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MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS: MAP OR VSP?
- Sep 12, 2018 -

Extension of the shelf-life of meat and poultry products is one of the technology needs to meet the demands of consumers. In this respect, increasing attention is put on packaging techniques. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum packaging (VP) are recent innovations that have been gaining importance as preservation techniques to improve the shelf-life of meat and poultry. MAP provides alterations of atmospheric gas concentrations in the pack.

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Controlled atmosphere (CA) packaging is also MAP, wherein the selected atmospheric concentration of gas is actively maintained throughout the storage period. In VP, air is completely removed. The three principal gases used in MAP are carbon dioxide (to inhibit bacteria and moulds), nitrogen (to avoid oxidation of fats and pack collapse), and oxygen (to prevent anaerobic growth). Retention of meat color is better in MAP than in VP. However, color is regained when meat is removed from VP packets and exposed to air.

Microbial profiles of MAP- and VP-meat do not differ significantly. MAP offers several unique advantages for retaining the desirable market quality of products. The safety of MAP meat is still a concern under temperature abuse conditions but it can be improved by coupling with hurdle technology and proper preservation systems. Active packaging is a significant area of advancement of MAP technology to further improve the safety of meat and poultry products. This contribution critically reviews the existing knowledge on MAP and VP of meat and poultry in order to broaden our understanding of the subject and to suggest further areas of research to effectively use these technologies for marketing safe meat and poultry products.

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