Soft fruits, avocados, mixed lettuce; these are just a few examples of delicate foods. To extend shelf life and deliver the best quality products to consumers, there is an effective solution: inerting with nitrogen.
Getting fragile, daily fresh products to the end customer (consumer) in the best possible quality is a major challenge for many packing stations and supermarkets. Over-ripening of soft fruit, for example, leads to reduced quality and unnecessary waste.
An effective solution to extend the shelf life of vulnerable food products is inerting. By adding an inert gas (nitrogen) during packaging, we pause the ripening of the food and extend the shelf life of products such as soft fruit, avocados and salad mixes, but also of meat products such as chicken.
The packaging of products under a protective atmosphere is called Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). A commonly used gas for MAP is nitrogen (N2). Nitrogen is an inert gas that does not react chemically.
It is odourless and tasteless, which makes it ideal for replacing oxygen in packaging and preventing oxidation. Nitrogen can also be used as a stabilising gas, which preserves the volume of the packaging. This prevents a meat pack from bulging, for example.
MAP packaging can extend the shelf life of meat from 3 to 21 days, cheese from 7 to 180 days and fresh pasta from 3 to 60 days without compromising product quality.
By extending the shelf life of fresh produce through inerting the packaging, you reduce food waste. In addition, MAPing offers additional benefits, such as:
Curious about the ways nitrogen can safely and effectively provide quality improvement in the food industry? We would love to help you out!