Snack Food Package Integrity Testing Case Study
Maintaining shelf life for packaged snack foods is a continuous challenge. Most snack foods are moisture and oxygen sensitive. Mold, oxidation, flavor degradation, and spoilage are all results of compromised package integrity. Bacteria can contaminate a product with leak sizes smaller than 10 microns, and moisture or O2 ingress occurs at similar leak sizes. Snack foods come in a variety of package formats, but all snack foods have one need in common, package integrity assurance for extended shelf life.
The snack food market is extremely competitive, with consumer brand recognition as a key driver to sales. Taking shortcuts in quality can cut deep into profits in the short term and in the long run. If a consumer encounters a product that exhibits spoilage, an off-taste, visible mold or oxidation, it will likely affect the decision to repurchase. Package appearance on the shelf is important since it is the first connection to the buyer, and many factors play into a consumer’s perceptions of a product.