Modified atmosphere packaging or simply, MAP is a method of packing fresh food items by removing the contents of oxygen from the inside of the packaging in order to preserve and enhance the shelf life of the food item. The MAP as a method of preserving and enhancing the shelf life of packaged food can reduce the ill effects of the growth of the aerobic organisms and the oxidation that results out of it. Generally, there are two kinds of Modified Atmosphere Packaging– vacuum gas system and the gas flush system.
The vacuum gas system is capable of extracting the air from the inside of the packaged food and then adding back the desired air mixture which can suit the packed food items. This process is a bit complicated, because of the fact that it requires a variety of operational parts and a delicate vacuum which is strenuous to adjust accurately. On the other hand, the gas flush system takes help of a chamber in which the packaged food items can pass through. This chamber is filled with gasses. The food item will be packaged inside and will be sealed while it is still inside the chamber. Since the gas flush system uses a particular amount of gas, it is fairly difficult to get a lower level of oxygen.
There are various benefits that can be derived out of modified atmosphere packaging the in the food industry.
- The modified atmosphere packaging will give the packaged food item an improved quality overall. The taste will remain fresh and delicious for longer durations. Since the packaged food item is going to taste freshers for long durations, this means that a food manufacturer can have a wide food distribution channel. A wider product distribution channel means greater profits. Which means your business will thrive manifolds.
- Because of the fact that the fresh initial state of the food product is prolonged, it is fairly beneficial for food products that are of a perishable nature, like meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, and fruits, etc. Their shelf life can be increased due to the infusion of necessary gasses. These additional gasses have a preservatory nature that can slow down the deterioration process.
- This also means –
- Durability of perishable food items
- Decreased risks of food spoilage
- Reduction in the growth of harmful bacteria and germs
- The food product tends to retain its original form and texture.
- The food product is able to retain its necessary vitamin requirements along with the original taste and other necessary nutritional benefits.
- Natural food color tends to be preserved.
- The requirement of harmful preserving agents is fairly reduced to some extent.