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.
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The effect of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on dairy products, raw meat, raw poultry , cooked meat and fruit and vegetables is discussed.
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.
Whole milk powder is particularly susceptible to the development of off-flavours due to fat oxidation. Commercially the air is removed under vacuum and replaced with N2 or N2/CO2 mixes and the powder is hermetically sealed in metal cans.
Due to the spray drying process air tends to be absorbed inside the powder particles and will diffuse into the container over a period of 10 days or so. This typically will raise the residual O2 content to 1%-5% or higher. Because some markets require product with low levels of residual O2(<1%) some manufacturers re-pack the cans after 10 days storage. Use of O2 scavenging may also be useful.
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Written by Claire Towler
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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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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