To protect food products from undesirable environmental influences they are packaged. Depending on the size of the facility, this process step will be automated or manual. Amongst the most common methods is packaging under vacuum or a protective gas atmosphere.
If foodstuffs are packed in air, they are exposed to atmospheric conditions which can lead to undesirable changes to the product. The main influences here are oxidation by atmospheric oxygen as well as microbial infestation by bacteria and mould. These unwanted influences can be suppressed or reduced by packing under a modified atmosphere (MAP: Modified Atmosphere Packaging).
By displacing the ambient atmosphere, protective gases can reduce the oxidative changes to foodstuffs and microbial activity. By packaging under a protective gas atmosphere, the shelf life of food can be extended to three times the normal value. Ususally carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, argon and gas mixtures of these components are used.
- Extended shelf-life
- Reduction in growth of bacteria and mould
- Simplified logistics
- Cost savings
- Attractive appearance
- No squeezing (of fluid content) of product compared to vacuum packing
Messer offers various gases for protective gas packaging as part of the “Gourmet�?-Programme. All gases used for packaging such as carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen are natural components of ambient air.
Example of a tray sealer