Low oxygen map system provides increased safety for case-ready meats

Nov. 19, 2007
Low oxygen map system provides increased safety for case-ready meats

With retailers increasingly stocking case-ready meats, meat suppliers are challenged with maintaining the safety and stability of packaged meats through ever expanding and complex supply chains.

To help address the demands of this growing market, Multisorb Technologies presents the FreshPax CR system for low-oxygen modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). The system extends shelf life of case-ready meats to up to 30 days, which is double that of comparable packaging alternatives, while preserving color, a key buying influence.  FreshPax CR enables meat producers to expand their distribution networks and offer branded, display-ready products to a broader range of retailers.

The FreshPax CR system functions by addressing the primary threat to the shelf life of packaged meats - oxidation, which can negatively affect flavor, aroma, and appearance. Meat producers have traditionally relied solely on vacuum and back flushing, which removes air from the hermetically sealed master bag in which individual cases are packed, replacing it with a mix of nitrogen and carbon dioxide.  However, this process leaves approximately 0.5 to 2 percent of residual oxygen, enough to reduce shelf life significantly.

Multisorb’s FreshPax CR oxygen scavengers are used together with vacuum and back flush systems to absorb this residual oxygen. Specially formulated to work in a chilled environment, they rapidly reduce oxygen levels to 0.01 percent, effectively inhibiting oxidative degradation. Once at the retail location, individual meat cases are removed from the master bag and allowed to re-bloom, ensuring an appealing red color. The meat is then placed on the shelf as if it were cut and wrapped on site.

The FreshPax CR low-oxygen MAP system is also suited to shrink-wrapped foam trays, a packaging format preferred by consumers over the high-walled plastic containers used in high-oxygen MAP systems. FreshPax CR packets can be optimally sized to each retailer’s case-ready applications. Multisorb offers automated dispensing solutions that are configured to pre-existing master bag and tray insertion packaging lines, allowing manufacturers to respond quickly to the rising demand for case-ready meats.