MAP Tray Sealing from Nichrome
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is the trend in food packaging nowadays. The MAP technology is gaining more and more popularity as a method of preserving freshness and lengthening the shelf life of fresh foods – fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products and more.
So what is MAP technology?
Modified Atmosphere Packaging is the method of modifying the makeup of the internal atmosphere of a package – usually food packages and medicines – in order to improve the shelf life of the packed products. This technology was developed to deal with the short shelf life of certain food products such as meat, fish, poultry and dairy in the presence of oxygen. The presence of oxygen in the packaging leads to the lipid oxidation of the food product. Oxygen contributes to the shortened shelf life of the fresh produce because it leads to high respiration rates. Even microbiologically, Oxygen catalyses the growth of aerobic spoilage microorganisms. It is plainly obvious that a reduction in oxygen and its replacement with more suitable gases can deter or reduce oxidation reactions and microbiological spoilage.
The MAP process generally involves the lowering of the amount of oxygen in the headspace within the package. Nitrogen – a comparatively inert gas – or carbon dioxide can be used to replace oxygen. The use of active techniques such as gas flushing and compensated vacuum, or passive ones like designing ‘breathable films’ can be used to achieve a stable atmosphere of gases inside the packaging.
Packaging the product in a modified atmosphere needs specialised machinery that can flush out air from the packaging chamber and replace it with another gas or a specifically defined mixture of gases. The product is then sealed in the packaging to ensure that only the modified atmosphere is around the product and unwanted gases are eliminated from the pack.
Cutting edge technologies were needed to be developed to ensure that the mixture of gases is correct, to test the sealed packages for the right mixture, and to ensure that the packaging does not leak.
The Athena Thermoforming Tray Seal Machine from Nichrome
The Italian company Tecnovac is an industry leader in the manufacturing of packaging machines for food products. It has carved out a name for itself in the packaging industry over time with the production of all-round automatic packaging machines for a diverse range of products including food, industrial and pharmaceutical products.
Nichrome – India’s leading packaging machine manufacturer and food packaging solutions provider – has teamed up with Tecnovac to bring its Athena Automatic Tray Sealer to India. The Athena has the capability of packaging food in a modified atmosphere, in any combination of trays and top films for packaging chopped vegetables & fruits, raw & processed meat, fish, frozen food, Indian mithai, namkeen, and ready-to-eat meals such as biryani etc.
The Athena machine is able to seal and pack in a protective atmosphere (vacuum+gas) or with a ‘skin effect’, all types of trays or jars using pre-formed trays. Its strong stainless steel structure and ease of maintenance make the Athena ideal for use in small and medium-sized companies. The combination of these features with an output speed of up to 60 trays per minute makes the Athena easily acceptable to India’s ready-to-eat food manufacturers.
MAP in the Post-Pandemic World
The COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed a number of developments in safety and hygiene in almost every arena. In such a situation, MAP Tray Sealing and the Athena food tray sealing machines offer a win-win situation for both manufacturers and consumers of food items. In India especially, snacks, namkeen and mithai are a beloved part of life. Athena’s MAP technology helps ensure that the food items are packed safely – untouched by human hands – and raises hygiene levels that are a particular concern of all consumers. With MAP tray sealing and automatic vacuum packing machines, manufacturers can ensure the safe and clean production and sale of mithai and snacks that consumers crave.
Nichrome – among the best packaging machine manufacturers – offers the latest, most cost-effective packaging solutions in India, with a comprehensive range of automatic packing machines for the whole gamut of applications in the Food, Pharma and other industries. Nichrome’s offerings are a result of its decades of industry experience, technological know-how, and superb design & manufacturing capabilities. They also come with nationwide support in terms of service and spares. For further information and more integrated packaging solutions, please visit www.nichrome.com.