Blogs CCIT

23
Jul 2021

CCIT for Pharmaceutical Package Integrity

CCIT for Pharmaceutical Package Integrity

Over the last two decades, pharmaceutical industry has seen tremendous growth in the form of technological advancements and drug delivery system innovations. However, such innovations have increased quality assurance challenges for drug manufactures. For this reason, drug product manufacturers give at most importance to their quality control procedures as well as package integrity tests. All packaging forms, whether pouches constructed of porous or nonporous material, rigid thermoformed trays with Tyvek or film lids, bottles with induction-welded seals, or blister packs, need verification that their sterile-barrier characteristics are not compromised. Previously, only sterility testing was conducted on pharmaceutical packaging. However, when it was realized that sterility testing alone is not sufficient to hold the integrity of the medical products, the US FDA published Guidance for Industry for Submission Documentation for Sterilization Process Validation in Applications for Human and Veterinary Drug Products. This emphasized the importance of verification of microbial barrier properties of a pharmaceutical product package (i.e., CCI).

Relevance of CCIT in pharmaceutical package testing

Container Closure Integrity Testing is an assay to evaluate whether container closure systems can maintain sterile barriers against potential damage. Even a minute defect in the container can cause external elements to enter the product, thereby reducing its shelf life. Common threats that can pass through a defected container closure system include microorganisms, reactive gases, and other substances. Considering the ability of such threat to deteriorate product quality, undertaking appropriate CCI tests are beyond crucial. However, it should be noted that CCI is not a one-time process, rather an integral and comprehensive approach. It is evaluated throughout the manufacturing lifecycle of a sterile drug product -from primary package development until the products are dispatched.

Container closure systems are made up of primary packaging components and secondary packaging components. Components like vials or syringes that are in direct contact with the product are called primary packaging components. Although there are multiple CCI techniques available in the market today, regulatory guidelines have broadly classified methods into probabilistic and deterministic test methods. Under a probabilistic test method, results are generated through a series of events, each with a respective probability distribution. Thus, the accuracy of the results cannot be assured. In contrast to a probabilistic method, deterministic test methods assure quantitative results with higher level of accuracy and reliability. The United States Pharmacopeia in 2016 issued new guidelines stating that deterministic methods are preferred over probabilistic test methods. Container closure integrity testing can be performed in many different ways. All the testing methods have pros and cons. Given below is a list of non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test methods:

  • Airborne Ultrasound technology
  • Vacuum Decay technology
  • Microcurrent HVLD technology
  • Helium Leak Detection
  • Pressure Decay leak testing
  • Force Decay leak testing
Readmore...
pharmaceutical package testing, container closure integrity testing, Vacuum Decay Technology, Airborne Ultrasound technology
46
15
Jul 2021

Vacuum Decay Technology Raising Standards for Pharmaceutical Package Testing

Vacuum Decay Technology Raising Standards for Pharmaceutical Package Testing

Right from clinical trials to drug packaging, all aspects for pharmaceutical industry are subject to strict quality control regulations. The process of selecting and validating appropriate packaging for pharmaceutical products takes a significant effort. Pharmaceutical package testing is conducted to ensure the suitability of drug packaging for its intended use. It included all components containing the product, even if they are in direct contact with the drug or not. As such, containers should be capable of retaining the healing properties of the drug product throughout its shelf life or until it is administered. Even a minute breach in container closure integrity can compromise the safety and effectiveness of the drug product. This realization has prompted pharmaceutical product manufacturers to conduct appropriate container closure integrity tests to ensure product sterility throughout its lifecycle.

Why use Vacuum Decay technology for pharmaceutical package testing?

PTI’s Vacuum Decay technology is a non-destructive container closure integrity testing method, capable of evaluating both liquid and air-filled containers and detecting defects as small as below 1 micron. Non-destructive testing provides a greater understanding of package quality while also reducing waste. Waste reduction delivers a fast return on investment and brings operations closer to green initiatives. Proven to be the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak test method, Vacuum Decay technology is an ASTM test method, FDA consensus standard, eliminating false positives and subjective results associated with manual visual inspection. Vacuum Decay technology can identify leaks in sealed rigid, semi-rigid and flexible packaging made of non-porous or porous materials. It provides reliable, accurate and repeatable test results that ensure deterministic package testing and leak detection.

Vacuum Decay technology operates by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, which is equipped with an external vacuum source. Single or dual vacuum transducer technology is used to monitor the test chamber for both the level of vacuum as well as the change in vacuum over a predetermined test time. The changes in absolute and differential vacuum indicate the presence of leaks and defects within the package. Vacuum Decay technology is a practical alternative and significant improvement to destructive test methods and can precisely detect leaks as small as 5 microns, identifying process issues before they become critical, avoiding catastrophic quality deviations.

Benefits of PTI’s Vacuum Decay Test System

  • Better process control - reliable and sensitive leak detection of quality critical defects.
  • The advantage of test results that are both qualitative (pass/fail) and quantitative (Statistical data with each test result).
  • Repeatable test results demonstrate the reliability of the instrument and test data.
  • Cost savings - Eliminates product loss, waste and mess of both packaging and coffee that results from using destructive testing methods
  • Using a non-destructive leak test method allows an increase in the number of products samples tested.
  • Rapid test cycle and minimal training required to operate tester.
  • Rapid ROI due to substantial cost savings and elimination of product loss.
Readmore...
container closure integrity testing, pharmaceutical package testing, vacuum decay technology
60
02
Jul 2021

How has VeriPac Systems Raised Standards for Container Closure Integrity Testing

How has VeriPac Systems Raised Standards for Container Closure Integrity Testing

What is Container Closure Integrity Testing?

Container Closure Integrity Testing can be understood as a leak detection test conducted using non-destructive package inspection systems to ensure product stability throughout its shelf life. CCIT plays a major part in ensuring that the products are free from possible contamination. While there are multiple ways to conduct a CCI test, it can be broadly classified into probabilistic and deterministic test methods. Traditional test methods like bubble test, dye ingress and microbial challenge by immersion come under probabilistic test methods. However, upon realizing that such tests lacked accuracy and reliability, The United States Pharmacopeia released guidelines in 2016 stating that deterministic methods ae preferred over probabilistic test methods. Vacuum Decay technology and Airborne Ultrasound technology are among the most preferred deterministic test methods.

VeriPac Test Systems for Effective CCI Testing

The VeriPac test methods are non-destructive, non-invasive inspection system for CCI and package integrity testing. They utilize the ASTM approved patented vacuum decay leak test method recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing.

This ASTM method was developed using VeriPac leak test instruments and has proven its capabilities under GMP regulatory guidelines. Applications for VeriPac technology include stability studies, clinical trials, quality assurance testing and statistical process control (SPC). VeriPac testers feature the patented PERMA-Vac manifold system and dynamic test modes that provide the ability to test a wide range of package formats. Leak detection of high-risk applications requires the highest level of test measurement reliability. The VeriPac series have redefined the reliability and accuracy of test measurement systems.

How do Veripac Test systems Operate?

VeriPac leak testers connect to a test chamber that is specially designed to contain the package to be tested. The package is placed inside the test chamber to which vacuum is applied. The single or dual vacuum transducer technology is used to monitor the test chamber for both the level of vacuum as well as the change in vacuum over a predetermined test time. The changes in absolute and differential vacuum indicate the presence of leaks and defects within the package. Test systems can be designed for manual or automatic operation. This inspection method is suitable for laboratory offline testing and production applications for QA/QC statistical process control. The test cycle takes only a few seconds, is non-invasive and non-destructive to both product and package, making it an ideal choice for CCI inspection across industries.

Inspection Criteria

  • Seal quality testing of entire container or package
  • Measures and verifies container closure system integrity
  • Tests for gas leaks for dry products (lyophilized vials, powder filled)
  • Tests for liquid leaks (liquid filled vials, pre-filled syringes)
Readmore...
seal quality inspection, vacuum decay technology, ccit, container closure integrity
141
14
Jun 2021

VeriPac UBV for Blister Package Inspection

  VeriPac UBV for Blister Package Inspection

Blister packs are popular packaging options for pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. A wide range of pharmaceutical products are packed in blister packs, ranging from capsules and tablets to high-risk hormone-based drugs and steroidal treatments. Commonly made of thermoformed plastic, these are quite useful in guarding products against external factors like heat, moisture and humidity.

However, concerns over integrity of blister packaging have increased over the years. Even a minute breach in the packaging can result in compromised package integrity. Hence, pharmaceutical manufacturers concerned about quality and shelf life of their products make Container Closure Integrity testing a crucial part of their manufacturing process. There are several methods available to test blister packs, and each has its own merits and demerits. For instance, the most common method to test blister packs remain dye ingress. However, this method is subjective, probabilistic and lacked accuracy in test results. This encouraged manufacturers to use non-destructive CCI test methods, that were accurate and produced quantitative results with measurable result data.

Blister Package Inspection with VeriPac UBV Technology

The VeriPac UBV Leak Detection System is a deterministic, non-destructive technology designed specifically for multi-cavity blister packs. The VeriPac UBV utilizes volumetric imaging under vacuum to detect the presence and location of leaks. It is a rapid test requiring no changeover or sample preparation. Operators simply input the number of blister cavities, place the blister pack on the inspection plate and press the START button. Within seconds, the operator sees a definitive pass/fail result, along with a volumetric measurement reading. The location of the defective cavity is presented to the operator with an image of the tested package. The intuitive and simple method makes it a practical solution giving rapid feedback to production line operators.

The UBV technology can provide rapid detection of defects as small as 10 microns with a fast test time, averaging 10-30 seconds depending on blister cavity volume. Test system requires no tools or test parameter changes for different blister formats. This technology is particularly advantageous for small to tiny blister cavities that are notoriously difficult to detect with a standard Vacuum Decay technology due to the very low headspace.

Technology Overview

Under this method, the sample is first placed inside the hinged test chamber. After pressing the start button, vacuum is pulled to a defined level. The blisters expand under vacuum, driving air out of the blister through any leaks present. If there is a leak in the blister, the air escapes into the chamber leaving a collapsed blister package. During the dynamic vacuum test sequence, a volumetric measurement reading is taken which determines which blister cavities are defective.

Benefits of VeriPac UBV Technology

  • Non-destructive technology
  • Accurate and repeatable results
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data
  • Completely tool-less
  • No changeover to test different blister formats
  • Identifies which cavity is defective
  • Eliminates destructive, subjective testing methods
Readmore...
container closure integrity, CCI, Vacuum Decay Technology, blister package testing
124
07
Jun 2021

Package Integrity Testing - The Next Big Technologies You Should Know

Package Integrity Testing The Next Big Technologies You Should Know

We all know that the primary function of any package is storing, handling & protecting the product. So, what is package integrity? Package integrity is defined as a package’s ability to protect its contents from potential hazards that include various physical, microbial & chemical factors. Its usefulness may have many nuances depending on the products & content. But industries like pharmaceutical, nutrition & medical device, deal with lifesaving & sustaining products that are shipped across the globe. Any discontinuity in the package can result in the contamination of the product making a life-saving product into a life-threatening one. Therefore, package integrity is imperative to ensure the safety of the products at the time of use.

The selection of the appropriate package inspection method is essential to maintain the quality standards that the regulatory bodies stand by today. Since 2016, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) released guidance encouraging the use of deterministic, reliable test methods. Package leak test methods offered by CCIT s.a. are all deterministic, non-destructive, quantitative test methods with a specific on the reliability of the test result to assure integrity at the highest level.

VeriPac Vacuum Decay Technology

Vacuum decay is validated as one of the most reliable & sensitive vacuum-based leak detection methods that give quantitative & reproducible results with a pass or fail determination. PTI’s VeriPac inspection method is based on vacuum decay technology. It is one of the most ideal non-destructive container closure integrity testing solutions for different types of package formats that include parenteral packaging and other types of flexible and semi-flexible package formats. This method is non-invasive, non-subjective & requires no sample preparation. VeriPac 400 series can be used in various applications like stability studies, clinical trials, quality assurance testing and production statistical process control.

With PERMA-VAC, PTI redefined the vacuum-based leak detection method and addresses vacuum decay leak detection at the very core of physical test measurement & maximizing the SNR between good and defective samples.

Microcurrent HVLD

PTI has revolutionized the conventional HVLD method with the new HVLDmc – MicroCurrent HVLD, a highly sensitive leak detection method for all Parenteral and Biologic Products. The new E-scan 655 Microcurrent HVLD system exposes the product and environment to less than 5% of the voltage than conventional HVLD solutions. Referenced in USP <1207>, PTI’s HVLDmc has proven to be a highly sensitive leak detection method for applications like pre-filled syringes, vials, cartridges, ampoules, BFS, bottles, pouches.

Airborne Ultrasound

PTI’s proprietary Airborne Ultrasound technology is one of the most reliable seal quality inspection methods that characterize the overall quality and uniformity of the seal. This technology can be integrated for 100% online leak detection of pouch seals. Airborne ultrasound can be used for many material types such as Tyvek ®, paper, foil, film, aluminum, plastic & poly. This technology is referenced in the new USP <1207> Chapter guidance as a deterministic test method for seal quality testing. It is also an ASTM Test Method and FDA-recognized standard for seal quality testing.

Automated Inline Solutions

CCIT provides automated package inspection solutions across all PTI technology platforms – Vacuum Decay, Airborne Ultrasound and MicroCurrent HVLD. The Automated Systems are designed using PTI’s VeriPac, MicroCurrent HVLD and Airborne Ultrasound technologies for applications that include automated statistical process control (SPC) testing and 100% inline testing. The configurations are equipped with the capability of fully automated inspection with robotic pick and place. HVLDmc and Vacuum Decay overlap in capabilities, but more importantly encompass the full parenteral market range. The Airborne Ultrasound Technology for the 100% inline inspection of pouch seals has been an efficacious solution to verify final pouch seal quality.

Helium Leak Testing

Helium leak testing can be used for packaging tests quantitatively using helium as a tracer gas. Helium-based leak testing systems allow comparison between multiple packaging materials and forms production line settings and stability storage conditions, supporting the entire lifecycle. This method is also effective for various package types including cold form blister cards, foil pouches, parenteral vials, syringes, pre-filled syringes and unique medical devices.

The package systems of complex drug and biologic required to be stored at below -20°C, and needs storage and distribution environment that include dry ice (~-78.5°C), or even liquid nitrogen (~-200°C) can be quantitively and accurately tested using helium leak detection technology. This one technology has many applications for container closure integrity testing of pharmaceutical and medical device products.

Readmore...
package integrity testing, vacuum decay technology, cci. airborne ultrasound technology, helium leak testing
126
03
Jun 2021

Vacuum Decay Technology-A Novel Solution for Nutritional Packaging Inspection

Vacuum Decay Technology-A Novel Solution for Nutritional Packaging Inspection

In today's world, with the popularity of health products continuing to rise, manufacturers must ensure products are packed properly. Because of this reason, the universal health-wise regulation has set a fixed standard for nutritional products packaging process. This is for the elimination of defects happening due to innate chemical reactions within the nutritional products. Such defects can expose products to oxygen, moisture or bacteria- compromising its quality and reducing shelf life.

Nutritional products including dairy products and protein powders are mostly shelf stable in nature. The high fat content in dairy products including cream, butter and ghee is prone to deterioration in its storage process, causing auto-oxidative reactions. The defects in the dairy products can be eliminated through proper nutritional packaging inspection only. Similarly, protein-based powders including soy and casein are extensively used as energy sources. Inefficiencies in packaging of such products can have an adverse effect on consumer’s health. Therefore, conducting package integrity testing of nutritional products are vital to eliminate defects in packaging as well as possibility of product contamination.

Vacuum Decay Technology – The Ideal Nutritional Packaging Inspection Solution

Vacuum Decay technology is a deterministic Container Closure Integrity test method for evaluating quality of nutritional product packaging. The non-destructive testing method improves quality of packaging and reduces wastage compared to destructive test methods. Cost-effective non-destructive testing results in higher return on investments and ensures quality of products.

Vacuum Decay technology operates by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, with an external vacuum source. A single or dual vacuum transducer technology monitors the test chamber over a predetermined test period. The changes occurring in vacuum levels are analyzed to identify leaks and defects within the package. CCIT’s VeriPac series helps in detecting small leaks before it becomes critical in quality abbreviations.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology

  • Non-destructive package inspection technology
  • ASTM Test Method F2338, FDA Consensus Standard and referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines
  • Accurate, reliable and repeatable test results.
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data.
  • Completely tool-less with no changeover to test different packaging formats.
  • Eliminates the need for destructive, subjective testing methods.
Readmore...
container closure integrity testing methods, vacuum decay technology, package integrity testing, ccit
107

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