Deterioration in food is caused by physio-chemical and microbiological changes. Food products after harvest or slaughter are still active biological systems that interact with the environment (light, oxygen, moisture and others). This results in colour, texture and flavour changes and, in some cases, can lead to toxicity of the food product.
Simple food packages provide a barrier to outside influences and protect the food from the environment (insects, dust, odours, light and others). Additional protection can be achieved by modifying the atmosphere inside the package. An adequate in-package atmosphere (including gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor) can extend food shelf-life, reduce food losses, improve food safety, open markets and increase options for consumers.
Today, food consumers are more aware of the possible hazards of preservatives, motivating focus on safe methods for preservation of foodstuffs. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) modifies the natural gases around the product inside the package to delay deterioration of quality.
Foodtech Fresh has absolute focus on food safety, quality and waste reduction. We focus on into the concepts and application of MAP in conjunction with polymer application in MAP; the current standing of plastic packaging materials and technology being utilized in MAP; and the use of MAP for lengthening the shelf lives of many foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, bakery products, dairy products, fruit, and vegetables.
This includes existing types of packaging polymers being used and future development in plastic packaging materials.
We constantly research the uses of MAP in conjunction with natural or chemical additives and its advantages when used in conjunction with applications, such as nanotechnology, irradiation, high pressure, and active and smart packaging.
We engage in a structured methodology, or framework for establishing the shelf-life of their products.
After an initial discussion of what shelf-life is and how its end-point can be determined, the core of our programme is organised around a series of shelf-life ‘evaluation sequence’ flowcharts – from pilot scale through pre-production run to full scale production. Supplementary information – such as tables of information on factors limiting microbial growth, microbiological tests that can be used in shelf-life trials, and factors that can affect shelf-life – provides a basis for further consideration of the practical aspects of shelf-life determination.
Aimed at growers, packers/processors and and retailers, the outcomes will be of use to all who need to understand shelf-life of chilled foods and the factors that affect it.