What can cause Modified Atmospheres to change?

Posted on 19 February 2021

Every Modified Atmosphere Packaging needs a barrier keeping the created atmosphere in and intact, and keeping any external influences out — not just air, but also pests. The packaging material you work with should be a good barrier for carbon dioxide both ways. Let’s dive into the importance of picking the right material for your MAP. 

What causes the Modified Atmosphere to change?

The product 

Some products hold gases themselves, and some don’t — or very little. Just think about the difference between powders and a product like corn. For instance, corn also has oxygen in the product itself. Over time this will slightly change the oxygen levels inside the packaging, as we discussed in this blog.

Gas permeation

In an earlier blog, we explained why the permeability of packaging material is key in choosing the right packaging for Modified Atmosphere. Permeability is the rate at which gases can pass through a material. Naturally, you will want a material that blocks the passing of gases as much as possible, so the Modified Atmosphere will remain stable for the longest possible period of time.


With a hole in the packaging, no matter how small, the Modified Atmosphere will inevitably change. Oxygen enters and rapidly changes the gas content. A hole the size of half the diameter of a human hair will allow oxygen to enter the package. From this, it takes only 70 hours for oxygen levels to rise from 0.1% to 10%, meaning a long weekend can have far-reaching consequences. Read more about how we manage leak prevention here. 

When a leakage happens, there’s also a higher risk of pests entering the packaging. To prevent the bags from ripping, we recommend a safe handling of FIBCs and not reusing bags that are not meant for that.

What are our liners and FIBCs made from?

To ensure that your product and the created Modified Atmosphere are protected, we work with the best materials. 

Liners don't just protect against oxygen, but also against moisture and contamination. Some Big Bags come with built-in liners or are coated. You can find out more about the materials and techniques we use for our FIBCs here. 

Let’s solve your packaging challenges

Our solutions are never one-size-fits-all, and we perform thorough tests in our R&D center. Want to find out what materials are right for your products? Get in touch with our experts.

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

Subscribe here