These are two state-of-the-art equipment from the prestigious Mocon brand: an Oxtran 2 / 22H for the measurement of oxygen permeability and a Permatran W 3 / 34G for the measurement of water vapor permeability.
The acquisition of these equipment has been key to promoting a line of research in the development and characterization of new more sustainable packaging materials carried out by Jaime González Buesa, responsible for the infrastructure and researcher belonging to the Hortofruticulture Unit of the CITA.
With these equipment, reliable and precise measurements of permeability to oxygen and water vapor can be achieved in a wide range of environmental conditions, covering a wide range of measurement in films and packaging, from low barriers to medium and high barriers. In short, the permeability to the two main compounds of interest can be measured in a more than sufficient range for most applications.
Gas permeability is a very important characteristic of materials, since it indicates the amount of molecules that, of a given gas, passes through them, and helps us to see to what extent a material is suitable for certain applications. For example, some containers must be highly waterproof and have hermetic closures to guarantee a long shelf life of the products they contain (ready meals, meat and fish, nuts and snacks), while others require materials with a certain permeability to guarantee sufficient oxygen input and avoid the appearance of strange aromas and flavors (for example, fresh or minimally processed fruits and vegetables). But not only permeability is important in the packaging of agri-food products, since there are many other sectors and applications in which the measurement of permeability is important, such as solar panels, agricultural mulches, plastic pipes, OLED screens, tanks. fuel, or battery coatings.
The creation of a permeability measurement service in films and containers at the CITA will allow access to the equipment to other researchers, centers and companies.
This infrastructure has been articulated through the 2018 call for the State Program for the Generation of Knowledge and Scientific and Technological Strengthening of the R + D + i System, State Subprogram for Research Infrastructures and Scientific-Technical Equipment, within the framework of the Plan State of Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020, being 50% co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and has had a cost of more than € 150,000.