5 Ways Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protects Food

Posted on 18 February 2022

Modified Atmosphere Packaging is not just here to protect food products from going ‘bad’. Ripening and molding are just two factors that put your product at risk, and Modified Atmosphere works against a lot more than that. Let’s look at the five ways your products are protected in a MAP!

#1 Modified Atmosphere for moisture protection

We all know that moisture is the not-so-secret ingredient that causes mold in products. Some dry products are at risk, but also products that are high in moisture themselves. With the right Modified Atmosphere, you can prevent products from reaching critical moisture levels and going bad.

#2 Modified Atmosphere Packaging helps against pests

Pests need one thing to survive in bags, and that’s oxygen. The tiniest insects can survive even in packaging that has low oxygen levels, which means that just an airtight packaging usually isn’t enough to either kill them or prevent them from appearing at all.

Modified Atmosphere packaging requires the bag to be vacuumized and flushed with nitrogen, leaving no viable environment for pests to survive in. 

The survival rates under reduced oxygen or increased CO2 vary between hours and weeks and are dependent on various factors. Not only the type of insect but also the temperature, relative humidity, oxygen concentration and CO2 concentration within the packaging play a role in the pest control process. 

All insects have specific mortality rates under specific circumstances. By adjusting the atmosphere within the packaging, the required oxygen or CO2 levels can be adapted, eliminating their survival chances and even inhibiting the growth of them in the first place.

To create a Modified Atmosphere, we work with the following elements:

  • Oxygen (O2) which in high concentration, prevents the growth of microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen (N2) which is often used as a stabilizing gas to maintain the pack volume
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) which helps to lower the pH. This gas also prevents the growth of microorganisms.

Want to read more about how to use MAP to tackle pests? Then these articles are for you:



#3 Modified Atmosphere preserves taste and freshness

Our food travels further and longer, yet we expect it to taste as fresh as possible once it reaches our plates. But we also don't want them filled with chemicals. The solution? Modified Atmosphere Packaging.

The right MAP can drastically extend the shelf life of various products, such as milk powders, fruits, vegetables, and more. 

#4 Lowers the risk of contamination with safe packaging practices

One vital part of Modified Atmosphere, is making sure everything inside the packaging is in check. In traditional packaging methods, checking whether the product is safe means opening up bag, welcoming in the risk of contamination and pests.

With our non-invasive techniques we leave the bag intact and check the state of the MA from outside the packaging. Read all about this non-invasive quality control in our blog!

#5 No more chemicals

Wrapping it up, Modified Atmosphere is also a great alternative to harmful chemicals, protecting not only the land products are grown on, but also consumers. This makes it a great solution for producers of organic food products.

Want to find out if your product is suitable for MAP?

Our team of experts is here to answer all your questions. Reach out for custom advice!

Want to work towards sustainable supply chain management?

At Masterpack, we are continuously working towards better ways to pack and protect products. We proudly present our newest solution: Modified Atmosphere for FIBC’s. Download our latest whitepapers:

Testing and improving your packaging (1,6MB)
Modified Atmosphere in FIBC's (6,4MB)
Pest prevention and control in bulk packaging (2,8MB)
The Modified Atmosphere Packaging Process Whitepaper

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