What Are the Types of Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

What Are the Types of Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Fresh items, with an extended shelf-life? Count us in. Modified atmosphere packaging is one of the main contributors to keeping foods fresher, longer. According to the FDA, modified atmosphere packaging involves actively or passively controlling the atmosphere surrounding the product within a package made up of various types of films. As consumers, we don’t always have extra time to go to the grocery store daily. So, that’s where modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), comes into play. 

Types of modified atmosphere packaging

The Food and Drug Administration classifies MAP into two different sections. 

  1. Active Modified Atmosphere Packaging: Displaces gases in the package while replacing them with a desired mixture of gases. 
  2. Passive Modified Atmosphere Packaging: Uses a selective film type when packaging the products. 

Within the two main packaging types, there are quite a few different technologies that can be utilized. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • Gas flushing
    • This is a popular method of MAP due to it decreasing the amount of oxygen within the package, further preventing spoilage of the products. 
    • Gas flushing is commonly used in the food and beverage industry. 
  • Barrier packaging films
    • A film that can increase protection by providing a decreased permeability to moisture and oxygen. 
  • On package valves 
    • These one-way valves are added to the outside of the packaging and allow certain gases to be released from the package without letting any others get in. 
    • This is most commonly used when packaging coffee. 
  • Scavenger packs
    • Small sachet packets that contain a mixture of iron powder and ascorbic acid. The ingredients act as activators, by absorbing moisture and oxygen. 
    • Scavenger packs are commonly found in pill bottles. 

Benefits of Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Consumers favor modified atmosphere packaging for various reasons, including but not limited to: 

  • Extends average shelf life
  • Stays fresh longer
  • No chemical or artificial preservatives
  • Flavor preservation
  • Visual appeal

At nexAir, we are more than just a gas supplier – we strive to educate our customers and employees with expert industry KnowHow, so they can continue to Forge Forward in all they do. As the modified atmosphere packaging industry continues to grow and has an increasing interest, we are here to be a constant source of information. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns that you may have. One of our team members would love to sit down and chat. Again, we thank you for choosing nexAir!


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