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Oxygen scavenging packaging cuts spoilage

10-Nov-2004

A new range of oxygen absorbents promises to help dairy processors and cheese manufacturers better protect their products from spoilage.

Multisorb Technologies, a leader in active packaging solutions, has developed FreshPax oxygen sorbents with the purpose of naturally maintaining the shelf life and quality of packaged cheese and cheese products without additives or preservatives.

The company argues that the FreshPax concept retains food taste and colour by effectively removing oxygen from the interior packaging environment. The packaging can be used for foods such as cheeses, yoghurt and sour cream, and can protect other dairy foods from spoilage, mould growth and aerobic degradation.

 

Consumers increasingly prefer to have as few additives as possible in their food. The concept of bacteria-fighting packaging is therefore of great interest to food manufacturers eager to appeal to consumer demand for less additives, while at the same time making food products safer.

 

Market analyst BCC has been following food packaging trends closely, and believes that such packaging concepts are vital to the future of food production.

 

In its report, "Active, Controlled and Intelligent Packaging for Foods and Beverages," BCC says that advances in active packaging have spawned oxygen scavengers, antimicrobial films and gas permeable packages, while controlled packaging has led to modified atmosphere packaging, moisture absorbers and other hybrid forms of packages to keep foods fresh.

 

The removal of oxygen from packaging retains the natural colour and preserves nutritive value of food products. FreshPax works to continually absorb oxygen that permeates packaging throughout the shelf life of a product, minimising the need for BHA, BHT, sulfur dioxide, sorbates, benzoates, and other food additives.

 

The oxygen sorbent sachets are available in a wide variety of sizes and fills to ensure adequate oxygen absorber capacity and extend the shelf life. The company claims that the sachets can rapidly reduce oxygen levels and maintain the oxygen content within packaging to below 0.01 per cent.

 

The oxygen sorbent sachets, which are made entirely from food grade materials, can be used by itself or in conjunction with vacuum/ gas flushed packaging to further reduce ambient oxygen present at the time of packaging to absorb virtually all-residual oxygen within packaging.

 

Multisorb Technologies has been an innovator in sorbent technology for over 40 years. Today the company is North America's largest producer of packaged and fabricated sorbents and the world leader in active packaging components.

 

BCC's analysis identifies a trend towards conveniently packaged foods, fast-preparing or already prepared, with less chemical additives that still possess a long shelf life, and it is this growing sector that Multisorb is keen to exploit. Indeed, along with changes in electronic identifiers that track freshness, temperature and even provide communications with smart refrigerators, BCC contends that a new world of packaging is emerging.

 

Retail trends indicate that perishable foods comprise over 50 per cent of all foods and therefore must be packaged in either gas permeable or re-closeable packaging to avoid spoilage, so the food will last from the manufacturer to the table.

 

Even non-perishable, dry foods need to have an extended shelf life. According to the analysts, retailers prefer at least a year's storage on shelves to meet their requirements for non-perishable dry food packaging.