Advances in modified-atmosphere packaging

  • A. R. Davies

Abstract

The ability of modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) to extend the shelf-life of foods has been recognised for many years. In the 1920s, work at the Low Temperature Research Station, in Cambridge, UK, showed that the shelf-life of apples could be increased by storing them in atmospheres containing lowered levels of oxygen and increased levels of carbon dioxide, and in the 1930s beef carcases were transported in atmospheres containing carbon dioxide, which approximately doubled the storage life previously obtained. In the United Kingdom it was the retail chain of Marks & Spencer in 1979 that paved the way for Britain’s pre-eminence today in the world marketplace for modified-atmosphere products, with its test launch of MAP meat (Parry, 1993). Since then there has been a marked expansion in the use and market share of MAP, partly as a result of the increasing consumer demand for fresh and chilled convenience foods containing fewer preservatives. This has led to a significant increase in the range of products packaged in modified atmospheres. Today, foods packaged in modified atmospheres include raw and cooked meats, poultry and fish, vegetables and fruit, fresh pasta, cheese, bakery products, potato crisps, coffee and tea.

Keywords

Sugar Permeability Dioxide Europe Ozone 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

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  • A. R. Davies

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