Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 1423–1446 | Cite as

Application of Modified Atmosphere Packaging and Active/Smart Technologies to Red Meat and Poultry: A Review

  • Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis
  • Alexandros Ch. Stratakos
Review Paper


This paper reviews the current advances in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of red meat and poultry products. This type of packaging results in shelf-life prolongation by inhibiting microbial growth and promoting oxidative stability, compared to those packaged aerobically. High O2 modified atmosphere packaging results in the desirable red colour, but it also enhances both lipid and pigment oxidation and promotes the growth of aerobic spoilage microorganisms. The presence of high levels of CO2 in modified atmosphere packages inhibits microbial growth but can also cause meat discoloration through oxidation. Low O2 MAP atmospheres limit microbial growth but change the colour of meat to purple. The use of CO gives promising results due to its positive effects on colour and microorganism growth inhibitions which result in shelf-life prolongation during wider distribution of case-ready products. The use of MAP can lead to an effective growth reduction of pathogenic microorganisms like Listeria sp. and Salmonella sp. The combination of MAP and vacuum with other treatments can be an effective tool in delivering safe minimally processed foodstuffs. In response to the changes in consumer demand and market trends, the area of active and intelligent/smart packaging is becoming more and more important. These relatively new technologies are capable of providing better results regarding product safety and shelf-life prolongation as well as communicating information on several quality characteristics of packaged food during transportation and storage.


MAP Active and intelligent packaging Meat Poultry Quality Microbial quality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis
    • 1
  • Alexandros Ch. Stratakos
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, School of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

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