How to handle pest control through Modified Atmosphere

Posted on 2 January 2019

The bulk storage of many food products creates perfect breeding conditions for all kinds of insects. Pests often start small and can be hard to detect in the early stages - but the consequences are enormous. Just one single insect in every kilogram of the food product means that a lorry load can carry thousands of pests. Prevention and control are therefore key and can be done within the packaging. Modified Atmosphere offers a chemical-free way of pest control with a lot of positive effects. So, how do we do it?

How to handle pest control

How it works

Masterpack is a leading expert in modifying the atmosphere within bulk packaging in a non-invasive way, combining the Modified Atmosphere technique with Sensor Spot technology. This allows us to adjust the following components in bulk packaging:

Oxygen (O2) which in high concentration, prevent 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.

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.

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. Using the SensorSpot technology we can monitor the atmosphere within the packaging at all times. This technique is applied in a non-invasive way, eliminating risks of further contamination. These measurements can be repeated as often as needed without destructing the packaging in any way.

Did you know?

McDonald’s was one of the first who applied this technology. They used Modified Atmosphere for bulk-sized packages of their lettuce.

The Modified Atmosphere and Sensor Spot technology can be applied to various products, such as:

  • Dried foods, such as nuts, rice, corn, grain, beans, herbs
  • (Dairy) Powders: as well as coffee and cacao powders
  • Seeds
  • Dried specialties and refined products

Fewer chemicals, more benefits

Modified Atmosphere is increasingly popular within the food industry, and not just for its effectiveness on pest control. Adjusting the gas mixture makes it possible to control the decay- and oxidation process in a precise way in order to improve the supply chain management and shelf life. All without a loss of quality, taste or color. Combining the benefits of Modified Atmosphere and Sensor Spot technology, not only shelf life, but also overall sustainability in the supply chain is improved, by minimizing and preventing food waste.

But it’s not just producers and sellers that benefit from the effects of using Modified Atmosphere. More and more consumers are demanding fresh products that involve minimal processing, and Modified Atmosphere delivers just that: it is a way of natural fumigation, using Low Oxygen or carbon dioxide, ideal for protecting organic food.

Partner up for pest control

Looking for better ways to control pests in your products? Masterpack is taking the lead in innovative techniques of pest control in FIBC’ s. Read more about the benefits in our blog and get in touch for a tailor-made solution.

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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