Modified Atmosphere Gases and Mixtures

Modified Atmosphere Packaging for Seafood
Natural way to preserve the quality and freshness of packaged fish and seafood - with food-grade MAPAX® gases and gas mixtures from Linde
Curbing Microbial Growth

High water activity, a neutral pH value (which is favorable to microorganism growth) and the presence of enzymes make fish and seafood sensitive to microbial growth. The breakdown of proteins by microorganisms gives rise to unpleasant odors. In addition, the oxidation of unsaturated fats in high-fat fish such as tuna, herring and mackerel results in an unappetizing taste and smell. Fish such as herring and trout can turn rancid even before microbial deterioration is detectable.

The right packaging can help combat these issues. Based on our wide portfolio of food-grade gases, our MAPAX solutions can extend the shelf life of seafood without altering its physical or chemical properties or adding any unnatural ingredients. Modifying the atmosphere is a natural method that is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide. In many cases, it can also complement alternative preservation methods. Fish such as cod, flounder, plaice, haddock and whiting, for example, can be stored at 0°C twice as long in a modified atmosphere as in air.

Our MAPAX modified atmospheres for seafood 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 in the distribution chain by days or even weeks
  • Retain taste, texture and appearance
  • Enhance production and distribution efficiency
MAPAX for Seafood and Fish

We have developed a range of MAPAX solutions targeted specifically at the challenges facing fish and seafood specialists.

The presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) in seafood packaging has a strong inhibiting effect on common aerobic bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter and Moraxella as well as on anaerobic bacteria. At CO2 levels above 20% in sufficiently large package volumes, it does this by lowering the pH level of the tissue surface of the fish.

The CO₂ concentration should always be above 20% and can be as high as 50% to achieve the maximum shelf-life extension. Depending on the storage temperature (0-2°C), these packages can prolong the shelf life of raw fish in a tray with film wrap by 3 to 5 days.

We typically add oxygen to these mixes to avoid discoloration and pigment fading in fish and seafood. Oxygen has the added effect of inhibiting the growth of anaerobic microorganisms such as Clostridium, which can produce toxins.

The risk of Clostridium growth in fish packaged in the correct modified atmosphere with a short shelf life is negligible. If the temperature is kept below +3°C (+37.4ºF), the growth of Clostridium can be prevented. To avoid rancidity, we replace oxygen with nitrogen to package oily fish.

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Our expert team can tell you more about the optimization potential of our gases, equipment and services

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