What Are The Benefits of Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP)?

Most foods spoil quickly when they’re exposed to oxygen. The challenge of the food packaging industry is to minimize food contact with oxygen, preventing the food from deteriorating so quickly. This is the basis of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP): by reducing or eliminating food exposure to oxygen, modern packaging helps food last for as long as possible.

There are many benefits of MAP. If you’re in the food industry, it’s important to understand how MAP works and how MAP can benefit your business.

What is Modified Atmospheric Packaging?

Modified atmosphere packaging is food packaging with a controlled environment inside. By reducing the oxygen levels in the packaging, the food’s freshness and quality are preserved for a much longer period.

How does oxygen cause food to spoil? Oxygen:

  • Produces lipid oxidation reactions
  • Causes high respiration rates in fruit and vegetables
  • Promotes growth of microorganisms

Reducing oxygen in the packaging thus delays the reactions that lead to spoilage. The MAP process reduces the oxygen in packaging for exactly that purpose.

What Are The Benefits of MAP?

There are many benefits of using MAP for food items. For example:

  • Long shelf life. MAP allows food to last far longer in its packaging than would otherwise be possible.
  • Packaged products look better. By preventing the food from spoiling or changing while on the shelf, MAP also prevents food from losing its aesthetic appeal.
  • Food retains its nutrients. When food begins to degrade, it can lose its nutritional value. MAP prevents this from happening and thus helps the food stay nutritionally beneficial.
  • Food tastes better. Just as MAP helps food retain its nutritional value, MAP also prevents food from developing off flavors that can ruin the eating experience.
  • Eliminates the need for chemical additives. Chemicals can be used to ensure that food stays fresh, but with MAP, that’s not necessary.
  • Reduces food waste. Food packaged in MAP lasts so long that it’s more likely to be used before it goes bad.
  • Wider distribution range. MAP allows food to be sold in a wider geographic market because the food can tolerate longer shipping times.

Who Needs MAP?

MAP can be used for producers of different food groups. From meats to fruits and vegetables, MAP is helpful for consumable goods. If your business sells pre-packaged food, there’s a good chance that MAP is the appropriate type of packaging for your food product.

How Does MAP Work?

Modified atmosphere packaging works by using a MAP machine to seal food inside a package with a mixture of gasses that can slow down the rate of oxidation and growth of microorganisms. This stops food spoilage and ensures a longer shelf life for the food. The type of atmosphere inside the packaging can vary, but generally speaking, the gasses used in MAP include carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen.

Two Types of MAP

There are two types of MAP: passive-modified atmosphere packaging and active-modified atmosphere packaging. In active MAP, food is stored in a package that contains the specific mixture of gasses needed for safe storage. In passive MAP, the food product is sealed in a permeable package that allows the correct atmosphere within the package to develop gradually.

Fulfill Your Nitrogen Needs With A Nitrogen Generator

If your business has a consistent need for nitrogen for your modified atmosphere packaging machines, you have options. Some businesses purchase their nitrogen in containers like cylinders or dewars. Cylinder rental may seem like an economic option when you’re considering the cost of a one-time cylinder rental, but those costs can add up if you need to rent cylinders on a regular basis.

Save money and hassle with a nitrogen generator. A nitrogen generator may cost more upfront, but after this one-time purchase is made, the cost to run a nitrogen generator is far less than a cylinder rental. Over many years, your business can save hundreds or thousands on nitrogen.

To learn more about obtaining a reliable source of nitrogen for your business, call On Site Gas. We’re happy to answer your questions about nitrogen generators for your business.

Why Are My Bag Of Chips Half-Full Of Air?

Have you ever opened a bag of chips and wondered, why chip bags have so much air? Have you ever been disappointed to see a large pocket of space in your chip bag?

It may surprise you to learn that the large air pockets in your bag of chips aren’t air at all and that chips came this way for a very good reason. There’s a science behind the art of chip packaging. Everything happens for a reason. Here’s what you should know.

The “Air” In Your Bag of Chips Isn’t Air At All

Air is not suitable for food. Exposure to air is what causes food to spoil. Over an extended period, air causes microorganisms to grow. Yeast and bacteria will grow and thrive when exposed to air. These are the microorganisms that cause food to break down. In addition, exposure to air can speed up chemical reactions in food, causing the food to smell, taste bad and look bad.

Chips can stay good while in the bag as long as the bag isn’t opened. This is because the air was removed from the bag before it was sealed. The environment inside the bag is not conducive to the chemical reactions and growth of bacteria that food needs to break down.

So, What’s the Gas In The Bag of Chips?

The air in your bag of chips is a harmless gas called nitrogen. Nitrogen helps protect your food’s color, flavor, odor, and structural integrity. Before your bag of chips was closed with chips inside, the bag was filled with nitrogen. Nitrogen is a gas that’s found in the air. Nearly 80% of the earth’s atmosphere is made up of nitrogen.

Chip manufacturers refer to filling your bag of chips with air as “slack fill.” Slack fill is a necessary process that does more than prevent your chips from spoiling. Here’s what else you should know.

Nitrogen Inside the Bag Helps the Bag Stay Inflated

You’ve probably noticed that chips can be fragile and easily crushed under certain conditions. Nitrogen in your chips protects them by keeping the bag inflated around them – as long as the bag is sealed and nitrogen inside, the chips can maintain a cushion that prevents them from becoming crushed.

How Does Nitrogen Get In The Chip Bag?

Food manufacturers have machines for removing oxygen-rich air out of the bag of chips while filling the space with nitrogen. Once this is done, the bag is sealed quickly before it can refill with air.

In addition to the special machinery that can remove the oxygen from the chip bag, many chip manufacturers have a nitrogen generator on hand to create the nitrogen. While nitrogen can also be rented from storage tanks, many chip manufacturing companies have found that nitrogen generators are a cost-effective, eco-friendly way to create a lot of nitrogen on demand.

Need a Nitrogen Generator? Contact On Site Gas

Your business can benefit from a nitrogen generator if you’re making and selling chips. A good nitrogen generator can help save your company money over time, compared to the cost of renting nitrogen tanks and having them delivered.

In addition, finding a steady supply of nitrogen tanks can be tricky since supply chain issues can delay regular deliveries. The best way to keep your company producing and selling chips (cost-effectively) is to get a nitrogen generator for your plant. On Site Gas can help with this. We sell reliable nitrogen generators. Contact us today to learn more about how you can get an onsite nitrogen generator for your business.

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect The Food You Eat?

Modified atmosphere packaging is designed to prolong the shelf life of food products. Known by its acronym, MAP, this type of packaging can enhance product safety by protecting against food spoilage. MAP works by limiting the oxygen exposure of food. This type of packaging is beneficial to companies and consumers. MAP enables companies to sell quality food that stays fresh for a long time and allows them to meet the increased demand for food around the world.

What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging? How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect Foods?

MAP is a type of packaging that has been around for many years. It is a trusted and commonly used packaging method that helps keep food safe for long periods.

To understand how MAP works, you must first understand what causes foods to become aged and discolored. Exposure to oxygen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide causes food to age, with changes to texture and flavor.

MAP uses a modified atmosphere packaging machine to change the environment inside the package to prevent food spoilage. Modified atmosphere packaging machines can be used to store a variety of foods.

Fresh foods, in particular, are good candidates for MAP, including fresh vegetables, fruits, and more. Another example of the types of foods that are commonly packaged in MAP is coffee beans. Coffee beans release a great deal of carbon dioxide while in packaging, but MAP helps to regulate this, which can prevent the coffee beans package from breaking down due to the pressure of the carbon dioxide being released.

What Are the Benefits of MAP?

There are a variety of benefits of MAP, including:

  • Preserve the quality of food. MAP prevents food from changing in color and texture, thus preserving the quality of the food for long after it would otherwise have gone bad.
  • Prevent oxidation. Oxidation produces bad flavors, colors, and odors in food. MAP prevents oxidation from occurring.
  • Extend food shelf life. Because MAP prevents oxidation and bad flavors, it extends the shelf life of food.
  • Eliminate or minimize the need for food preservatives. MAP preserves food which reduces manufacturer dependence on food preservatives.

MAP Creates a Barrier Film

A barrier film is a plastic film that seals the package and preserves an environment inside the package to promote food freshness and prevent food spoilage.

Removal of Oxygen

MAP increases the level of nitrogen in a package, thus reducing the oxygen at the same time. This prevents oxidation and prevents the food from spoiling in the package.

Cost Effective

MAP is a cost-effective type of food packaging. For companies that have an on-site nitrogen gas generator, this type of packaging is affordable because there is no need to rent tanks of nitrogen gas.

Reduces the Need for Food Preservatives

Food that is preserved inside MAP has little need for preservatives to keep the food fresh. This makes MAP a popular packaging product for companies that cater to consumers who want to eat organic or natural foods, with as few preservatives as possible.

Need a Nitrogen Gas Generator? Get Started Today

Nitrogen tanks can be expensive and create some challenges for your business. In addition to posing an ongoing cost, nitrogen tanks can be logistically difficult to deal with and create administrative headaches over time.

If your company uses MAP food storage techniques to package your food, you need a steady supply of nitrogen. On Site Gas can help. We sell a variety of nitrogen gas generators, including custom solutions for clients. To learn more about how our nitrogen gas generators can help your business, contact us today for a free quote.

What Is Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Regardless of your refrigeration or packaging system, food is always subject to spoiling. The most common examples of food spoilage include milk curdling and fermenting, fruit browning or rotting, and nasty mold spore growth on bread.

To combat this, the food packaging industry uses a processing system known as modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) to package food. This packaging process aims to inhibit unwanted changes brought about by the spoiling process and extend the shelf life of packaged foods. Consumer demand for healthy food options is ever increasing, as is the need for packaging choices to supply desirable and fresh food alternatives. With this demand comes the need to provide a consistent quality control method that can result in less food spoilage.

By expanding the use of modified atmosphere packaging systems to a variety of food products this can inhibit spoilage and allocate fresh food alternatives into a broader scope of markets. The modified atmosphere packaging process achieves this goal without depending on using food stabilizers or chemical additives.

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect Foods?

The food processing system for modified atmosphere packaging is also referred to as gas flushing, protective atmosphere packaging, or reduced oxygen packaging. This process involves exchanging the atmosphere within food packaging with natural gases in precise proportions. This method is proven to inhibit the oxidation process and prevent any microbes from flourishing on the food product.

By flushing or changing the gaseous atmosphere that exists within a packaged good, it permits a much longer shelf-life by preserving the food.

Nitrogen is the perfect solution to displacing the oxygen levels that lead to the spoilage of various foods. The use of nitrogen in gas flushing creates the desired controlled proportions that inhibit the oxidation process and successfully modify the atmosphere in which the food is packaged to significantly extend the shelf life of the food product.

Partner with On Site Gas Systems

When it comes to dependable nitrogen generators, On Site Gas Systems is the leader in customizing a system suited for your operations. On Site Gas supplies manufacturers around the globe with top-notch nitrogen generators made in their own ISO-certified factory. We are reputed for our best-in-class nitrogen generation systems that are both reliable and cost-effective.

From PSA nitrogen generators and membrane nitrogen gas generators to custom nitrogen engineered systems, On Site Gas covers a breadth of manufacturing needs for modified atmosphere packaging for the food industry. Contact our team to learn more about our nitrogen generator systems.

Common Questions to Consider When Purchasing a Nitrogen Generator for Your Food Packaging Operation

If you operate a food packaging business, nitrogen likely plays a pivotal role in the preservation of the products you create. A nitrogen generator could improve your overhead costs by providing an on-demand supply of high-purity gas. Whether you need nitrogen to preserve or package food products, On Site Gas Systems offers a variety of top-of-the-line systems to suit your business’ needs.
To help you determine which system best suits your unique specifications, we’re breaking down three common questions to consider when purchasing a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems.

Question 1: Do Your Generators Produce Nitrogen That Meets the Specification for Food-Grade Nitrogen?

Nitrogen is one of the most in-demand industrial substances for the food production sector. From the moment food is harvested, spoilage begins. Therefore, it’s essential to preserve not only raw materials like crops and meat products but also finished products that use those fresh ingredients.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places strict regulations on food product manufacturing, including the equipment used in food processing. On Site Gas Systems provides turnkey nitrogen generation systems that produce  up to 99.9995 percent pure nitrogen, and meets current good manufacturing practices to qualify as food-grade.

Question 2: Are Your Generators Built with Materials That Meet the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 – Food and Drugs?

The FDA Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Volume 3, Section 184.1540 covers nitrogen for use in food product manufacturing. This section of Title 21 explains that nitrogen is safe and acceptable for use in food manufacturing as long as the production and storage of the gas meet current good manufacturing practices. To comply with these standards, On Site Gas Systems provides nitrogen generators built from reliable, rigorously tested materials. We are also dedicated to maintaining a research and development practice that ensures our products remain up to date with federal regulations at all times.
An on-site nitrogen generator can provide a lasting solution for manufacturers who require reliable, food-grade nitrogen without the need for repeat cylinder or liquid deliveries. Ultimately, a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems is a cleaner, more efficient, and more cost-effective solution for nitrogen use in food packaging operations.

Question 3: Do Your Generators Meet the European Industrial Gas Association’s Containment Specifications Pertaining to Gas Approved for Use as a Food Additive E941?

When gasses like nitrogen, come in contact with food it is considered a  food additive in the food packaging process, and must meet all applicable regulations pertaining to food-grade additives. The European Industrial Gas Association sets firm guidelines for every type of gas used as a food additive, including food additive E941 (nitrogen). Specifically, the association has set maximum contaminant levels acceptable for a gas to be considered food grade. This high purity threshold ensures that any gas used as a food product additive will not leave a residue behind that may interfere with consumer use or health.  The nitrogen produced from an On Site gas System’s Nitrogen Generator has been independently tested by an accredited scientific analysis laboratory to confirm it complies with containment levels well below EIGA’s specified maximum containments.
On Site Gas Systems provides a variety of nitrogen generators capable of producing up to 99.9995 percent purity levels on demand. If your manufacturing operation must meet European Industrial Gas Association standards and uses nitrogen as food additive E941, you can rest assured that our generators will help you maintain purity levels that meet these strict regulations.

Enhance Your Food Packaging Operation with a Nitrogen Generator from On Site Gas Systems

Your food packaging business can depend on On Site Gas Systems nitrogen generators to provide a steady supply of high-purity nitrogen whenever you need it. Contact us today for more information about our nitrogen generators and how they can be used to enhance food packaging operations.

Why Are Potato Chip Bags Filled with Air? Using Nitrogen in Potato Chip Bags

You know you’ve been there: You open a potato chip bag only to hear a loud pop and air release, and then you look down and the chips take up a mere fraction of the bag. This has probably left you with all kinds of questions, such as, “What air is in a potato chip bag?” “Why do bags of chips have air in them?” and “How much air is in a potato chip bag?” Now is the day you get answers.

What Air Is in a Potato Chip Bag?

Before we get into why bags of chips are filled with air, let’s talk about what is actually being used. The secret ingredient that you refer to as air is actually nitrogen gas made with nitrogen generators. Regular air contains all kinds of particles, including oxygen and water vapor, both of which will cause the chips to rapidly decay. So food manufacturers displace the oxygen and water vapor with nitrogen to make the food more shelf stable. This process is often referred to as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and helps foods to maintain their quality.

Why Do Bags of Chips Have Air in Them?

We have briefly answered the question, “Why are potato chip bags filled with air?” but now it’s time to break it down into more detail. These are the main reasons why bags of chips have nitrogen in them:

  • It gives the chips a longer shelf life. Bacteria need oxygen to thrive, and if all of the oxygen is removed, it can’t grow. This means there is no chance of mold, mildew, or other substances showing up on the chips.
  • It keeps away moisture. In addition to oxygen, moisture is an enemy of potato chips. By filling every last ounce of space with nitrogen, water vapor will not be able to enter the bag, and the chips will stay nice and crispy until you are ready to eat them.
  • It keeps the chips whole. Finally, bags of chips have nitrogen in them to act as a barrier as the chips are being transported from the manufacturing facility to the store and from the store to your home. The nitrogen acts like a pillow, buffering out any impact so it keeps the chips intact.

How Much Air Is in A Potato Chip Bag?

The answer to this question can vary quite a bit. However, products are supposed to list the actual net weight of their product on the packaging, so you will know exactly how much you are getting. So instead of looking at the size of the bag, pay attention to the net weight of the chips inside.
Even though it may seem like the nitrogen in a potato chip bag is only there to deceive you, it actually serves a very important purpose: to protect the chips from being crushed or going bad. It is especially effective because it does not impact the taste or texture at all.
If you manufacturer potato chips and you want to make sure you always have enough nitrogen to keep things moving, contact us today. With our on site nitrogen generators, you will never run out of the nitrogen gas you need to keep your chips in tip-top shape.

Nitrogen Gas On Site in the Food Packaging Industry


Food Industry Nitrogen GeneratorsWith so much time spent on getting your product perfect, it only makes sense that you would want your food packaging to preserve its quality and freshness – all while keeping manufacturing costs low. Food is often damaged during shipment or has a shorter-than-necessary shelf life with traditional packaging. An easy solution to these common food packaging problems is a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems.
Whether you use bags, cans, boxes, bottles, cardboard, or plastic, On Site Gas Systems offers a cost-effective nitrogen gas solution that gives you peace of mind knowing your product is fresh and intact on store shelves. Many companies are choosing to replace their current liquid nitrogen supply with On Site Gas Systems nitrogen generators to avoid ongoing energy and transportation costs associated with delivery of liquid nitrogen or cylinders. Beyond this, it’s important to understand these three reasons why On Site Gas nitrogen generators are a staple in the food industry:

Lengthens Shelf Life

Bacteria need oxygen to survive—it’s a matter of science. Without oxygen in your food packaging, you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew forming on your product. Our onsite nitrogen generator provides a simple, effective, affordable way to displace the oxygen out of your food packaging and replace it with nitrogen gas. As a result, your product can last a lot longer, so there is less waste.

Preserves Quality

Not only does nitrogen gas prevent mold and mildew growth, it also preserves the quality of your product. With nitrogen gas filling up the extra space in your food packaging, there is no room for moisture to get in—and as you know, moisture can deteriorate the quality of your food faster than just about anything. With a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems, you can realistically save thousands of dollars per year because you won’t have to discard as much product.

Prevents Damage

Nitrogen gas for food packaging can prevent damage. If you place a fragile food product—like chips or crackers—in packaging that can be crushed during shipment, there is a high probability your product will arrive in pieces. On the contrary, with our nitrogen generator, you can easily fill the remaining space in your food packaging with nitrogen gas. In doing so, you will ensure that your product arrives to your customer as you intended.
For the past 28 years, On Site Gas Systems has been supplying reliable, USA-made nitrogen gas generators to food manufacturers across the world. From your morning coffee to an afternoon bag of chips (and even your glass of wine in the evening!), On Site Gas Systems help food packagers keep their product fresh and intact, while saving them time and money.
Contact us today to learn more.