How does MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) help you with keeping you food fresh?
September 16, 2021
We love our snacks and we like them fresh and healthy. That means minimal preservatives, yet no loss of freshness, and a long shelf life. Is it possible to have it all? With the help of nitrogen, we come very close. This inert gas has long been the choice of premium food and beverage manufacturers. It's what gushes out of your favourite pack of chips when you pull it open. It's what keeps your coffee pods fresh for your morning cup. It's what keeps your wine bright well after it's been popped. The nitrogen gets in with the help of a process known as MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) which packs snacks like a mini-earth with an atmosphere that keeps its contents in prime condition.
But it's not enough to get nitrogen into the package—the gas must be food-grade compliant. It must be free of contaminants such as dust, oil, water, gases, and micro-organisms. This is not just necessary for a high-quality product, it's necessary for the protection of customer health and for preserving the credibility and reputation of your business and brand. Food air safety is paramount. In fact, the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), SQF (Safe Quality Food Institute), and BRC (British Retail Consortium) have identified compressed air used in packaging and processing as a possible threat to food air safety.
So how exactly do these contaminants find their way in?
Via the air compressors which are key players in the MAP system. Contaminants would be present in the air sucked in by the compressor.
In the case of oil-lubricated compressors, they would be present in ‘carried over’ oil.
There's water vapour that builds in the compressor as a result of condensation, and let's not forget contaminants in the form of rust and scaling that builds up in the piping.
These contaminants are screened out methodically with the help of filters and dryers including:
Coalescing filters: removes wet particulate and oil aerosols
Adsorption filters: removes oil vapour
Dust removal filters: removes dry particulates
Sterile filters: removes micro-organisms and solid particulates
Adsorption dryers: removes water vapour
In this new era that calls for heightened standards of hygiene and safety, are you equipped to make sure your food products meet the mark? Are you covered when it comes to food air safety?
Pneumatech filters have been fully tested and qualified according to the latest ISO8573 and ISO12500 standards. To know how you can protect your investment in equipment and processes, browse Pneumatech's enhanced filtration systems and replacement elements.
Air dryers are used downstream of an air compressor to rid the compressed air of any moisture or humidity before it reaches your application or final product. Using air dryers is imperative in many applications such as the food/beverage industry, electronics manufacturing and spray painting in the automotive industry.