Whether winter or summer, consumers depend upon the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables at the local grocery store. When the produce comes from nearby regions, transit time is shorter and the produce generally arrives in good quality. But for those times of the year when fruits and vegetables have farther to travel, consumers are often disappointed as they find damaged or spoiled goods due to incorrect packaging. This is where Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) can help.
What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)?
Simply put, Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is packaging that helps control the atmosphere within food packaging to slow down the deterioration process, extend the product’s shelf life, and provide protection. Although many foods can benefit from MAP including meats, fruits, and vegetables, as well as cheese, fresh pasta, ready meals, and seafood, it is most commonly found in packaging for produce.
Even after they are picked, fresh fruits and vegetables continue to respirate, giving off various gases which cause them to continue ripening. Modified Atmosphere Packaging controls the atmosphere within the packaging so that it slows down the ripening process. Each type of produce has its own respiration rate, which determines the optimal composition of gases within the package. MAP Packaging can be tailored to optimize the shelf life of each product.
Because so much depends upon respiration rate, a key element in the success of MAP is the selection of the right film. M&Q’s nylon films offer exceptional benefits for this application.
Benefits of Using MAP
Extended Shelf-Life of Perishable Items
The controlled atmosphere inside the packaging helps to slow down the ripening process, reducing spoilage and extending the product’s viability resulting in produce that remains crisp, flavorful, and nutritious for a more extended period.
Another significant benefit is the superior durability, ensuring the packaging remains intact and free from any physical damage during transport. This durability is particularly important when dealing with delicate produce that can easily bruise or get damaged if not properly protected.
Every week, grocery stores are forced to discard fruits and vegetables that have started to spoil and are no longer suitable for sale. MAP helps maintain the quality of produce for a longer period of time, potentially reducing the amount of produce that is discarded.
M&Q’s Nylon films ideal for MAP
M&Q’s nylon films are specifically designed for MAP offering a powerful solution to enhance the quality and extend the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables. The durability, odor and flavor barrier properties, excellent sealing capabilities, and customizable water vapor transmission rates of M&Q’s nylon films make them an ideal choice for MAP applications.
Sealing properties are another crucial aspect of MAP, especially in the context of form fill and seal equipment. M&Q’s nylon films are specifically designed to provide excellent sealing properties, allowing for efficient and effortless packaging in automated processes. This ensures the packaging remains airtight, preventing the ingress of oxygen or moisture that can accelerate spoilage.
In summary, by utilizing MAP with M&Q’s nylon films, the quality and shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables can be significantly improved and lead to a reduced likelihood of food waste during transportation and storage. This provides economic advantages for growers, suppliers, and retailers by minimizing losses and maximizing the value of their produce. By leveraging this technology, producers and suppliers can ensure their goods reach consumers in optimal condition and superior freshness guaranteed to cause big smiles as they enjoy the fruits of summer!
For more information about M&Q’s nylon MAP packaging films, contact us to speak with our packaging engineer.