The MAP method is used to extend the shelf life of products by replacing the air in a package with a mixture of inert gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The low-oxygen mix extends the shelf-life of the meat, vegetables and other perishable foods by up to 15 days from the normal five days. The MAP method helps processors increase food safety and extend their markets.
Air Products, a supplier of gas based technologies to the food industry, said it constructed the resource as a means of simplifying the choices available to processors looking to extend shelf life.
In order to develop the right mix, processors need to consider a wide range of factors, including the food group and the type of machine and packaging being used.
The company's Freshline MAP gas selector offers detailed information about the gas mixes needed to extend the shelf-life of 17 different categories of food, including raw and cooked meats and fish, ready meals, pasta, dairy, bakery, fresh fruit, vegetables, liquid products and beverages.
A hard copy of Air Products' Freshline guide to MAP was published last year. The handbook contains information on gases, films, map machines, map legislation and technology for the food packaging industry across Europe.
Access to the online guide can be obtained by visiting www.airproducts.co.uk/MAP and requesting a log in and password. A handy guide also contains information on the various food categories and the gases used to extend their shelf-life.