What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging (M.A.P) ?
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is a technique used for prolonging the shelf-life of fresh or minimally processed foods.
The technique works by modifying the composition of the air surrounding the food in the packaging, with the result of extending the fresh state of the food.
M.A.P extends the shelf life of perishable foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish by slowing the natural deterioration of the food product.
The composition of gas used for M.A.P is dependent on the product, packaging materials and the storage temperature of the fresh produce.
Since meat, fish and cheese are non-respiring products needing very low gas permeability films, so-called high barrier films are used. The initial flushed gas-mixture is maintained inside the Modified Atmosphere package. Conversely, fruits and vegetables are respiring products where the interaction of the packaging material with the product is important and so low barrier or so-called high permeability films are used for them. If the permeability (for O2 and CO2) of the packaging film is adapted to the product’s level of respiration, an equilibrium-modified atmosphere will be established in the package and the shelf life of the product will increase.