What Is Modified Atmosphere Packaging and How Does it Work?

November 13, 2018

Modified Atmosphere Packaging, Generon

Step into any grocery store, and you see clear examples of how Modified Atmosphere Packaging is a part of our daily life. It is what helps businesses in the food and gas industries to keep costs down while ensuring quality, freshness, and long shelf life of products. The modified atmosphere packaging process is vital for consumable products.

Here is a rundown of what you should know about modified atmosphere packaging.

What Is Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Modified atmosphere packaging, also known as MAP, is what helps anyone in the food and gas industry ensure product quality, freshness, and long shelf life. With the right technology, you protect the atmosphere inside your packaging, and this increasing product quality—essential for everyone in this business.

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Work?

It is through a controlled MAP environment that food packaging can maintain freshness of product without the need of preservatives. This is achieved by both active or passive MAP.

Is There a Difference Between Controlled Atmosphere and Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Controlled atmosphere packaging is a method where oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen are controlled and regulated. The temperature and humidity of the storage room must be regulated as well. The composition of a package’s internal atmosphere is altered, and oxidation is reduced. By blending pure oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen, the packaged contents are now in controlled atmosphere storage.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging is more versatile. It is sometimes called gas flushing, or reduced oxygen packaging. Much of the natural air is removed or vacuumed out. Appropriate packaging material such as plastic film or foil is used for the product. You may be familiar with food products that have been packaged this way.

Packaging films must match the characteristics of the sealed product. Things to consider are film permeability, water vapor transmission rates and sealing characteristics. These are all measured and tested at various stages of the MAP process.

Advantages of Modified Atmospheric Packaging

how does modified atmosphere packaging work?

Here are just a few advantages of MAP packaging:

  • Longer shelf life
  • Better control of the product
  • Sellers can ensure product quality
  • More product availability
  • Costs are reduced
  • Longer freshness cycles
  • Reduced labor
  • Waste elimination
  • Better manufacturing capacity

Modified Atmosphere Packaging Disadvantages

While MAP packaging can extend the product life, it does not eliminate all bacteria. Therefore, other preservation methods must still be used. Bacteria continue to grow, especially in warmer temperatures. So, refrigeration of products, even after they have been packed with MAP procedures, is recommended.

Once a package is opened, the contents will then have a normal shelf life. This is something to consider when selling, buying or storing MAP packaged products.

Every day, technology makes it possible for us to do better in the industry. By utilizing all the modern processes at your disposal, your business will continue to thrive and stay on top of the competition.

Contact GENERON for In-House Nitrogen Production

To maintain your nitrogen flush packaging systems, you will need a steady supply of nitrogen gas. Nitrogen vessel delivery can become costly, so consider using an on-site nitrogen gas system from GENERON.

We carry both PSA nitrogen generators and membrane nitrogen generators to meet purity specifications for your nitrogen gas in food packaging.

Contact GENERON today for more information about our nitrogen generation products.


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