Modified atmospheres in packaging make it possible to offer consumers fresh and untreated products – in other words succulently fresh fruit and vegetables – with a long shelf life.
At the same time, fruit and vegetables are subject to very special requirements in regard to the nature of the packaging and atmosphere. This is because – in contrast to other food – fruit and vegetables continue breathing after the harvest and consequently require an oxygen content in the packaging. Furthermore, the packaging film does not have to be fully tight. By taking the product‘s breathing and the permeability of the film, typically via micro-perforation, into account, the composition of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and low amounts of oxygen ideal for the product can be maintained. The term used here is an EMA (equilibrium modified atmosphere). The gas composition is individually adapted to the corresponding product. Thorough cleaning along with hygienic processing are the fundamental preconditions for long-lasting freshness. Modified atmospheres, in conjunction with corresponding cooling, can be used to extend the shelf life of fresh produce, while achieving an attractive packaging design at the point of sale.