MAP is modifying the atmosphere inside the food package, so the shelf life of food is extended along with providing a barrier that prevents deterioration.
These are three main gases, involved in creating the special modified atmosphere. A gas balloon reaches an impressive height when left to fly, isn’t it? Same way MAP extends the freshness of food for a long time as compared to air packaged food.
2. Carbon dioxide
The change in concentration of the gases results in the ideal atmosphere.
A minimum level of oxygen is maintained in food packaging as it results in oxidation of food into constitutive parts and oxygen also leads to the rancidity of fats and oils.
Nitrogen is inert but acts as a cushion and prevents the package from collapsing.
Carbon dioxide is responsible for preventing spoilage due to bacteria and fungi. It also retards the growth of moulds and aerobic bacteria.
This modified atmosphere is created either by passive modification or active packaging.
Passive modification where the respiring product, is placed in a polymeric package and hermetically sealed.
The product’s respiration characteristics, packaging material permeability must be in such a way that a beneficial modified atmosphere is established successfully.
Active modification is of two types
The air is replaced by passing a stream of gas. The air gets diluted and the pack is sealed, the oxygen level in the package is about 2-5%.
Here, a vacuum is first applied to remove the air, and then the desired gas or gas mixture is introduced in the food package.
Certain additives are incorporated into the package to modify the headspace atmosphere. For e.g oxygen scavengers or carbon dioxide absorbents are used along with the moisture barrier offered by the package.
Storage temperature is very important in extending the shelflife of MAP products. Ideally, 0-5 degrees Celsius is used as storage temperature for most products.
Extended shelf life.
Increased flexibility of packaging and distribution.
Around the world with food technology
Companies around the world today, use MAP for perishable food products like fruits, vegetables, and raw meat but McDonald’s introduced the application of MAP technology for bulk packaging of lettuce to be distributed to their retail stores.
Antioxidants for health
No doubt, this fruit is the first love of every fruit lover. It has the power to indulge all our senses and takes our taste buds to an exotic journey with every bite. This super food is none other than mango, it almost contains a dozen antioxidant compounds, including catechins, mangiferin, anthocyanin that are the need of the hour.
MAP for life
Even for us, it is very vital to modify our inner atmosphere so that we give time for self-exploration, and do what gives us peace of mind, along with boosting our creativity, that imbibes every cell in our body with happiness.
If you cannot go out, go in and make sure you stay strong, stay home and stay safe.
An interesting piece of information
Freshness can be doubled or even tripled with MAP. Hard cheese has a shelf life of about three weeks when air packed, but it lasts fresh for about 10 weeks with MAP.
Categories: Food technology