Modified atmosphere packaging and the technology to test it

Even small variations of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide or water vapour inside a sealed package can have a large impact on product spoilage as well as product attractiveness. For this reason, modified atmosphere packaging testing is necessary to validate the mixture of gases inside sealed containers of food and drinks, pharmaceuticals or any consumable products.

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a food packaging technology that has revolutionised the way we store and transport perishable food products.

Many different food groups can benefit from MAP. For example, MAP is used to package meats, fruits, vegetables, as well as other consumable goods like pharmaceuticals. Cheese, fresh pasta, ready meals and seafood can also benefit from MAP.

Benefits of MAP storage

  • Removing oxygen from packaging
    Reduced oxygen levels in a package help to slow down the rate of oxidation, as oxygen is the main catalyst of the oxidation process. The gas mixture used in MAP is carefully selected and controlled to ensure that it provides the optimal environment for the specific food product.
    The atmosphere inside the package must be carefully balanced. Using nitrogen to displace oxygen will also remove the moisture. Gases will always seek equilibrium, and some of the displaced moisture is still needed inside the package to maintain texture and the red colour that you see in some meats. CO2 can then be used to support moisture and lower pH to optimise the packaging environment.