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 "Food Packaging for the Future; Modified Atmospheric..." 
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Post "Food Packaging for the Future; Modified Atmospheric..."
Food Packaging for the Future; Modified Atmospheric Packaging
by: Dave Marinac

Packaging Industries in globalizing economies have been conforming to the dynamic demands of quality standards in the packaging for human consumables. This article will introduce the MAP usage for these products.

As economies globalize all over the world, the quality standards associated with consumer products, especially with respect to safety and health, are rapidly conforming to international cutting-edge standards. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the packaging industry, especially in packaging for eatable consumer products (or food packaging).

The types of food packaging with respect to chemical and material composition and characteristics, appearance and sizes of packaged containers vary with the requirements not only from one type of food product to another but with respect to climate and logistic considerations as well. The following is a discussion of the food packaging trends in the modern day with respect to such requirements and the advancements that have made them possible. This article contains pieces of information gleaned from several packaging publications.

Modern atmospheric packaging (MAP)

MAP is a modern packaging technique that involves modifying the atmospheric composition within packages for food and drugs. This is normally done by manipulating the gasses and the packaging conditions, including temperature and pressure within packages to increase the enclosed products resistance to decay and the incubation of aerobic organisms (germs). This is normally accomplished in most food packages by reducing the amount of oxygen within these packages and replacing with appropriate gasses which are either inert or which help halt the development of germs and the onset of decay; the oxygen is normally extracted and replaced by the inert nitrogen or the anti bacterial CO2 (carbon dioxide gasses). This technique has lately become the standard for food packaging for the FMCG industry all over the world.

CAS (controlled atmospheric storage) has been used to provide food products for retail in foreign ports since the 1930's. The development began with the introduction of high levels of CO2 in cargo holding cells, especially in ships, and has since evolved into MAP.

MAP involves packaging food products in airtight containers within atmospherically controlled environments, with the appropriate temperature, pressure and mixture of gasses. There are two major types of MAP packaging used for respiring and non-respiring products.

Food types

MAP is generally used for food products that are raw or have received minimal processing before being packed. Examples of these food types are processed fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, bakery or dairy products and cooked or cured meats. MAP is beneficial especially in case of meat products, often improving shelf life to over a week. Non-respiring products are products which must be packaged within airtight and inert packages, and are therefore packed in high barrier material (low permeability to gas and moisture) with carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Respiring products such as fruits and vegetables require interaction with the packaging material, and therefore, require packaging material with specifically adapted permeability so that it correlates with the products respiration, increasing freshness and therefore shelf life.

About The Author
ABC Packaging Direct works with you to understand your packaging needs and develop specialty packaging solutions including food packaging, thermoformed plastic trays, stand up pouches, low melt bags, autoclave bags, plastic valve bags and VCI bags.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:20 am
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