Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers are always looking for ways to extend the longevity of their products. With some products, this presents no difficulty. Preparation and packaging immediately extend their shelf life. With fresh food products, this is not so simple. However, research and technology have arrived at one way of accomplishing this. This is modified atmosphere packaging or MAP.
What is MAP?
MAP is a specific type of packaging technology utilizing a blend of gasses. Combining pure oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and containing it within a permeable package or high barrier or specific plastic films or foils, provides companies with a means of extending the shelf life of fresh food products. Companies can adjust the blend of gasses to meet the requirements of each type of packaged food item. This method is also known as:
* Gas Flushing
* Protective Atmosphere Packaging
* Reduced Oxygen Packaging
MAP packages are often in the form of bags, lid stock or trays before the manufacturer adds the gas combination
Some Advantages of Modified Atmosphere Packaging
MAP offers food processors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers the ability to keep fresh food fresh longer. By increasing shelf life, MAP provides the following advantages:
* Improved control of product quality
* Elimination of frequent product rotation
* Lower demands for removal and restocking
* Increased levels of availability
Decreased costs since MAP lowers food waste and reduces the amount of food waste disposal and labor
Distributors also benefit from the ability to extend their territory beyond certain limits. They can also increase their product line.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging
MAP technology is popular for fresh food of many types. Bread, cheeses, meats, pasta, seafood and vegetables all have a longer shelf life if packaged using this technology. By employing modified atmosphere packaging, the food industry not only preserves food quality for consumers, it is able to reduce spoilage and, therefore, economic loss, providing an enormous benefit to all involved parties.
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