• Overview +

    Will your faded packaging sell your product? Is your product safe inside transparent packaging? Find out with packaging testing solutions from Atlas.

    The right packaging sells products. However, printing inks can fade or shift color, paper and plastics can yellow or become brittle, and transparent packaging can photodegrade the contents of foods, beverages, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) such as health, beauty and personal care products.

    Millennials are driving product development and packaging decisions in two competing directions. First, they increasing demand replacing artificial colors and flavors with “natural” ones; often, these have poorer stability to light exposure than their synthetic counterparts. Secondly, today’s consumer wants the package contents to be visible; they want to see the contents before making a purchase decision. Unfortunately, this combination often leads to unacceptable changes in the appearance, taste, smell or nutritional value of the contents.

    Some examples of packaging/product issues:
    • A boxed macaroni & cheese product carton changed hue to a sickly green due to fading of an ink pigment
    • A mint flavored mouthwash sold in a clear plastic bottle faded on the store shelf
    • One premium dairy manufacturer had to change to brown glass bottles due to off-flavors from store light
    • A cheese snack manufacturer experienced off-flavors in transparent plastic barrels from light exposure
    • A window retort squeeze pouch of children’s fruit snack caused color, flavor and nutritional changes to the contents
    • A premium liquor manufacturer suffered flavor changes due to the product due to changing to transparent packaging
    • An alcoholic beverage manufacturer had off-flavors in cocktail beverages sold in plastic bottles
    • A snack cracker manufacturer had issues with cheese, nuts and seeds flavor profile when switching to transparent vending machine packaging
    • A citrus based refrigerated drink color faded within one day of white LED lit refrigerator case display
    • A soft drink manufacturer had off flavors when switching from cardboard full cartons to clear plastic shrink wrap to minimize packaging waste

    Ligtfastness and photostability testing of packaging materials as well as packaged contents leads to better packaging decisions and avoids the potential risks associated with unacceptable shelf stability or consumer appeal.

  • Atlas Solutions +

    Atlas provides instrument solutions to test printing, converted packaging materials, and product-in-packaging, from small test specimens up to 2 liter bottles. The light can be tailored to test to direct full spectrum solar radiation, window-glass filtered daylight, automotive interior light, or artificial store lighting depending on your needs. While all Atlas xenon instruments can be used, we have developed special Food & Drink (FD) application-specific models especially tailored to packaging and content testing.


    Outdoor exposures at our test sites such as our Miami or Phoenix area facilities are also common for products that will see outdoor exposures. One major beverage manufacturer has us pour a glass of cola beverage and expose for 30 minutes at noon, then seal and return to them for flavor and color analysis. Our commercial laboratories in the US and Germany can provide contract testing as well.

    Atlas’ consulting group can help advise how best to test as well as provide guidance on test parameters such as equivalence to supermarket retail exposure.

    While all Atlas xenon instruments can be used for lightfastness and photo stability testing, our SUNTEST XLS+, SUNTEST XXL+ FD and Xenotest Beta FD models are the most widely used for packaging and content testing. Small flat goods such as printed packaging and retort pouches can also be tested in the benchtop SUNTEST CPS+ and XLS+ instruments.

    FD models are equipped with chillers to provide lower test temperatures than routine testing, often needed to prevent thermal degradation of labile samples (optional on the SUNTEST XLS+ and CPS+)

  • Testing Standards +

    • ASTM D3424 Standard Practice for Evaluating the Relative Lightfastness and Weatherability of
    • Printed Matter
    • ASTM D5071 Standard Practice for Exposure of Photodegradable Plastics in a Xenon Arc Apparatus
    • ASTM G155 Standard Practice for Operating Xenon Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Non-Metallic Materials
    • ASTM G154 Standard Practice for Operating Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ISO 21898 Packaging - Flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs) for non-dangerous goods
    • ISO 4892-2 Plastics — Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources — Part 2: Xenon-arc lamps
    • ISO 4892-3 Plastics — Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources — Part 3: Fluorescent UV lamps
  • Education and Training +

  • Downloads +

  • Videos +

  • Recorded Online Seminars +

    Lightfastness and Photostability Testing of Consumer Goods – Atlas Online Seminar

    Cosmetic Products and Packaging - Light Stability Testing - Atlas Online Seminar