Pest control methods: Fumigation vs Modified atmosphere

Posted on 29 October 2020

Pests have and always will pose a great risk to food products. The impact of one small insect is huge, be it on the company or the health of consumers. Many methods for pest control have come and gone. One that was popular, is fumigation. But it’s slowly being replaced by Modified atmosphere. What are the differences between the two, and which one has the most potential?

In short:

Modified atmospheres Packaging is based on altering the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen levels in a packaging. This creates an environment in which pests can’t live. Fumigation uses synthetic chemical fumigation to kill pests. Both are equally efficient nowadays, but Modified Atmosphere holds more benefits than just pest control. Read on to find out what it’s all about.

In-bag fumigation

Fumigation is a method of pest control that completely fills an area, such as an FIBC, with gaseous pesticides or fumigants. This suffocates or poisons the pests and insects within.

How it’s done

Fumigation generally involves the following phases:

  1. First, the area intended for fumigation sealed tightly.
  2. The fumigant is released into the space to be fumigated. This is held for a certain period of time to make sure all pests are killed.
  3. The space needs to be ventilated to let the poisonous gasses escape.

Modified Atmosphere for Pest control

Just like with chemical fumigation, 100% mortality can be achieved for all insects with MAP. Every Modified Atmosphere is unique and tailored to the product and circumstances. In our earlier blog, we went into detail about the benefits and process of MAP for pest control. Fun fact: McDonald’s used it first, for their lettuce.

After the liner is sealed, we start creating a vacuum in the bag. After this, we flush the bag with a non-chemical gas, such as nitrogen. Controls of the atmosphere in the bag are done in a non-invasive way, using Sensor Spot.

Find out everything about Modified Atmosphere for Pest Control and Prevention in our whitepaper.

The benefits of MAP compared to fumigation

  • MAP makes no use of chemicals and is not harmful to the environment
  • Modified Atmosphere is suitable for organic products: CO2 is a recognized gas for biological treatment,
  • For food products, there is an additional benefit of longer shelf life while maintaining quality, taste, and smell.
  • It doesn’t just work against pests, but also microbiological growths and slows down rancidity
  • The liners used for MAP also protect against external moisture or water damage
  • It’s not just controlling, but also prevention. Modified Atmosphere inhibits the growth of any pests.
  • Benefits for your business and supply chain, such as expanding your areas of distribution

Sounds good? Our experts are here to answer all your questions and explain you how we can implement Modified Atmosphere Packaging into your supply chain. Get in touch!

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)

Subscribe here