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Ask the Experts Food

How can I retain the quality of my packaged food?

Sarah Coulter, Ph.D.
Food Technology Specialist

Food products spoil differently, whether through microbial growth, discoloration, oxidation or even moisture loss. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a way to help preserve the quality of packaged food. By replacing the earth's breathable atmosphere in a package with a pure gas or a gas mixture, the shelf life of products can be significantly extended without losing quality. Typical MAP gases include nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen; the right mix of these gases depends on the food product and how it spoils. The achievable shelf life of products packaged with modified atmosphere gases depends on the type of food, the packaging material, the initial microbial load and the storage temperature

In a marketplace in which consumers value quality, MAP can provide significant benefits to both the retailer and the consumer—resulting in a product that looks good, smells good and tastes good far longer.

For a Freshline® guide to MAP from Air Products, call 800-654-4567.
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