‘Original’ MAP process boosts quality and flexibility

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Improved food quality and greater flexibility are claimed for what the manufacturer ARPAC-Hefestus describes as an “original” method of applying Modified Atmosphere (MAP) to a preformed tray or cup.

The APOLLO SLB Rotating MAP Sealing Machine can also be used with aluminum foil containers, glass and plastic jars and even pails and buckets.

“SLB is unique to other MAP technology in that it does not use a mechanical vacuum system to achieve oxygen residual levels of .5% or less​,” the company’s president Greg Levy told FoodProductionDaily.com. “These levels, in the past are usually achieved only by using a vacuum pump​.”

No-vacuum process

The key feature of the machine is SLB’s no-vacuum process. “This essentially allows us to work with absolutely any food product no matter how delicate or sensitive. Typically, mechanical vacuum pumps would destroy foods with high moisture content or intricate designs​,” said Levy. “SLB overcomes all of these challenges and to date, it is being applied to items such as fresh cut fruit, sushi, soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, escargot in addition to fresh meats and cheeses which are more traditional MAP applications​.”

Any food can be treated by the SLB process provided it is in a preformed, rigid container.

The APOLLO-SLB can be configured in a manual format for slower to medium speed operations as well as fully automated with loading, filling, MAP sealing and discharge capability to excel in high volume production operations.

The machine is said to be compact, quiet and economic to operate. Without a vacuum pump, operators avoid the extensive costs and issues associated with them, said the company. SLB machines are to run typically at 20-30% of the utility costs compared with a machine with a mechanical vacuum.

Flexible operation

Flexible operation is claimed to be another benefit of the SLB process. “Our machines are very fast to change over. We recently placed a machine at a sandwich manufacturer that replaced a 30 ft long form, fill, seal vacuum system with a 4ft by 4 ft turn table system and in addition gave this processor the ability to change over, in under 10 minutes, to run deli cups and cold cut trays, a previously impossible feat​,” said Levy.

The machine is available in North and South America through ARPAC-Hefestus USA and globally through Hefestus.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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