitate cost-effective product storage.
Benefits of laser spectroscopy technology:
Laser spectroscopy technology allows direct measurement of the presence of pathogens and the correlation between the type of bacterium and the concentration of CO2. It is also particularly advantageous for products that must be quarantined, as it helps reduce the quarantine time.
During quarantine, CO2 can be produced inside packages. Laser spectroscopy measures even very low concentrations of CO2 in a non-invasive and non-destructive manner by passing a laser beam through the headspace of a sealed container. External factors, such as closures and packaging, have a negligible effect on measurements, which can be conducted without contacting the containers and are performed with space-saving instruments.
The effectiveness of laser spectroscopy in detecting CO2 in packaging and its relation to the growth of pathogens has been the subject of several recent scientific articles. The analyses, which involved milk-based products, documented a strong linear correlation between bacterial growth and CO2 concentration. The results highlighted how, through the use of Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS), it is possible to detect microbial growth in food products in closed containers in a non-destructive way, drastically reducing quarantine time compared to traditional methods.
Applications of laser spectroscopy:
Antares Vision Group has developed line instruments and laboratory instruments for 100% production control.
For example, the EVO TRACE CO2 measures CO2 concentration in the headspace of sealed containers using TDLAS technology. This makes it possible to carry out precise, rapid, reliable measurements and to provide real-time data about the quality and wholesomeness of a product.
The non-invasive, non-destructive TDLAS technology can identify different kinds of bacteria based on their metabolism and a product’s particular characteristics, so it has potential in a diverse array of industries and production processes, such as ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk.
“The non-destructive methods currently used in industrial applications are essentially based on artificial vision cameras that check for swelling of the aluminium foil used to seal containers, such as those used for milk-based products”, says Massimo Fedel, a researcher at the Italian National Research Council who developed the TDLAS application for food and beverage.
“This is an indirect measure that hypothesizes that the swelling indicates the presence of a microorganism but does not provide any information about what is happening in the container. Furthermore, such swelling begins, at minimum, after eight days of quarantine time, affecting warehousing costs and product downtime. With TDLAS, however, it is possible to verify traces of CO2 after only one or two days and correlate this presence to bacterial growth”.