Food Packaging Applications for Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging

The food packaging industry is moving into the use of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) or Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging (EMAP), since this results in a longer shelf life and better preservation of the look of the packaged food. For this to happen to the required quality standards, the gases used in MAP/EMAP should be reliable and precise, and this is the focus in Environics.

The Series 3000 Gas Mixing and Delivery system from Environics allows MAP gases to be combinedin accurate mixtures for convenient meat packing ready for the case. These mixers achieve impressive precision and dependable results in all cases, whether it is nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other gas that is used to bring down the oxygen concentration. This makes them the first preference for all these needs.

Flexibility

The mixer/blending systems from  Environics are designed to blend as well as dilute gases to the required specifications so that the final gas mix is accurately produced. It is possible to blend 100% bulk gases on site, with the Environics® Series 3000 system for delivery and blending of gas. Thus this system offers an alternative to premixed gas cylinders which are far more expensive.

In most cases mixtures of two or three gases are used, but more constituents can be added as necessary. The system’s main advantages are reduced expense by the use of pure gases in contrast to premixed gas cylinders, and ensuring that the mixture is accurately and reproducibly mixed.

Different blends of gas or a single blend are all possible, with the capability of changing the concentration of just one component separately with user commands. With this system case-ready meat packing can also be customized at all times.

Accuracy

Environics has developed gas mixing systems which use careful and sensitive control of thermal mass flow controllers (EFC202) for the utmost accuracy of gas mixing. While typical thermal mass flow controllers achieve accuracy limits within +/- 1% of full-scale gas flow, the computerization of flow settings combines with precise calibration to enhance accuracy to within +/- 1% of setpoint.

Thus Environics control technology allows a ten-fold increase in precision when used to regulate the thermal mass flow controller, as shown by the document dealing with Full-scale error vs. Setpoint error document.

The high consistency of the Environics systems is another feature ensuring a repeatability of +/-0.05% of full scale flow. Thus the precision and consistency of the system varies with the total flow rate.

Cost Effectiveness and Gas Saving

The use of pure instead of premixed gases reduces costs significantly, enabling the system to pay its own cost over time.

The Series 3000 gas mixing system enables the positive pressure to be regulated, thus complying with downstream process specifications. The mixer configuration can be changedto deliver gas to a ballast tank. This setup lets the mixer turn on or off as the pressure varies down or up in the tank. Thus gas is saved in situations when it is not in constant demand.

Optional and Custom Alarms

The Series 3000 allows the installation of an alarm, if required, so as to provide either visual or sound operator alerts when specific faults occur. The picture is of a visual alarm. These are optional features but should be strongly considered for all gas systems, and in particular for carbon monoxide.

The alarm is set off if the concentration signaled by the flow meters (another optional accessory) goes beyond the tolerance limit, which is set by the user. The latest models allow the offsite reception of these alarms via email, once the static IP address of the server is fedin. This new addition makes the device even more fail-safe.

Many other custom features are available. With many thousands of systems operating on site, Environics has a large library of solutions and applications for every client requirement, as well as options to add a remote control, gas alarms or a gas humidifier.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Environics, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit Environics, Inc.

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