What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Have you been hearing a lot of about modified atmosphere packaging and wondering what it is? Map packaging can be the ideal solution for your packaging needs. Understanding what this packaging is and how it can be beneficial to your product needs can help you to make an informed decision about Map packaging.

Modified atmosphere packaging is a fancy name for packaging that can help to extend the shelf life of your food products. Learn more about this packaging option including, map packaging definition, and the benefits of this packaging option.


What is It?

This type of packaging was developed to help protect produce from losses postharvest. They are primarily, permeable films (films that can breath) that can adapt to the atmosphere around them. These films can help to keep food products fresher for longer and help ward off premature oxidation.

Sounds like a very simply defined packaging modality but it is not quite that simple. Yes, it does include a film but there is more to this type of packaging like a ethyliene liner or tray, perforations and more. There are two types of map food packaging. Passive and active.

Each type delivers protection that can extend the shelf life of perishables. Depending on your packaging needs, what type of food you are packaging, and your budget will determine whether you need a passive packaging or an active packaging model.

Fresh Products Packaging

Here are Some Examples

There are different types of modified atmosphere packaging including:

  • Gas flushed packaging is modified atmosphere packaging. This type of packaging uses nitrogen in the packaging process to decrease the amount of oxygen in a package. A gas flush can help to preserve both foods and beverages for longer periods. Nitrogen is flushed into the product to help remove oxygen from the packaging. It can help to delay oxidation, decrease the growth of organisms that can spoil the product and act as a filter to maintain conformity.
  • Barrier films. Barrier films like low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP) and help to create a moisture barrier and protects goods from rot and mold. This type of Map packaging can help to preserve perishables longer.
  • Smart modified atmospheric packaging can detect temperature changes, leakage and more. This type of modified atmosphere packaging can help to cut down on costs and increase food product safety.
  • Scavenger Packs. Desiccant packs or scavenger packs contain a mixture of ascorbic acid and iron powder, and/or activated carbon. These small packs are catalysts for absorbing oxygen and moisture which can help to preserve food stuffs.
  • Package Valves. Valves can be added to the exterior of the package to allow gases to escape. These one way valves are an efficient way to remove gasses without allowing any gases to enter the packaging. These valves can also be used to compact packaging to allow for easier stacking.

For many products one of the ways to get the best in protection is to layer the MAP packaging. Combining films, scavenger packs, and gas flushing or any of the above can ensure that your product is highly protected. 

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging (Map) Enhance the Safety of Shelf-Life of Foods?

Map packaging works by keeping oxygen which can rapidly cause food to spoil, discolor, and pick up flavors that you do not want in your food. In summation oxygen is the enemy of perishable food. Oxygen and other atmospheric gases can support organisms that can result in food products becoming tainted.

In other words, if food products are not protected from atmospheric gases, organisms can flourish and infect the food stuff which in turn can get consumers sick. Responsible processing includes a focus on protecting food products from gases that are known to support the growth of these organisms.

Of course, consumers are in tune with food borne disease and often associate those disease with foods that do not “look right”. Modified atmosphere packaging ensures that your products stay in perfect shape and appeals to the consumer.


Map packaging can help you to meet consumer demand for more products that are less processed and preserved. Modified atmosphere packaging allows the producer to provide consumers with fresh cut offerings that require less preservatives which can help to cut costs in production while extending shelf life.

Atmospheric manipulation is a new technology that can enhance your business by allowing you to provide fresher foods at a lower cost overall.


It can help to:

  • Cut down on waste and losses
  • Improve your brand’s perception by keeping food products looking fresh for longer
  • Reduce processing times and costs
  • Allow you to get more product to market with less worry
  • Enhance food safety

This can be the ideal packaging option for your operation. Reducing the risk of spoilage can enhance food safety. You can have the power to deliver fresh, safe, food products in a cost effective way.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging Process

Who is Using Map Packaging?

There are a wide range of industries within the food and beverage sector that already are on board with the value that Map packaging can deliver Including:

  • Fresh vegetable and fruit growers and distributors. Fresh vegetables and fruit are often victims to shortened shelf live, but producers and distributors are tapping into gas flushing packaging as a way to reduce the risk of oxidation and extend shelf life. They often use barrier packaging and gas flushing to help preserve freshness and decrease perishability.

Food MAP Packaging

A gas flush displaces the oxygen inside the back which can discolor vegetables and fruit and discourage consumers from purchasing the product.

  • Coffee producers. When coffee is roasted a natural by product is carbon dioxide. Typically the roasted beans have to be left out in the air to degas or there is a risk of the package bursting. A handy tool that will ensure that the roasted beans arrive at their freshest state is the one way valve. A one way valve allows the carbon dioxide to escape reducing the threat of the bag bursting while allowing the freshly roasted beans to be packaged immediately.
  • Snack producers. Snack producers are also big on using Map packaging. There has been a real push from consumers for healthy fresh snacks that they can take on the go. Fresh snacks that are packaged in map type packaging can help producers meet consumer demand for fresh snacks.

Of course, there are many more producers that are tapping into the power of this type of packaging. Meats, poultry, legalized cannabis operations, and other organization that has a product that needs to be protected from atmospheric gases that can deplete the products quality quickly.

Is it right for your business?

The Cost Effectiveness Is a Big Seller.

One of the many reasons producers are running out to get this type of packaging is because of the built in cost savings. What would you do with the savings if your products could have an extended shelf life?

You could filter that savings into other areas of your operation like marketing, processing optimization, labor costs, supply costs and more. The cost effectiveness of this packaging is realized through the value in keeping your products fresher for longer on the shelf and by making your products more appealing.

A recent consumer survey discovered that the look of fruit and vegetables was the biggest decision maker for buyers. How your produce looks when it is sitting at the retailer can determine whether consumers will buy your brand or another brand.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging Chicken

The beauty of Map packaging is that not only do your products stay fresh for longer but they maintain their aesthetics and appeal for longer, which can absolutely affect your bottom line. The right packaging can make all the difference in your companies reputation.

It is not only cost effective but it is cost cutting as well. Less time can be spent on dealing with spoiled product and more time can be spent on processing. Less cost can be spent on losses and more revenue can be gained.

It is a simple equation, Map packaging enhances a produce while other packaging does not.

MAP Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Is It Right For Your Product?

Any perishable produce can benefit from this packaging. If you deal in perishables regardless of the type, than you should be looking for a packaging company that offers modified atmosphere packaging. It can be a tremendous asset to your product line.

The right packaging company will have the perfect solution to help you preserve the shelf life of your products, reduce waste, and enhance your product perception. It is one of the smarter ways to package your food products.

Connect with a trusted source that can help you find the right Map packaging for your products than get ready for the increase in business.