Microbiological Testing of Packaging
Product packaging is done to protect the product against external factors such as humidity, temperature, oxygen, and light. Throughout the production, the product comes in contact with various microorganisms which may be harmless or harmful.
Under certain external conditions, plastic can provide a surface for microorganisms to form colonies. Their presence can degrade the packaging material resulting in exposure of the packed consumable to the environment. Some common microorganisms found on packaging materials are bacteria, yeast, escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and enterobacteriaceae.
Microbial testing is one of the mandatory requirements to confirm the packaging material’s quality, which directly impacts the consumables. These tests ensure safety and hygienic levels and, in turn, maintain the quality of the consumables. Tests such as ISO 846, ASTM G-21, etc., are performed to avoid package contamination. For instance, the milk packaging material is checked for coliforms with a set limit of Nil per cm2.
Video 01: ASTM F1608 Package testing