Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Fruits and Vegetables

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How to solve the shelf life of fruits and vegetables has always been a topic of tireless research in the packaging industry, including packaging equipment suppliers, packaging material suppliers, cold chain management suppliers, of course, the most important concern is the processing and distribution manufacturers of fruits and vegetables. At present, in China, the technology and means of extending shelf life of fresh meat and prefabricated cooked food through MAP packaging are very mature. But because there is still an active state of fruits and vegetables after picking, it also causes the complexity of packaging technology. Therefore, we must know the characteristics of fruits and vegetables in advance before packaging to provide a reliable packaging solution Resolution.

modified atmosphere packaging machine

The process of respiration and maturity


Fruits and vegetables are fresh food with life trend from astringency to maturity to final aging. In the whole life process, the plant tissue of fruits and vegetables will be decomposed, and fruits and vegetables will experience various biological processes from the beginning of growth. These processes will continue after harvest, resulting in the gradual change of the quality of fruits and vegetables.


The respiration of fruits and vegetables is one of the important factors that make up the change. When fruits and vegetables breathe, they consume oxygen and emit carbon dioxide, water and heat, which leads to the decomposition of carbohydrates and other substances that have an important impact on the freshness, taste and health quality of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables release ethylene, and ethylene is one of the habitual offenders to urge the killing of fruits and vegetables during storage and retail shelf life. The action is characterized by continuous flow between fruits and vegetables and infiltration of victims. One time, two times, and three times directly make all living creatures mature and rotten. Even a small amount of ethylene will produce a force that cannot be underestimated. Different fruits and vegetables have different ethylene release degree and sensitivity to ethylene, and the respiration and release of ethylene are dependent on temperature. Low temperature can control the respiration slowing down and reduce the release. In order to control ethylene and improve the storage capacity of fruits and vegetables, many aspects should be considered.

The best storage of fruits and vegetables


The right storage conditions can extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by 300 - 800%. The important parameters for extending shelf life are temperature, humidity and modified gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene). The best storage conditions vary according to product type, processing, maturity, harvest time and other factors.


 modified atmosphere packaging machine

Packaging system


Keeping the proper temperature, gas mixture and moisture of packaging is an important factor to effectively extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. If the fruits and vegetables are stored in airtight packaging or another airtight container containing atmospheric environment (20.9% oxygen, 78.1% nitrogen and 0.04% carbon dioxide, etc.), oxygen will be converted into carbon dioxide due to respiration.


The rate of respiration or the rate at which oxygen is converted to carbon dioxide depends on the oxygen concentration. Respiration is usually slower at low oxygen concentration than at high oxygen concentration, which means that the aging process is slower and the shelf life is longer at low oxygen concentration.


Even if the packaging film of fruits and vegetables is tight, it will be affected by oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. These gases are also transported through the film (dissolving on one side and releasing on the other), and the rate depends on the type of plastic, the thickness of the film, and the area, temperature, and pressure differences of the gases on both sides of the film.


A certain thickness of packaging material can obtain enough strength. For rapid / rapid evaporation / respiration products, it is not possible to make the film thin enough to prevent the permeability (gas transfer) of oxygen in the package. If fruits and vegetables consume more oxygen in the package than oxygen outside the package, the oxygen concentration in the package will become low or even zero, which will lead to the "death" of fruits and vegetables and make the package meaningless.


Only by controlling the factors that affect the shelf life of fruits and vegetables can the quality of products be guaranteed. For more fruit and vegetable packaging solutions, please contact with Utien and hope that we can have the opportunity to provide you the professional modified atmosphere packaging machine.


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