Vacuum & Modified Atmosphere Packaging For Dairy Products
Vacuum & Modified Atmosphere Packaging For Dairy Products Temperature management and atmosphere modification are two major factors in extending the shelf life of foods. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fresh produce relies on modification of the gas composition inside the package, based on the interactions between two processes, the respiration of product and the transfer of gases through the packaging, thereby resulting in gas composition richer in CO2 and poorer in O2. In contrast to controlled atmosphere (CA) systems, modified atmosphere (MA) technology has higher flexibility In prolonging the CA benefits for improving shelf life of a larger number of fresh produce during distribution and storage. MA conditions can be effected via packaging a passive system, by balancing produce respiration and gas exchange through package materials. Such systems, called MAP, can be visualized as bulk packaging containers, as unit retail packages, and as individual produce coatings. The main gases employed in MAP are oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide used in different combinations and proportions depending on (a) the product, (b) the anticipated product shelf life, and (c) the needs of the processor and the consumer. The final choice is greatly influenced by the microbiological flora growing on the product, the sensitivity of the product to oxygen and carbon dioxide, and its color stability requirements. Retail MAP of freshly prepared produce could be successfully accomplished by using a packaging film of proper permeability so as to establish optimal EMAs of typically 3%–10% O2 and 3%–10% CO2.