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Extend Produce Shelf Life with Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Fresh produce does not stop the photosynthesis process once it has been picked. Light triggers produce respiration, in taking oxygen and outputting excess carbon dioxide. When packaged in a regular container oxygen flows freely in and out of the package. When oxygen levels become too high, it reacts with food enzymes that speed up food spoilage.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging or Controlled Atmosphere Packaging is making a big impact in produce packaging. This advanced process uses micro-perforation technology to alter the package atmosphere. The ability to effectively manage respiration gasses helps to greatly improve produce shelf life.

red yellow and orange peppers comparing map technology to regular packaging

What is MAP Packaging?

Modified Atmosphere Packaging is an advanced packaging technology that creates an optimal environment to extend produce shelf life. The specifically engineered micro-perforations control gas flow in and out of the package. This flow manages the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels inside the package and matches that flow to the products respiration rates. Oxygen flow into the package is reduced, slowing the ripening process and conserving moisture. The excess CO2 that is produced by the produce is also able to diffuse. The controlled rate of exchange promoted by the MAP packaging allows the internal atmosphere of the package to reach an oxygen level lower than the regular air.  

How Modified Atmosphere Packaging Extends Shelf Life

The modified atmosphere created by MAP packaging limits oxygen flow and moisture evaporation. The controlled gas exchange reduces respiration rates by limiting the oxygen available in the package. Too much oxygen also increases bacterial decay and rapid spoilage. Excess oxygen also encourages sprouting, discolouration and blemishing. In a low oxygen, environment produce respiration rates lower. Lower respiration rates extend shelf life by preventing ageing and ensure moisture retention in picked produce.

It’s all in the bag. 19 Days 45 Degrees Fahrenheit Standard Hot Needle Packaging 43.7% moisture loss, Modified Atmosphere Packaging less than 0.1% moisture loss. Temkin Controlled Atmosphere Packaging preserves natural sweetness, extends shelf life while maintaining flavour, maintains quality and freshness without additives or preservatives, no salt sugar or syrup needed, allows you to pick closer to peak ripeness. 7 days 51 Degrees Fahrenheit Standard Ventilated Packaging 29.8% moisture loss, Modified Atmosphere Packaging less than 0.7% moisture loss. Reduce Produce Waste, maintain saleable weight, maintain colour, texture, and visual appeal, retain produce turgidity to help prevent penetration by microorganisms. Bag Anatomy, high barrier films + hermetic seals = consistent transmission starting rate, Calculated Oxygen glow is reduced to slow respiration/aging process, Moisture is retained and excess C02 is allowed to escape, scientifically calculated laser micro-perforations are consistently placed.

Crawford Packaging’s Advantage

MAP Technology is customized specifically for your product and operation, taking into consideration respiration rate, package weight, volume, and anticipated distribution temperatures. MAP technologies use precise laser micro-perforations to provide an effective MAP package. The laser micro-perforations are more than 5 times smaller to standard mechanical micro-perforation. These smaller perforations allow for a more controlled exchange of gasses for improved MAP packaging effectiveness.

Testing shows that over an 18-day period, produce packed with MAP packaging has a moisture loss rate of less than 1%. This moisture retention increases shelf life, maintains weight, colour and texture increasing visual appeal and protects against harmful microorganisms.

hot needle packaging vs. modified atmosphere packaging on green hot peppers

How MAP Improves Taste

  • Preserves natural sweetness

  • Maintains flavour through extended shelf life

  • Maintains quality and freshness without additives or preservatives

  • No salt, sugar or syrup needed

  • Allows produce to be picked closer to peak ripeness

Modified Atmosphere Packaging Technologies

Crawford Packaging GrowPack produce packaging offers multiple MAP enabled packaging technologies. This allows us to ensure that each grower and packer that we work with are able to achieve the package that is right for their business. From convenient peal and reseal top seal containers to bulk produce bags.  

custom growpack map packaging produce bags

GrowPack MAP Produce Bags

GrowPack Modified Atmosphere produce bags are available in wicketed and zipper pouch formats in a variety of sizes. This ensures you get the right bags for your packaging operations. Modified Atmosphere bags are available in both clear and printed formats for increased branding.

3 pack of peppers packed in growpack printed flow wrap film

GrowPack MAP Flow Wrap Film

GrowPack Modified Atmosphere flow wrap films run on most flow wrap packaging equipment. These high-quality films offer incredible clarity and can run at high speeds. GrowPack MAP flow wrap films are available in high-quality colour prints for increased shelf impact.

growpack MAP top seal lidding film packaging

GrowPack MAP Top Seal Films

GrowPack Modified Atmosphere lidding films run on most top seal packaging equipment. These high-quality films are available in both colour and laminated colour prints and can be designed with registered print holes. Take advantage of the increased printing space offered with top seal packaging with custom prints for increased branding.

Increase Produce Packaging Effectiveness

Healthy produce results in healthy sales. Modified Atmosphere packaging keeps your products fresh longer. Modified Atmosphere packaging is available in a variety of formats and can be adapted to fit your existing packaging solutions.

Speak with our highly trained and knowledgeable Packaging Specialist today and discover how MAP packaging can improve your produce packaging performance.

Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.