Mobile gas analyzer turns 25 - Oxybaby® better than ever

The mobile O2/CO2 gas analyzer OXYBABY® from WITT is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. As one of the best-selling residual oxygen analyzers for testing modified atmosphere packaging, the OXYBABY’s evolution has transformed the way quality inspectors work in the food industry.

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Measuring results in six seconds, from just a 2 ml gas sample, display of the O2 value in 0.01% increments, durable oxygen sensor – the features of the current model 6.0 make the OXYBABY® one of the most powerful sample gas analyzers available on the market. Not surprising – because each generation of this device has been pioneering within the sector for the last 25 years.

WITT Managing Director Martin Bender, the “father” of WITT’s gas analyzer, remembers the very beginning when looking at the drawings of the first generation OXYBABY® from 1992. “At that time, modified atmosphere packaging was a relatively young technology. The random measurement of food packaging for quality assurance was still in its beginnings,” he explains. “The existing instruments were awkward to use and not very sophisticated technologically. With the development of the OXYBABY®, we were able to fill a timely niche.”

In contrast to other products on the market, beginning with the second-generation model, the OXYBABY® incorporated an integrated pump to extract a gas sample from the packaging—with just the press of a button. This crucial innovation enabled the single-handed operation still in use today, making the testing process faster. “This unique selling proposition made the work of quality inspectors much, much easier and was the start of a success story,” explains Bender.

As modified atmosphere packaging is widespread today, the inspection of the gas composition in food packaging is now standard practice in quality assurance. The OXYBABY® is a long-established solution for this application—thanks to ongoing development in operation, design and functionality. Even though it was originally only possible to determine the residual oxygen content, the measurement of CO2 content, along with determination of the gas pressure in the packaging, is nowadays a matter of course.

From the start WITT has always had the user’s benefit in mind. Numerous direct suggestions by customers were incorporated into the development, making the OXYBABY® even more practical. For example, the measuring times have been continuously reduced and the measuring gas minimized, thus enabling the analysis of even the smallest packages, such as coffee capsules.

Another major advantage that is popular with users: the pump responds automatically to any blockages in the needle or filter and adjusts the output so that a correct measurement is still ensured. The OXYBABY® also features a warning message to indicate any serious blockages.

Measurements can be assigned to different product lines, products and users, and the memory capacity has been increased to several hundred entries. With extended export functions and interfaces for complete documentation and certification, the OXYBABY also features as options integration of a barcode reader or printing via Bluetooth.

It’s not only the food industry where you can find the OXYBABY®. Special variants such as the OXYBABY® Med for use in hospitals or the OXYBABY® P for testing gas supply lines have extended the application fields of the practical gas analyzer in recent years.

“The OXYBABY® will remain one of our core products in the future, too,” states Martin Bender. “It’s well known and successful in the market. The last 25 years have shown that such a product will continue to be refined. So you can look forward to exciting and useful new features for the user with the next generations of OXYBABY®.”

HSP is proud to announce its partnership with Bolloré

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As the official Canadian distributor of Bolfresh BSF® and Bolfresh OXBTEC® end-seal bottom-seal films, Heat Sealing Packaging is pleased to announce its partnership with the Bolloré Group. 

With films for fresh and frozen food products, Bolloré proposes a variety of packaging solutions with either barrier, antifog or stretch-shrink properties as well as perforated films.

The extensive range of films is adapted for the packaging of meat, poultry, cheese, fruits & vegetables, catering products, fish & seafood.

Already in the Canadian marketplace, these films have proven to have the highest clarity and efficiency on horizontal form-fill-seal machines manufactured by OSSID, OMORI, and ULMA.

For further information please contact HSP or click the link below.

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TenderPac® controls meat maturation and with great presentation!

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For a long time, meat maturation and presentation in case-ready format was not possible without repackaging. The negative influences on appearance and shelf life were too high. Our completely new TenderPac® system has now opened the door to direct meat maturation. A two-compartment system provides for separation of the process-related meat juices and the actual meat product. 

TenderPac® helps give your product a delicate texture and the best meat flavour by controlled maturation. Its appetizing presentation will be a real eye-catcher at retail. The patented ActiveStick serves as a juice absorber and can be used for additional communication purposes.

Two Compartment TraySkin® Solution

Sealpac TraySkin® duo - with convenient EasyPeelPoint opening aid

Sealpac TraySkin® duo - with convenient EasyPeelPoint opening aid

A new development concerns the use of two-compartment skin trays, where each compartment is sealed individually. Sealing takes place by means of SEALPAC’s unique OnTrayCut system, which was specifically developed for skin applications. This guarantees an immaculate presentation at retail, both from a visual and tactile point of view. Due to the perforation between the compartments, each portion can easily be separated from the other. If desired, SEALPAC’s EasyPeelPoint can be added to allow for easy opening of the skin pack. With this new tray, SEALPAC addresses the growing demand for efficient packaging of smaller portions of food, mainly coming from the increasing number of single households. By solving the common mismatch between the amount of food inside a tray compared to the actual need of the buyer, SEALPAC lives up to its goal as a member of the Save Food initiative: to continuously develop new packaging solutions that reduce food waste.

Modern Packaging and the Benefits of Skin Packaging

Bigler’s meat products successfully relaunched with the support of SEALPAC

Bigler is proud of its craftsmanship in food processing, a family tradition that is constantly reinvented through innovative products and modern processes. Last year, the family-owned company in Büren an der Aare, which employs around 600 people, initiated a relaunch of its del Lago brand. Under the new brand name Bigler, the entire product range is now presented in a fresh and uniform packaging design. We spoke with Gérard Bigler (Head of the processed meat division) and Markus Bigler (Chief Financial Officer) about this relaunch, the differences between the meat markets in Switzerland and the rest of Europe, as well as about current packaging trends.

Benefits of Skin Packaging

What sometimes holds back the development of skin packaging for fresh meat is that the colour of the product inside the vacuum pack will be less red. Gérard Bigler: "The fact that meat products in skin packaging are characterized by a darker red has been well received by Swiss consumers. In my view, however, the colour is not decisive. It is important that the product as a whole convinces with an appealing appearance.” Therein the Swiss differ from other European countries, where meat is mainly packaged under modified atmosphere, because consumers there are mostly conservative and prefer meat with a bright red colour. On the other hand, the demand for skin applications is growing noticeably in Germany as well these days. Especially high-quality products, such as premium or organic meat, are increasingly offered in skin packaging, because the quality of the meat can be improved: under vacuum it will mature better, remain beautifully tender and stay fresh longer. 

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Gérard Bigler: "I am pretty certain skin packaging will also revolutionize the German and other European markets, as the advantages speak for themselves. Due to the vacuum, at least two days of extra shelf life are achieved, which is considerable for meat. In this way, the shelf life of fresh meat can be extended to 12 days, which is extremely important for retailers, as they can now cover two strong-selling weekends.” Markus Bigler adds: "But maximum shelf life can only be achieved with an optimal cooling chain. To keep this under control, we own a fleet of no less than 60 trucks that drive all over Switzerland on a daily basis to provide fresh products to the retailers. This is cost-intensive, but product quality is our main asset to our customers. And we owe it to our quality commitment, which we have underlined again with our relaunch.”

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Typical Swiss

Switzerland has a slightly different culture when it comes to the presentation of food products at retail. Especially within the meat segment, vertical presentation has been the standard for a long time already. By presenting meat products in a standing or hanging position, they are more attractive to Swiss consumers. This explains why skin packaging has seen a much stronger growth in Switzerland than in various other European countries, such as for example Germany. The advantage of skin packaging is that the product remains securely fixated and does not move, resulting in an excellent appearance. For retailers, skin packaging allows them to fit more products on the shelf. Main applications in Switzerland are fresh and marinated meat, but vertical presentation is also common for seafood and even ready meals.  

PerfoLid System Nominated for REFRESH Award

PerfoLid is a packaging system that provides reclosable trays for fresh fruit and vegetables with significant shelf life extension, both at retail as well as at the consumer. The system reduces food waste, keeps fruits and vegetables fresher and saves money!

The PerfoLid is up for a REFRESH award, an EU research project taking action against food waste. 26 partners from 12 European countries and China work towards the project's goal to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, reducing waste management costs, and maximizing the value from un-avoidable food waste and packaging materials.

Find out more about the project and vote at http://eu-refresh.org/perfolid