Modified Atmosphere Packaging

10 October 2016

This type of packaging helps inhibit spoilage. The leading cause of spoilage of food is the growth of microbes such as bacteria, yeast, mould, that are present to our surroundings, in or on our bodies as well. Such microbes’ turn food products bad and makes the food change its appearance over time spent when exposed to air. There are additional means to control these bacteria, including regulating the moisture levels, the pH levels, along with monitoring storage time and temperature suitable for the designated food. Scope of Study: The aim of this investigation is to find out how Modified Atmosphere Packaging affects the hospitality industry.

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Mainly focusing about grocers, price change, consumers, and other types of packaging that are similar to MAP. The focus questions that are going to be answered are: 1. What are Modified Atmosphere and Controlled Packaging? 2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of packaging? 3. The impact it made on both hospitality industry and consumers. Methodology: In this report I will be using primary and secondary resources. I will be conducting surveys as a primary resource and using the internet and videos as my secondary resource. For my surveys, I used a site called www. urveymonkey. com. I have gathered about 23 surveys in total. On the internet I will be trying to get information related to my sub-questions listed above. Using the opinion of others gives another dimension into this report. Giving me factual information that I have conducted and gathered of twenty-three people surveyed. This is to further understand the real “impact” it’s making in the Hospitality Industry from an “experienced” individual. What are Modified Atmosphere and Controlled Atmosphere Packaging? MAP is a new type of food packaging that has been recently invented to slow down spoilage.

It is the attachment of food in a package where the atmosphere inside the package is modified or changed. The pack is flushed with a gas or a combination of gases, filling the pack in different concentrations at its finest levels and quantities for the product being transported is injected into the container after being sealed. The common gases used for MAP are oxygen (O? ), nitrogen (N), carbon dioxide (CO? ). This is commonly increasing and/or decreasing the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in a food package. Nitrogen is frequently used in this type of packaging.

This is to reduce the concentration of other gases injected into a package. (apl, 2012) Red meat needs a high level concentration of oxygen to maintain and preserve the red colour of it. Whereas bread needs low oxygen output to avoid mould and vegetables usually needs two or three gases injected to the pack. MAP is commonly used in food packages and drugs (MAP, 2012). There is another type of packaging similar to MAP. This is called Control Atmosphere Packaging also known as “CAP”, this is when an attempt is made to control the arrangement of the pack and the food stored in it with two or more types of gases.

Not only increasing shell life, it also keeps insects and pests away since most insects and pest cannot live without oxygen. CAP is usually packed in gas resistant packages. The common gases used in the packaging are carbon dioxide (CO? ), oxygen (O? ), nitrogen (N) as well as the temperature and humidity is also regulated. “There are also traces of carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, argon, and ethanol vapour and sulphur dioxide” (Food Processing, 2012), (MAP, 2012). Figure 1: Examples of products that benefit from Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Packaging. http://www. postharvest. com. au/MAP_article. PDF, 2012) (From Transicold (1995). Controlled Atmosphere Handbook and Optimal Fresh (2000). CSIRO Publishing. ) Figure 1: Examples of products that benefit from Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Packaging. (http://www. postharvest. com. au/MAP_article. PDF, 2012) (From Transicold (1995). Controlled Atmosphere Handbook and Optimal Fresh (2000). CSIRO Publishing. ) The table shows how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is injected into a package in its corresponding fruit shown.

Comparing the storage lives of the fruits in normal air and CA/MAP shows great results. Whereas Apple Gala increased a quarter of its normal shell life, while Pear, Avocado, Broccoli, Bean are doubled its shell life, and the others increased a reasonable amount of days. The temperature means that the temperature regulated. The temperature is regulated while injecting the package and what temperature should the fruits is stored into. Advantages of MAP and CAP: * Shelf life extension: Depending on the product, the time an item can remain displayed at a supermarket can increase for about 40-450%.

This means the wastes consumed is minimised where ordering and restocking are more flexible. Thus decreasing the economical loses of supermarkets/grocers. * Quality: The quality remains depending on both retailers and consumers. These packs are sealed and free from product drip and odour. It deteriorates slower as it makes its journey from place to place, whether from the domestic kitchen, fridge or freezer. * Presentation: The package are manufactured, thus the package are encased properly. Giving a clear view of the product, all round visibility and displayed more attractively.

The visual display becomes another key to MAP’s sales effectiveness. * Reducing artificial preservatives needs: Today, where having the intent of becoming ‘greener’ as our viewpoint. “Protecting the environment, there are advantages to getting rid of as many additives as possible. The goal is food, which is NATURALLY fresh and in some cases using MAP means that no artificial preservatives are required at all to achieve a reasonable shelf life” (MPIAust, 2012). Disadvantages of MAP and CAP: * Costs: The costs certainly grow larger within in the range of 50c – $5 per package.

This is because of the gases, gas packaging machinery and packaging materials used. * Net weight Increases: The volume increases making the item bulkier than any other forms of pack. Therefore they are costlier to carry and store. * Temperature control: The temperature of the pack must be controlled. Certain food products need to be stored in its corresponding temperature. If the temperature is not regulated it could show bad results such as, a change of colour or an off smell. This is because if not controlled and left out for too long the expiry date will not be applicable to use.

The impact made: This type of packaging certainly affected both the hospitality industry and our society. This is due to the concept of it is rapidly growing in the food packaging market. “Also because a longer shelf life means less replacement demand from grocers, manufacturers can also expand their product lines. They can conduct production savings toward developing new products, which can lead to bigger profits in the long run” (peakpackaging, 2012). Even though MAP and CAP had given such great impact in the industry, consumers are affected too.

According to the surveys allocated, I have found out that consumers these days have very little knowledge and understanding about food packaging. They are just aware that the food is “packaged” without knowing that it could be a MAP or CAP package. About 30% of the surveyed people did not know how that the expiry date does not apply when the package is opened. “Consumers using color as single indicator of meat freshness without paying attention to expiration dates might be at risk” (cmc-cvc, 2012). Thus affecting those who are not aware of this often feel discouraged of buying the same product again if certain “incidents” happen.

The consumer’s behavior during a purchase and non-purchase decision usually comes from quality, convenience and safety of the food. These three must be looked at for a consumer to be sure that it is the best and safe. When quality leads to where the consumer ask himself/herself to “is it premium? ” and the costs of the food. After that it is then judged by the flavour, colour and the texture of the food product. Where Convenience easy to-, cooking or functional Shelf life and safety health and trust microbial safety of the food.

Longer shelf life means greater transport opportunities. The efficiency of this slows down the respiration and delaying the production using MAP. “Lettuce, for example, can be transported across the Pacific using modified atmosphere with excellent results” (apl, 2012). The adjusted gas/air includes of a package could change during the trip because of the respiratory action of the supplies and pressure changes in the package while travelling, thus reducing its efficiency at delaying the deterioration of fresh produce food products (airproducts, 2012).

CAP is better at ‘shipping’ rather than MAP. CAP is more technologically advanced process when it comes to inhibiting spoilage of food products. This specifically controls the atmosphere arrangements within the container throughout the ship’s journey. CAP can increase the shelf life of a food product by two to three times longer than any other methods. While other types of packaging methods need a person to take control of the package, CAP uses a computer system to monitor, manage and control the atmosphere in the package and make adjustments during the trip.

The system also records changes in the atmospheric arrangements during a ship’s journey and provide a printout page for quality control purposes (airproducts, 2012), (apl, 2012). Using these types of packaging can reach remote places and can still be sold during its running shelf life. Such as, domestic and overseas shipping, could still reach good results seemingly that some food products can double its shelf life by using these methods. Thus the manufacturers can provide fruits, vegetables and food stuffs ultimately around the world.

MAP is an individual transport where it is transported as an individual product, whereas CAP is an industrial transport where it is transported in massive amounts mainly for bigger marketplaces. Conclusion: MAP and CAP basically changed the whole concept fresh food packaging, allowing shops, stores, and sellers to market fresh foods that are ready, prepared and packed in units, rather than prepared at the back store. This method has also extended shelf-life, allowing products to endure both the delivery time to its designated place, as well as the display time in the store.

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