MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Modified atmosphere packaging(MAP) is a foor preservation technique in which the internal package atmosphere is suitably altered to meet the desired condition required for extended storage of agricultural commodities. MAP has been a proven technology to meet the consumer’s demand for more natural and fresh foods, which is increasing day by day. Products in MAP are usually for short-term storage(distribution and retailing), thus, MAP would help the industry for storage, transportation and handling of perishable commodities through out the marketing chain. MAP system is generally adopted for controlling the gas environment and consequently the respiration. The lowering of O2 gas concentration and elevating the CO2 gas surrounding the produce are effective for depression of respiration. MAP is especially important for those products, which have greater susceptibility to water loss, surface browning, higher respiration rates,enhanced ethylene biosynthesis and action, and microbial growth. MAP technology has a great advantage in developing countries because it can economically be done by hand saving the high cost of new machinery. Additionally, the need for such a technique is much greater because of the dearth of refrigerated storage. This technique utilizes only the natural components of air, has achieved public acceptance because it has the advantage of not using synthetic chemicals consequently no toxic residue and a little environmental impact. MAP of fresh produce relies on the modification of the atmosphere inside the package achieved by the natural interplay between the respiration rates of the commodity and the permeability of the packaging films. It is necessary to design the MAP system and select the matching films to achieve desired atmosphere early and maintain as long as possible. To meet the desired film characteristics for MAP the different plastic films are either laminated or co-extruded.