The concept of using science to develop ways of keeping packaged food fresher for longer is not new. In fact, stakeholders in the industry have been experimenting with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) methods and techniques ever since it was first introduced into retail stores back in the 1970s.

But although the idea has been around a while, new developments are constantly being announced, and new technologies revealed at a very exciting rate. Developments such as self- venting microwave packs and respiring trays are just two of the recent additions that are helping the exponential growth of the industry.

It truly is a great time to be in the fresh food packaging business!

And it’s not just here in South Africa that MAP is shaking things up. In Europe too – which is actually the driving force behind much of the science that goes into making the packaging work the way it does – people are becoming increasingly excited by the seemingly endless possibilities that modified atmosphere packaging presents.

Innovations in Fresh Food Packaging

Inspired by the huge success of its first conference in 2015, the second Innovations in Food Packaging, Shelf Life and Food Safety Conference is once again being held in Munich, from 3 to 6 October 2017. The Conference provides a platform for interested and affected parties to discuss and develop new technologies and concepts aimed at advancing the development of newer, more innovative food packaging solutions.

The Conference will not only focus on shelf life and food safety but also on food packaging sustainability – including bio-based materials such as edible films, on which much research is currently being done. That is definitely one to watch in the future. Imagine if we could do away with food packaging waste completely because we could simply eat the packaging along with the food that was in it! It is not as far-fetched as it sounds, so watch this space!

You can find out a bit more about the Conference here, but some of the topics that will be discussed include:

Food packaging

• New packaging materials and material development
• Modified atmosphere, active and intelligent packaging
• Biobased and edible packaging, bioplastics
• Food package testing
• Food package Interactions: migration measurement methods, models, and food safety risk assessment
• Sustainable food contact materials
• Recycling and Life Cycle Assessment

Shelf life

• Shelf Life methods, modeling, accelerated shelf life assessment
• Sensory analysis: physiological and instrumental analysis
• Chemical, physical and microbial determinants for shelf life
• Food safety assessment in a supply chain
• Shelf life of foods with non-thermal and novel processing

Mapflex International is a joint venture between international companies, all with extensive experience in the flexible packaging and printing industry. Our mission is to improve on the standard method of fresh vegetable packaging for large-scale retailers by offering innovative and game-changing packaging materials and methods. Find out more here.