MAP MAX
Linde bagan working with the technology that would become the MAPAX LD five to 10 years ago.
 


Evolution


The MAPAX LD leak detection system is Linde’s first foray into the smaller hydrogen molecule for MAP leak detection. DiMaggio believes it’s just the beginning for this technology and it will continue to improve over time. With packaging’s importance for the shelf life and food safety aspects that continue to gain ground with consumers, MAP and those in the industry who develop and offer it will continue to evolve.

“We elected, because what we thought would be a greater performance as it relates to accuracy, to utilize hydrogen and base all of our innovation and statutory intellectual property around hydrogen,” DiMaggio says. “I see this as really the foray into continued online, real-time, 100 percent analysis and I think it’s going to save the industry millions of dollars and hopefully translate to consumers as well.”

With no definitive plan for specific projects to improve upon the first version of the technology, DiMaggio says evolution of these products just happens over time in natural and organic ways. Enhancing existing products means just as much to Linde as bringing new products to market. “This is a brand-new product, and I fully expect it to evolve,” DiMaggio says.

Linde is making the new product available to food processors across the industry. Interested parties don’t need to be Linde MAPAX gas customers to install the system. The company believes the value of the leak detection system should be available to anyone in the industry and wants it to benefit consumers as well.

“We believe that with a technology such as this, the value creation is not solely for the processor, but it’s for the consumer, too,” DiMaggio says. “We are a Responsible Care company, and if we can help create safer food for the consumer, we should be doing that. The industry as a whole has been very collaborative since the mid-90s on food safety, and we take part in this effort as well.”

Bell acknowledges the growth of and evolution of the trace gas testing method and notes the advantages and disadvantages of new technology. “Both helium and hydrogen have been explored as other trace gases due to their low density,” he says. “Smaller leaks would be detected quicker, but addition and detection of these gases is much more expensive.

“Alternative technologies to water vacuum testing and trace gas detection may perhaps be the method in the future as many processors are looking at 100 percent testing. Due to the methods used today, 100 percent testing is not possible due to either the techniques used or the speed of tests.”