In recent decades, the food industry has benefited from large developments. Among the reasons for these changes, prominently the hygienic safety and sensory quality of food. Techniques such as pasteurization, cooling or drying have achieved levels of safety and quality of food products are higher than ever. Land and sea provide many fresh foods, but the main problem with such products is very limited lifespan for the development of microorganisms and the presence of oxidation reactions that disfigure the product. This makes them unsuitable for current sales and distribution systems and which must be packed, after minimal preparation to be exposed in the refrigerated display of establishments. The packaging systems commonly used for fresh foods are essentially three, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
The system simpler packaging and with less investment in infrastructure is called, in English, "over-wrap" in which the food is wrapped (usually on a rigid tray) with a plastic: polyethylene low density, tensile and adhesive, which has achieved great use even in the home. With this system, the drying is prevented, while at the same time, access of the surrounding atmosphere is allowed. Usually food properties intact color, smell and taste, although no agent inhibits microbial growth, except the temperature at which remain, so the shelf life is not long.
This technique was a revolution in the field of food preservation. The cost to implement these systems is greater as they make use of machines capable of achieving a degree of vacuum inside the container, consisting of several layers of plastic materials. By eliminating the atmosphere in contact with the product, they will void microorganisms growth as they need oxygen to thrive. This system may seem definitive, given the long product life, but also has its drawbacks. The biggest is that many foods need air to keep the color and other property features. In addition, soft foods suffer deformation caused by compression to create the vacuum, and the product slices tend to stick together.
Packaging in modified or protective atmosphere
To overcome some of the limitations of vacuum packaging, the atmosphere surrounding the food with a different, optimum gas mixture to preserve the product is replaced. Thus, foods crush or adhesion problems can be packed with an inert gas such as nitrogen or argon, while the oxygen they need to maintain their properties are provided with a rich mixture gas. At the same time, it can be introduced an inhibitor of microbial growth gas such as carbon dioxide. Although the life of the product is never so long as vacuum packaging, is the most widely used system at present, fresh food offered for sale.
Depending on the particular food and the specific conditions of distribution and sale, the companies engaged in this sector should choose the system that best suits your presentation needs and product life. To manage these details, it may be helpful to have a consultancy specializing in food security and an effective and intuitive (in management) software. For example, Ada Mar modules are excellent for process control fish handling.
After checking the needs of the company, you may ask for a quote.