Air Products has said its new gas cylinder with an added antimicrobial barrier will help boost food packaging hygiene and safety standards.
The company said its Freshline Plus cylinder, designed for use in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) applications, includes for the first time a built-in antimicrobial layer that curbs the growth of bacteria, microbes and moulds on the surface of the container.
“The silver ion-based antimicrobial coating is designed to minimize the risk of contamination in food processing areas,” Michelle Jackson, Air Products European MAP manager told FoodProductionDaily.com. “This new cylinder represents an important step forward that brings the industry extra peace of mind."
The technology, developed by BioCote, has been incorporated into the paint used for the gas cylinder and is effective in reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E.coli and Salmonella by up to 99% on its surface over a 24–hour period, she added.
European roll out
The firm decided to make the advance in response to customer feedback.
Some companies, particularly SMEs, may bring gas cylinders into the food processing facility as they do not have sufficient external storage space, said Jackson. The new coating now provides antimicrobial protection for the cylinders in such cases.
"The built-in features of the new cylinder are specifically designed to minimise the risk of contamination in the food production environment, regardless of how many times the cylinders are handled or used,” she added. “Using the new cylinders gives the food processor the assurance that the gas products they are using are pure at the point of use."
Following successful field trials, the new cylinder will be rolled out in Belgium, Holland and Germany from the beginning of next month, with the UK and Eastern European launch scheduled in July.
The containers will be available in France and southern Europe from October.
MAP is a technique used for prolonging the shelf-life period of fresh or minimally processed foods by changing the the composition of the air surrounding the product. The technique is used with perishable products such as fish, fruits and vegetables as well as extensively in the meat sector.
For more meat-related innovations, FoodProductionDaily.com will be holding a half day conference at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany on 28 March entitled Meat Technology - What the Future Holds.
To find out more about this free event – which has speakers from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Multivac and Datamonitor - click HERE