Science, technology and consultancy services

Science and technology of modified atmosphere packaging

This section contains summary information on modified atmosphere packaging. More comprehensive treatment is available in a chapter on modified atmosphere packaging, written by the author and Derek McDowell, in the book Food Packaging Technology. Derek McDowell is Head of Supply and Packaging at Loughry Campus and is a packaging specialist.

This book, edited by Cole, Kirwan and McDowell, was published by Blackwell Publishing in August, 2003. The author's chapter deals with the food science and technology of food packaging including packaging materials, their properties, selection for packaging applications, and packaging equipment. The chapter has been updated and a second edition of the book was published in 2012. As a result of this revision, the list of references previously available for downloading has been extensively updated and the original downloadable list has been removed (January, 2010). An updated list is now available.
 

Download MAP reference list 

 

Readers may find the article on health claims and the article and calculator for determining the energy density of foods useful.

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Effect of modified atmosphere packaging on major foods

The effect of modified atmosphere packaging on dairy products, raw meat, raw poultry , cooked meat and fruit and vegetables is discussed below.

Dairy products

 MAP has the potential to increase the shelf life of a number of dairy products.  These include fat-filled milk powders, cheeses and fat spreads.  In general these products spoil due to the development of oxidative rancidity in the case of powders and or the growth of micro-organisms, particularly yeasts and moulds, in the case of cheese.

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Nutrition and Health Claims-EU Leglisation - Regulation No. 1924/2006

Introduction

EU regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health claims made on food was published on 18 January 2007. This is the first piece of scientific legislation to deal with nutrition and health claims and aims to provide a higher level of consumer protection as well as harmonise legislation across the EU to facilitate intra-Community trade.

The regulation will control nutrition and health claims by means of positive lists of authorised claims that can be made on food together with the criteria a product must meet to use them. The annex of the regulation contains the list of permitted nutrition claims and the regulation puts in place processes for the compilation of the list of authorised claims. EU regulations are directly applicable in Member States and this regulation will apply from 1 July 2007.

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Labelling-Determination of the energy content of food

The purpose of this section is to provide some advice on how the nutrient density or energy content of foods is calculated and displayed on food labels. A calculator is also included to enable students producing new products to calculate the energy density using the chemical constituents of the food. The calculator can also be used as a food calorie calculator.

Food manufacturers in most countries are legally obliged to make several declarations on food labels. The UK Food Standards Agency has a very good overview of labelling from a consumer perspective including an interesting review of public perception of labels .

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