Ever-increasing capacity for global shipping and transportation has made it possible for perishable goods and produce to be rapidly transported across the world. This has meant that consumers are able to enjoy a vast range of products, even a considerable distance from their country of origin.
Image Credit: Environics Inc.
This rapid transit is a complex process, however, requiring storage conditions to be monitored continuously. The use of modified atmosphere gas mixers has become central to the effectiveness of these rapid transportation processes.
Modified Atmosphere Gas Mixers: An Overview
The role of a modified atmosphere gas mixer is to modify the atmosphere in food packaging. Modified atmosphere gas mixers are an essential part of rigorous quality control processes, ensuring food is well-preserved and free of germs.
Appropriate handling of products during processing and packaging is an important factor in ensuring good shelf-life and food safety. Modified atmosphere gas packaging employs food-grade gases and specialized packaging materials in order to assist in maintaining food quality and extending shelf-life.
Modified Atmosphere Gas Mixers: Key Benefits
Using modified atmosphere gas mixers in food packaging can help reduce spoilage, extending shelf-life by days or even weeks, depending on the food product in question. Protective gas mixtures help to preserve food goods’ taste, texture, and appearance without impacting their nutritional content.
Ultimately, the use of modified atmosphere gas mixers contributes to a more profitable and secure global food supply chain.
Modified Atmosphere Gas Mixers: Commonly Used Gases
Modified atmosphere gas mixtures are generally comprised of three atmospheric gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2). Carbon dioxide is the most important of these gases because CO2 inhibits microorganism growth inside packaging and within the product itself.
Nitrogen’s role is to replace oxygen, therefore decreasing deterioration related to oxidation. Nitrogen will also act as a filler gas, helping the packaging to maintain an appropriate shape during transport.
Oxygen content should be limited in modified atmosphere gas mixtures. Limiting oxygen will help extend shelf life, reduce lactic acid generation and slow the process of senescence.
Modified atmosphere gas mixers are especially common in meat packaging because raw meat will rapidly deteriorate when exposed to the atmosphere.
Air in meat packaging is removed and replaced with a mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, as well as low levels of carbon monoxide. This helps prevent the growth of spoilage organisms while simultaneously limiting oxidization of proteins and lipids. Modified atmosphere packaging with high levels of carbon dioxide will ensure superior taste and flavor in comparison with packaging containing high levels of oxygen.
The Environics Solution
The Series 3000 Gas Mixing and Delivery system from Environics are highly suited to the creation of modified atmosphere gas mixtures. The Series 3000 enables on-site gas mixing of 100% pure bulk gases, utilizing distinct canisters of pure gases.
The ability to generate modified atmosphere gas mixtures in-house can significantly reduce ongoing costs associated with the purchase of pre-prepared modified atmosphere gas mixtures.
Unlike premixed cylinders, the Environics system can provide precise gas mixtures for modified atmosphere packaging applications with a repeatability of 0.05%.
This level of repeatability is maintained through the use of precision thermal mass controllers, ensuring consistency between batches even when employed in high throughput food packaging applications.
Environics also specializes in computerized gas calibration, allowing rapid and straightforward maintenance of an installed, modified atmosphere gas mixer.
The Series 3000 offers a high level of flexibility, allowing it to easily address a wide range of processes and market needs. Food packaging gas mixtures can be customized to accommodate individual goods’ requirements, while the system’s guaranteed repeatability ensures excellent cost savings and minimal wastage.
Environics’ systems automatically blend and dilute gases, consistently producing precise gas mixes. The Series 3000 delivers a positive pressure that can be adjusted to meet the needs of downstream processes. The mixer can also be configured to turn on and off, depending on the current demand for gas.
An optional audible or visual alarm may also be installed to further ensure the safety and quality of the food packaging gas mixers in use.
Overall, the Series 3000 is the ideal delivery system for almost every modified atmosphere gas mixer application.
Produced from materials originally authored by Rachel Stansel from Environics.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Environics, Inc.
For more information on this source, please visit Environics, Inc.