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MAPAX® modified atmosphere packaging
Food manufacturers are continuously on the lookout for ways to prolong shelf lives. And this without changing the physical or chemical properties of their products or adding unnatural ingredients.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging is the ideal method to achieve this. It is a natural method and still growing in popularity across the globe. In many cases, it is also a suitable addition to other methods of preservation.
Linde has developed a range of product-specific MAP packaging solutions under the brand name of MAPAX®. This is a customised MAP programme on the basis of the required knowledge and information on foodstuffs and packaging (gases).
Advantages of Modified Atmosphere Packaging
- Increased sales, as you will be better positioned to meet the growing demand for fresh and naturally preserved products.
- Longer shelf life thanks to MAP packaging without chemical additives or freezing
- Shelf life in the distribution chain is increased by days or even weeks
- Flavour, texture and appearance of foodstuffs remain intact for longer
- Increased return in production and distribution thanks to lower costs.
MAP technology in detail
MAPAX gas mixtures normally consist of ordinary atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2). These gases are used either on their own or in mixtures of specific concentrations, depending on your product.
Carbon dioxide, for example, is most effective to slow down the growth of micro-organisms (such as mould and many common aerobic bacteria). This is because CO2 is absorbed in liquid and fatty ingredients. This reduces the pH value. It also penetrates biological membranes of bacteria, causing the permeability and functionality thereof to change. Nitrogen, as a chemically inert gas, is mainly used to replace oxygen in packaging, thereby preventing oxidation. Due to the poor solubility in water, nitrogen is also used in MAP packaging of liquids, to strengthen the sturdiness of the packaging.
In moist foodstuffs, the oxygen content must be kept as low as possible, though meat forms an exception. In that case, oxygen helps to keep myoglobin in its oxidised form. This ensures the meat keeps its red appearance. Oxygen is also important in the MAP packaging of fruit and vegetables, as they need to be able to ‘breathe’.