Important knowledge points necessary for modified atmosphere packaging

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-11-21      Origin: Site

Important knowledge points necessary for modified atmosphere packaging




Fresh-packed duck necks, bayberry with perforated packaging, and brightly colored boxed beef in supermarkets, these foods that can be kept fresh for several days in our lives have all adopted the "modified atmosphere packaging" preservation technology.

What is modified atmosphere packaging, what are its advantages, and how is it applied? Read the full text, and follow me into the world of modified atmosphere packaging that you are familiar with but unfamiliar.

Table of contents

What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging

The inevitable trend of food preservation and processing

What are the advantages of modified atmosphere packaging

Analysis of Gas Composition in Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Fresh red meat application

Application of Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

Bakery product application


What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Modified atmosphere packaging, also known as MAP, is to use packaging materials with gas barrier properties to package food. According to the actual needs of customers, a certain proportion of O2, N2, CO2 and other gases are filled into the packaging to prevent food from occurring in physical, chemical and biological aspects. A packaging method that reduces the quality or slows down the rate of quality decline, thereby prolonging the shelf life of food and increasing the added value of food. Modified atmosphere packaging can be widely used in raw and cooked meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, snack food, baked food, convenience food, dairy products and other product packaging.


The inevitable trend of food preservation and processing

According to the forecast of MarketsandMarkets, the global modified atmosphere packaging market is expected to exceed US$13.78 billion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 4.3%. The development of modified atmosphere packaging in Europe and the United States is relatively mature. In 2015, North America was the largest modified atmosphere packaging market in the world. But in recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has grown rapidly. At present, China has developed into one of the fastest growing markets in the world for modified atmosphere packaging equipment, materials and gas applications.

With the improvement of people's living standards and the acceleration of the pace of life, more and more Chinese consumers have begun to choose modified atmosphere packaged food that has a relatively long shelf life and is convenient and hygienic. Nowadays, the vast majority of fresh meat in China is stored in the counter, and the freshness period is only 1-2 days, but after using modified atmosphere packaging, it can be extended to 5-8 days. Therefore, whether it is vegetables, fruits, or meat, fish and convenience foods, the application of modified atmosphere preservation technology is an inevitable trend of current food processing and packaging. Modified atmosphere packaging has huge potential demand and broad development prospects in our country.


What are the advantages of food modified atmosphere packaging

> Inhibit the reproduction of bacteria and microorganisms, fundamentally prolong the shelf life of products

> Better maintain the original freshness, color, shape and taste of the product

> Can reduce or not use additives, food is healthier

> Expansion of product supply geographical area and time

> Hygienic, stackable, airtight without juice and odor leakage

> Improve the packaging grade and increase the added value of products

> Reduce food processor and consumer waste


Analysis of Gas Composition in Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Using modified atmosphere packaging, it is necessary to replace the air in the package with a certain proportion of O2+CO2+N2, N2+CO2, O2+CO2 or a single N2 and CO2 according to customer needs. What are the functions of these three gases?


CO2 carbon dioxide

> Can inhibit microbial growth and slow down respiration

> Easily soluble in water, soluble in fat


N2 Nitrogen

> Colorless and odorless inert gas

> Mainly used as filling gas to prevent package collapse


O2 oxygen

> Cause food spoilage, such as rancidity of oil, aging of fruits and vegetables, aging of baked goods, increase of microorganisms, etc.

> Fresh meat requires high levels of oxygen to maintain its bright red color

> Fruit and vegetable packaging requires low levels of oxygen


What are the factors affecting the effect of modified atmosphere packaging

1. Characteristics of food

Such as water activity, pH value will determine what kind of microorganisms grow on the product.

2. Food handling and processing

Food processing must be performed at low temperatures and contact with air, equipment and personnel must be minimized.

3. Type and number of microorganisms

The number of colonies in food is very important, which is related to the shelf life.

4. Hygienic standard

Follow good hygiene regulations and maintain high hygiene standards throughout the processing chain to inhibit bacterial growth.

5. Temperature

Temperature is a key factor affecting product shelf life and freshness. If refrigerated food is not processed and stored at a suitable temperature, it will easily lead to accelerated growth of microorganisms and cause food deterioration.

6. Packaging machinery

The forming, sealing and vacuuming systems of packaging equipment must be reliable and have good sealing performance. To remain hygienic, equipment must be fully washable.

7. Characteristics of packaging materials

Packaging materials need to be able to extend the shelf life of the product and ensure that the product has a good display effect.

8. The volume of gas in the package

The package is filled with an appropriate volume of gas to achieve a more beautiful display effect.

9. Mixed gas

The type of gas used and the proportion of ingredients are closely related to the shelf life and appearance of the product.


Fresh red meat application

For the packaging of fresh red meat such as pork, beef, and mutton, maintaining the bright red color of the fresh meat itself is an important factor affecting its sales. The fresh-keeping gas of this kind of modified atmosphere packaging is generally composed of O2 and CO2. The color of fresh meat is largely determined by the presence of myoglobin in the tissue. Since myoglobin itself is purple, but in a high-oxygen environment, it will turn bright red, so the oxygen content of fresh red meat in modified atmosphere packaging is generally as high as 60%-80%. At the same time, no less than 25% CO2 is filled in the package to effectively inhibit the reproduction of bacteria and other microorganisms. The myoglobin content of various red meats is different, and the redness of the meat is also different. For example, beef is darker than pork. Therefore, the concentration of oxygen in modified atmosphere packaging of different red meats also needs to be adjusted to achieve a good color retention effect and Extended shelf life. The gas composition of the modified atmosphere packaging of such products is generally 60%-80% O2, 20-40% CO2, stored at 2-3°C, and the shelf life of the product is usually 5-8 days.


Application of Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

After fruits and vegetables are picked, they will continue to breathe and carry out an active metabolism. During the respiration process, fruits and vegetables constantly consume their own water and produce ethylene and other gases that can promote ripening. If they are not properly disposed of, the original nutritional value and flavor of the product will be affected accordingly. Therefore, the modified atmosphere packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables needs to use air-permeable plastic film, or add air holes on the film to allow gas exchange and penetration inside and outside the package, so as to provide a good breathing environment for fruits and vegetables and extend the shelf life of products. This kind of packaging, also known as balanced atmosphere packaging, is generally composed of gases such as CO2, N2 and O2. The freshness period of modified atmosphere packaging is determined according to the variety and freshness of fruits and vegetables. At present, this technology has already begun to be applied in China.


Bakery product application

Modified atmosphere packaging has been used in bakery products such as bread, pastries, biscuits, etc. Since most of the microorganisms that cause these food spoilages are molds, and these molds prefer a multi-water environment and are also aerobic microorganisms, the modified atmosphere packaging of baked products is generally not filled with O2, and CO2 and N2 are used to extend the shelf life of products. CO2 The concentration can reach 100%. At the same time, the integrity of the packaging material is also very important, because a leak in the packaging can allow oxygen to enter, causing mold growth and product deterioration.

Learn more about the key points of modified atmosphere packaging, and customize your professional modified atmosphere packaging solutions


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