Modified Atmosphere Gases and Mixtures

Preserving Meat and Poultry with MAPAX
Preserving the quality of meat and poultry with bespoke MAPAX® gases and mixtures from Linde - the ideal way to create modified atmosphere packages that extend shelf life - the natural way
Benefits of Modified Atmospheres for Animal Protein

Meat and poultry products are particularly susceptible to bacterial growth owing to their high water activity and nutrient content. Modified atmospheres can play an important role in inhibiting the contamination of meat and poultry products as a result of microorganisms.

Based on our wide portfolio of food-grade gases, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can extend the shelf life of meat and poultry without altering their physical or chemical properties or adding any unnatural ingredients. It is a natural method that is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide. In many cases, it can also complement alternative preservation methods.

Our MAPAX modified atmospheres for meat and poultry can help you to:

  • Increase sales by satisfying growing demand for fresh and naturally preserved products
  • Extend shelf life without chemicals or freezing
  • Increase shelf life across the distribution chain by days or even weeks
  • Retain taste, texture and appearance
  • Enhance production and distribution efficiency
Packaging for meat patties
MAPAX for Meat

We have developed a range of MAPAX solutions targeted specifically at the challenges facing meat (beef and pork) specialists.

Meat is sterile to begin with, but when carved up, the surfaces exposed to ambient air provide excellent conditions for the growth of bacteria. Minced meat is naturally even more exposed.

Generally speaking, carbon dioxide (CO2) has a strong inhibiting effect on the growth of bacteria in meat and poultry. The aerobic genus Pseudomonas is the largest problem for fresh meat.

Discoloration caused by oxidation of the red pigment in meat is another challenge. In order to retain the red color, the atmosphere for fresh meat should contain elevated levels of oxygen (60 - 80%). This maintains high oxygen levels in the meat's myoglobin. Highly pigmented meats, such as beef, require higher oxygen concentrations than meats with low pigmentation levels such as pork.

With the right MAPAX mixtures, the practical shelf life of consumer-packaged meats can be extended from 2-4 days to 5-8 days at +3.33oC (37.99oF). If master packs are used in distribution, high CO2 levels can further increase shelf life.

Packaged meat in a yellow plastic tray
MAPAX for Poultry

We have also developed a range of MAPAX solutions tailored to the needs of poultry processing.

Poultry is very susceptible to bacterial spoilage, evaporation loss, off-odor, discoloration and biochemical deterioration. Sterile poultry tissue quickly becomes contaminated during the evisceration process.

The practical shelf life of gas-packed poultry is somewhere between 16 and 21 days. The head space volume should be nearly as large as the product volume. In contrast to red meats, poultry does not undergo irreversible discoloration of the meat’s surface in the presence of oxygen.

The spoilage of raw poultry is mainly caused by microbial growth, fueled by the Pseudomonas and Achromobacter genera in particular. These aerobic bacteria are effectively inhibited by modified atmospheres containing CO2. Levels of CO2 in excess of 20% are required to significantly extend the shelf life of poultry.

To avoid problems associated with collapsed packaging and excessive dripping with raw poultry, the gas/product ratio should be increased if higher levels of CO2 are used. Where package collapse is not an issue (e.g. bulk or master bags), 100% CO2 is recommended. In both retail and bulk modified atmosphere packs, nitrogen is used as an inert filler gas.

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