Package Material Permeability

The success or failure of MAP for respiring and nonrespir-ing foods depends on both the 02 and C02 permeability of package materials to maintain the correct gas mixture in the package headspace. In addition, films used in gas packaging should also have low water vapor-transmission rates to prevent moisture loss or moisture gain, that is, to maintain the proper water vapor concentration because it enters into the MAP reaction. Polymers commonly used for MAP of food include polyester, polyamide (nylon), polypropylene (PP), polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and polyethylene (PE) (Table 3). Because all the desired characteristics of a package material, namely, structural strength, permeability, and heat sealability, are seldom found in one polymer, individual polymers may be coex-truded or laminated to one another to produce films with the desired characteristics for MAP. Examples of laminated structures, some of which are shown in Table 4, for

Table 3. Examples of Food-Packaging Materials

Common name




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