What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging with Examples?

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June 7, 2023


Field Packaging

What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging with Examples?

Those looking for ways to package perishable foods – you have been packing food for decades or if you are a new food packaging brand. Either way, you need a way to improve a product’s shelf life, prevent discoloring, preserve the flavor as well as freshness, and ensure that it bears an aesthetically pleasing appeal. Most shoppers wish for fresh produce and goods with minimal processing but extended shelf life. Wonder why? Busy customers don’t have to shop every day or visit the grocery store frequently. Additionally, food and beverage product producers are required to supply their products to a growing globalized market – that calls for longer shelf stability and crisp taste while making sure of amazing texture as well as taste. This is probably the major reason why you have begun researching MAP, modified atmosphere packing. Those planning to improve their current product packaging procedure, this post will help you understand this better.

Field Packaging Solutions has been working with the best packaging companies for ages now. During that era, our team improved our packaging solutions. We have learned everything we could about modified atmosphere packing; in this post, we will explain what it is, its benefits and snags, and help you understand how it is right for your products.

What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

MAP, Modified Atmosphere Packaging is a trusted practice of manipulating the atmosphere within the packaging that contains perishable foods such as fish, cheese, beef, pork, and chicken. The objective of this is to extend the shelf life of the product contained within. Modified Atmosphere Packaging extends the product’s shelf life and preserves freshness – as mentioned earlier; it includes fish, cheese, meat, fresh produce, and other perishable food. These are commonly packaged with oxygen that is removed with MAP.

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect Foods?

Oxygen produces a lipid oxidation reaction – causing high respiration rates in fruit and vegetables. Improved respiration rates are to blame for the short shelf life of many products. The presence of oxygen encourages the growth of aerobic spoilage – the potential formation of unwanted microorganisms may occur. When you reduce the amount of oxygen and replace it with other gases, you can reduce the unwanted reaction. To change the packaging atmosphere, the oxygen content within should be removed. The MAP procedure reduces the volume of oxygen within the packaging containing the good – preventing the formation of water vapor. The oxygen within can be replaced with other gases.

Advantages of Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Modified Atmosphere Packaging works great for natural as well as non-processed food to be packaged to extend the product’s shelf life. This increases the quality of the product’s texture, image, and nutritional appeal. The contained atmosphere offers the product a great space to be with extended availability. As MAP doesn’t need chemicals to preserve the freshness of the product, it offers amazing appeal. The procedure and marketing of foods can be improved due to modified atmosphere packaging – MAP offers the customer fresh and tasty food. These come with qualities to exceed the customer’s expectations. MAP technology is a win-win situation when it comes to quality consistency, brand awareness, and freshness of the products.

–          Extended product life

–          Aesthetic appeal

–          No chemical preservation

–          Keeps content fresh longer

–          Long-lasting flavor preservation qualities

–          Sustain nutrition

Benefits of MAP for retailers:

– Extending a product’s shelf life of various items is appealing to customers. Modified Atmosphere Packaging offers the processing of natural as well as non-processed foods a better place in the supply chain.

– Fresh food means less packaging rotation – which means less waste. This also reduces excessive human labor.

– Distribution territories expand, and various improved products are available to customers. Manufacturers are allowed to take advantage of extended shelf life – this means a reduction in production demands.

Disadvantages of Modified Atmosphere Packaging

If we were to discuss the snags of Modified Atmosphere Packaging – one of the primary problems is the expense. There are inexpensive ways to package foods – when health, as well as freshness, is not a significant issue; they help save money. The American market and demand for heavily processed foods are continually growly – many customers ask for foods loaded with fat, sugar, or salt. Retailers can cut costs by providing processed alternatives. The cutting-edge MAP technologies are evolving incessantly – healthier and fresher food goods made possible by Modified Atmosphere Packaging. A growing segment of the American customer base is moving to healthier MAP goods. Time can tell you a different story about the battle between nutritional options and processed foods.

Snags of MAP:

–          Bit expensive

–          Less customer base

–          Complicated packaging

–          A higher level of quality assurance

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect Foods?

As many say, “safety first” – MAP is not to be considered a fail-safe when it comes to food safety. While MAP allows for longer shelf life and prevents spoilage – there is guaranteed. Some foods packaged with Modified Atmosphere Packaging result in some risks since they allow for the formation of pathogenic organisms. There is a host of myriad contamination concerns with pathogens, including L. Monocytogenes, Y. enterocolitis, and A. hydrophila – packaged produce is significantly at risk. However, while these risks do exist, some cases are few and far between. Fortunately, they have been uncommon since the inception of MAP. Largely, MAP technologies protect your fresh produce by simply reducing its contact or exposure to oxygen, which leads to oxidation and causes spoilage, off-taste, and discoloration. As mentioned earlier, by decreasing or controlling the amount of oxygen present in the packaging, the food product remains fresher longer – extending its shelf life and ensuring it remains attractive to the customer.

MAP became especially important during the coronavirus outbreak in the year 2020. Customers were instructed not to leave their safe premises, so many began stocking up on food items and essential goods with longer shelf lives. Food producers and manufacturers saw enormous increases in demand for packaged food items that used MAP technologies.

Here are some Modified Atmosphere Packaging Examples

Coffee Roasters: After coffee beans are roasted, they release CO2 – without MAP, roasters must allow the beans to cool in the open air before packaging due to carbon dioxide build-up, causing the package to burst. However, many coffee roasters or producers use Modified Atmosphere Packaging – as one-way-valves that allow for the release of CO2 from the coffee bag without letting any hazardous gas or contaminant in.

Producers of Fresh Produce: Fresh-cut vegetables and fruits often rely on different types of MAP, including nitrogen gas flush and the use of specific barrier packaging. Fresh produce is sensitive to environmental conditions and oxidation, and thus one must use more than one technique to preserve its freshness and perishing. Barrier packaging films double down on preservation efforts by protecting the food from excess moisture, ambient gases, and contaminants while maintaining the proper atmosphere within the bag.

About Field Packaging

Now that you know everything about Modified Atmosphere Packaging, and if you still have queries, connect with our professionals. Contact us to learn more about the other items necessary to modify atmosphere packaging.