As a consumer, we want our pre-packaged food to last as long as humanly possible – no one wants food to spoil a few days after we buy it, right? As a producer, we want to ensure an extended shelf life of our products, save money, gain profit and hold a good reputation among our customers. No matter what part of the process you are on, freshness and quality are at the top of the list. Now how do we achieve that? Normal packaging may save a few dollars and time, but it doesn’t always cut it. That’s where modified atmosphere and active packaging come into play.
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a technique where the atmosphere within a package is either completely removed or the atmosphere is altered, or controlled with some kind of added substance. This is done to lower the oxygen contents since that is what spoils our food at a quicker rate. MAP can be split between two types: active and passive.
Active Modified Packaging
Active modified packaging actively displaces gases in a package, replacing them with a different mixture of gases. This can be achieved by a technique called gas flushing. Gas flushing is one of the most popular active MAP techniques because it completely gets rid of the oxygen that may be causing the food to oxidize at a rapid rate. Gases such as Nitrogen are added to the bag, acting as a filler to maintain package conformity. This is what helps keeps the food fresh longer, and extend the shelf life of your packaged products without adding a ton of preservatives.
Passive Modified Packaging
Passive modified packaging includes using a selected film type when packaging a product. The gases are able to naturally diffuse through a film, creating the desired atmosphere. This process can be achieved by using barrier packaging films. Choosing specific films provide increased protection for the products, and provides decreased permeability to moisture and oxygen. Desiccant packs and on-package valves can also be added to absorb moisture and let unwanted gases escape.
Modified atmosphere packaging is the way to go when it comes to maintaining freshness in the food and beverage industry – and whether you choose an active or passive method, you’ll see great results. At nexAir, we are here to provide our customers with a constant source of high-quality gases, products, services and expert KnowHow. If you are ready to make the switch to MAP, give us a call! We’d love to walk you through the process and get you started right away. As always, that you for choosing nexAir. Together, we can continue to Forge Forward!
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