Notes on Modified Atmosphere Packaging

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Notes on Modified Atmosphere Packaging

With the progress of the times, the products are various and complex, and the functions of packaging are also increasing. The wave of high technology has pushed packaging to a higher level of development, and modified atmosphere packaging technology will surely occupy a place in the era of intelligent packaging. As some food, fruit and vegetable fresh-keeping products have increasingly become the mainstream of food consumption, occupying a larger and larger share in the domestic and foreign markets, the application of modified atmosphere packaging machines to food preservation can greatly extend the shelf life of food, so it has a very high great market potential.

Suppose you spent a lot of money to finally develop a revolutionary new nutritional supplement for the sports market. And you've chosen a polymer film as your packaging material, and you've started to pouch it into the product and heat seal it. You have also decided to use a modified atmosphere packaging machine to preserve freshness and extend shelf life.

On the packaging line, the bags are filled with nitrogen to replace air and oxygen. Then you ship the product out. So far so good. However, the next thing you start getting reports that the product has a shelf life problem and spoils early. You start testing these bags looking for the reason, but can't find the answer. So where is the problem?

1. First of all, you must understand your product. Vulnerable to what? Is it afraid of the effect of oxygen or water vapor? For example, food containing fat is easily oxidized, which breeds microorganisms that become stale and rotten. Pharmaceutical products are sensitive to water vapor. When you have clear answers to these questions, you can select the best materials with corresponding barrier properties.

2. Use testing equipment to test the barrier properties of polymer materials, that is, to test the oxygen transmission rate (OTR) and water vapor transmission rate (WVTR). You can choose these instruments to test in your own laboratory. You can also contact professional testing institutions or companies to help with testing.

3. Note that the environment can affect the permeability and shelf life. If you do all your testing under normal conditions and the product is sold in the tropics, you may have problems. Permeability doubles for every 10 degree increase in temperature. Relative humidity also affects permeability. So please understand your market conditions, and pay special attention to these issues if the product is sold to hot and humid areas.

4. Consider more about the choice of packaging materials, do not judge it based on experience, or copy it from competitors. For your product, the product ingredients may be different, or the packaging process may be different, or the competitors may not find suitable packaging materials themselves. In short, you must do the test yourself.

Here's an example: A manufacturer of nutritional supplement powder uses nitrogen-filled modified atmosphere packaging to remove oxygen and moisture from the packaging. The packaging material is HDPE. The product deteriorates after a relatively short period of time. After consulting professional advice to change the packaging material to PET material, the problem was solved. why? Because HDPE is a very good water vapor barrier material, but the oxygen barrier properties are very poor. The PET material is just the opposite and is a better oxygen barrier material.

5. Don't underestimate the importance of leak testing. If your modified atmosphere packaging has a shortened shelf life, it may be a leak problem. Very good leak detection instruments can be found on the market. These can be integrated into packaging lines, ensuring that each package is individually tested for leaks. Or you can measure leakiness offline by random sampling. It is better to carry out non-destructive testing so as to save packaging materials.

6. If you can't find any leakage problems, but the shelf life is still not solved. Maybe there is still a permeability problem.

7. Always consider that if the packaging material supplier does not have appropriate quality control measures, the packaging material itself may also affect the packaging problems of different batches. Therefore, one batch of materials is fine, but it does not mean that other batches are fine. Keeping detection is a very good way to avoid this problem.

8. Before consulting professionals and doing detailed market research to select high-quality packaging materials, do not blindly invest in packaging factories, resulting in a lot of economic losses due to the shelf life not meeting the requirements.

9. Remember: The key is to make sure your package contains the correct concentration of gas mixture. Remember to measure the modified atmosphere gas content and residual oxygen concentration in the package.

Most of the modified atmosphere packaging machines produced by Mingwei Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd. are suitable for: fresh meat, cooked meat products, fish, poultry, shellfish, fruits, tea, vegetables, bread and other supermarket food distribution. Modified atmosphere packaging machines have the characteristics of keeping food quality, color, shape and taste, and are popular in European and American markets.


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