Vacuum Decay Leaks 101: A General FAQ

Posted on: 25 October 2018

Before every product lands on those store shelves for consumers to purchase, the product is thoroughly tested and developed to ensure it is as safe as it possibly can be, will retain its quality for as long as possible, and is exactly what a consumer expects when they open the package. Vacuum decay leak (VDL) testing is one type of quality testing done on many consumer products, but most consumers have never heard of it or don't know anything about what it may be. Whether you are a curious consumer or a manufacturer of a certain product, getting to know vacuum decay leak testing is well worth your time. 

What exactly is a vacuum decay leak?

When a product is vacuum sealed and has empty space inside the sealed container, it can sometimes generate a certain level of decay of the product. By testing for leaks, the testing agent will be using a specialized machine to look for tiny, microscopic holes in a sealed container that would allow oxygen to slip in. Even though a package may look sealed to the naked eye, there can be tiny areas or inconsistencies in the package that break the seal and will eventually compromise the quality of that sealed product inside of the container. 

What are the methods used for testing for these leaks?

The primary form of testing for vacuum decay leaks involves the use of a specific machine that is designed to analyze and examine a product container for leaks. These machines can be rather small or quite large. The container will go into the testing unit, air will be removed from the chamber where the unit is housed, and then the proper analyzing will be done on the surrounding atmosphere inside the chamber. The analytical results will show on a connected or remote computer screen so the tester can see where the defect is and how big of a problem it may be. 

What types of products are tested with vacuum decay testing solutions?

There are multiple types of products tested with a vacuum decay leak testing solution. Pharmaceuticals, whether a prescription-grade or over-the-counter, that are most often labeled as sealed for safety or sealed for freshness, must be tested with this process to ensure there is no leak in the packaging. Food products are also often tested because an absolute seal on these items retains freshness and food quality for the customer.