How Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) Benefits Your Business

modified atmosphere packaging salad

The type of packaging you choose plays a significant role in the freshness of your food products. Raw products like meat and fish are susceptible to spoilage. Even tiny holes in the packaging already shorten product shelf life. 

To keep your food products fresh and prevent spoilage, explore modified atmosphere packaging. MAP packaging has a regulated internal atmosphere. Maintain the optimal product freshness by controlling the packaged humidity, oxygen, and nitrogen.

Keep reading for a quick, helpful primer on MAP packaging. We will discuss its features and real-life applications. By the end of this article, you will have a fair starting point on using MAP for your business.

Most Popular Modified Atmosphere Packaging Solutions

Modified atmosphere packaging achieves a controlled atmosphere for your packs through the following:

Cheese Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Gas Flushing

Gas flushing is arguably the most popular MAP technique. Brands use this on many packaging materials, from small crisp pouches to meat cartons. The process involves pumping packages with nitrogen gas mixtures to minimize internal oxygen levels. This technique delays oxidation and spoilage. Gas flushing packs also need to use the correct materials to ensure certain products (such as salads) can also breathe and not become soggy.

You can use gas flushing on the following package types:

  • Flexible cheese packaging
  • Meat, seafood or salad trays with lidding films
  • Flat pouches/Three-side seal pouches
  • Centre seal bags made from rewind

Barrier Packaging Films

For certain products, wrapping with barrier films instead of using  MAP packaging is more efficient. Barrier films control atmospheric gases within the package by blocking foreign properties. External water vapor, humidity, and oxygen cannot permeate this packaging easily so they last longer on the shelf.

Barrier films are quite versatile and tailor-made to suit a particular product, so you can use them on food packaging options such as:

  • Clear flat pouches/Three-side seal pouches
  • Custom print centre seal pouches (like coffee bags)
  • Carton meat and seafood pouches inside boxes
  • Flat Bottom Bags
  • Stand Up Pouches
  • Flexible vacuum packaging

Desiccant Packets

Desiccant packets are a common MAP packaging option used in various industries. They contain silica gel. If you place a couple of these packets in a pouch, carton, or bag, they’ll quickly absorb moisture from the internal air.

You can use desiccant packets in almost any packaging solution, including:

  • Clear flat pouches / Three side seal pouches
  • Kraft paper bags
  • Stand up pouches
  • Flexible vacuum packaging

On-Package Valves

On-package valves are a modern form of MAP packaging. They allow any build up of natural, internal gases to exit whilst simultaneously blocking external atmospheric gases from entering the pack. Most brands use on-package valves in pre-packaged coffee or tea. Valves can also be used to release steam from packs that may be used for microwave cooking.

This system best works on the following packaging types:

  • Flexible vacuum pouches
  • Quad Seal bags
  • Custom meat and seafood bags
  • Flat Bottom Bags

Applying Modified Atmosphere Packaging to Your Brand

As a business owner, you can apply modified atmosphere packaging to various food and non-food products, such as:

modified atmosphere packaging for beef

Raw Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

Yes, standard vacuum packaging options extend the shelf life of raw meat cuts. If you want to maintain optimal quality and freshness, however, opt for MAP packaging. Gas flushing, vacuum packaging, or barrier films help protect your products.

Coffee Beans

Freshly roasted coffee beans release carbon dioxide. While unavoidable, a continuous release gradually declines the quality of your beans. In the worst case, they can even cause oxidation. Luckily, adding an on-package valve to your pouches will easily resolve the issue.

Tea Leaves

Keep your tea leaves fresh for weeks on end by keeping it away from external oxygen and carbon dioxide. Remember: tea leaves are very sensitive. Even a few seconds of exposure to humidity can cause the leaves to go bad.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Modified Atmosphere Packaging?


Modified atmosphere packaging is a modern storage technique. It uses advanced machines to regulate the indoor atmosphere inside developed packages. Brands often use MAP for packaging perishable foods. If executed properly, this method significantly extends the freshness of food products.

What are the types of modified atmosphere packaging?


Different MAP technologies can achieve a controlled temperature. Some of the most common options use barrier packaging films, gas flushing, on-package valves, and desiccant packets. Choose an option that best suits your preferred food packaging.

What is the function of modified atmosphere packaging?


The controlled atmosphere within MAP packaging prolongs the shelf life of its contents. You can apply these techniques to any packaging material. However, most brands utilise MAP for raw meat and seafood packaging as well as fresh salad packs and crisps.

Is modified atmosphere packaging safe?


Modified atmosphere packaging is a safe technique. Businesses have relied on MAP technology when mass producing food products for decades. However, executing these processes requires skill and experience. Haphazardly using cheap barrier wraps or desiccant packets does more harm than good.

Get the Modified Atmosphere Packaging Solutions Worldwide!

Don’t worry if you still find the concept of modified atmosphere packaging confusing. We can help! 

At O F Packaging, we provide custom packaging production services to businesses worldwide. You can rest assured knowing that we have the resources to address all your requests. Just tell us what you need!

Book an initial consultation with our team to get started. Let’s explore the best ways to incorporate MAP into your product packaging.