How nitrogen extends your product’s shelf life

Posted on 18 June 2019

Nitrogen is one of the most popular gases used in modified atmosphere packaging. By replacing the oxygen inside the packaging with nitrogen, we are able to dramatically elongate the shelf life of food products. So, how does it work?

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Displacing oxygen

Bacteria, such as mold and mildew, rely on oxygen to grow. By removing oxygen, you remove their changes of growth and survival. Just taking out the oxygen doesn't do the trick though. By filling the packaging with nitrogen, you fill up every pocket of space within the package, meaning that also moisture has no way to get in.

Tailor-made mixtures

This is however not a one size fits all solution. There are many factors to consider for determining the amount of nitrogen that is needed for optimal food preservation. Our tailor-made solutions are based on these four factors, amongst others:

  1. The natural shelf life of the product: foods that tend to go bad quickly will require higher amounts of nitrogen than shelf-stable foods.
  2. The type of packaging: this factor also weighs in on the levels of nitrogen needed. Masterpack has developed a technique that enables us to use modified Atmosphere in FIBCs. Want to know more about these big bags? Read about their big advantages!
  3. Storage conditions: the storage temperature also influences the amount of nitrogen needed. Generally speaking, foods stored at room temperature need higher levels of nitrogen.
  4. The type of gas mixture: there is more to modified atmosphere than just nitrogen. Other gasses have to be considered in the mixture as well. Products with high moisture contents will require high levels of nitrogen, around 99%, while other products thrive on a mix of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

 

The amount of nitrogen that you require can thus be extremely variable. Testing is therefore extremely important to ensure an optimal mix of gasses to maximize shelf life. In our Research and Development center, we are able to test the optimal mixture for your product, without interrupting your production process.

Mastering the art of MAP

Masterpack is a leading expert in Modified Atmosphere for FIBCs. Let's work together to improve your product and business. Reach out to our team to find out more.

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