Pest prevention for food packaging without chemicals

Posted on 6 December 2018

Prevention is preferred over controlling, especially when it comes to pests in food packaging. Food products can be affected by insect pests during the storage and shipment period, causing unwanted damages to the final products. Preventing and eliminating these pests is key, but there is an increasing demand for solutions that are free of chemicals. Modified Atmosphere Packaging is one of the possible solutions provided by Masterpack.

Pest prevention Masterpack

Arguments for non-chemical pest prevention

Although methods for chemical pest prevention are generally quicker and easier to apply, there are a lot of arguments for a non-chemical alternative:

  • Restrictions on the use of chemical pesticides and on the number of active chemical compounds officially registered for pest control are increasing rapidly.
  • More and more buyers require that food products have nil chemical residues.
  • A growing pressure against the use of chemical fumigants due to safety and health concerns.
  • A rising interest in organic food production also adds to the higher demand for new ways of pest prevention.

These factors combined have resulted in bigger efforts to develop non chemical technologies to prevent (and control) pests in food packaging, such as low and high temperatures technologies, irradiation, and Modified Atmosphere.

Chemical free solutions

Pests in food packaging can be prevented in numerous ways. The methods mentioned above are proven to be safer and environmentally friendly and can be applied to a large number of raw and manufactured food products. Not only do these techniques free the products from live insects, they also eliminate residues that result from chemical treatment.

For non-chemical treatment, techniques such as fumigation and heat treatment are an option. One of the latest methods of chemical free prevention tactics is Modified Atmosphere, which offers an alternative to synthetic chemical fumigation for insect pest control in food packaging during storage and shipment processes and is suitable for safe storage and preservation for a variety of food products.

All insects have specific mortality rates under specific conditions which makes it difficult to define one treatment that guarantees the kill of all insects within a specified time frame. Nevertheless, there are some general trends in lethal treatments, such as the required oxygen level for survival. Survival rates under reduced oxygen or increased CO2 vary between hours and weeks, and are dependent on factors such as the insect , temperature, relative humidity, oxygen concentration and CO2 concentration. Modified Atmosphere allows one to control these factors as well, enabling us to effectively prevent any possible pests. Thanks to the new and highly innovative SensorSpot technology we help you monitor these levels in a non-invasive way at all times, eliminating risks of further contamination.

Interested in a chemical free solution for pest prevention?

Masterpack is a leading developer in high-end packaging solutions. Your product is our concern. Are you interested in what we can do to prevent pests in your food packaging, without the use of chemicals? Get in touch with our experts or read more about our solutions.

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)

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