Sunday, October 16, 2016

History of modified atmosphere packaging

Modified atmosphere packaging can be defined as an alteration in the composition of gases in and around fresh produce by respiration and transpiration when such commodities are sealed in plastic films.

Much of original work was done in Australia and New Zealand when beef and lamb carcasses were shipped in the 1930s to the UK was stored in carbon dioxide to help maintain freshness.

During the 1940s and 1950s fresh apples and pears were placed in enclosed warehouse. The natural respiratory activities of the fruit reduced the oxygen and increased the carbon dioxide within storage areas sufficiently to slow respiration markedly.

The stored apples or pears could be consumed as much as six months after the original harvest: and extensions of about double the normal chilled storage shelf-life. In the 1970s, modified atmosphere packages were used for some retail packs of meat and fish.

The new techniques have been developed, including micro-perforation, anti-fogging layers to improve product visibility.

The use of modified atmosphere packaging technology received a significant boost when the retail chain of Marks and Spencer introduced a wide range of fresh MAD meat products in the UK in 1981.

Today, modified atmosphere packaging is used to package anything from fresh salads or individual meat portions, to sandwiches and snacks.
History of modified atmosphere packaging
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