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

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.

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