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Linde, a global supplier of food- and beverage-grade gases and related technology, offers both modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) gases that can help extend shelf life, and advanced leak-detection systems that can speed MAP packaging operations while helping to ensure package integrity and food quality.     

Package Leak Detection
For detecting leaks in modified atmosphere packages, the patented MAPAX® LD leak detection system tests MAP packages inline – and can achieve 100 percent sampling at up to 120 packages per minute. Inline testing is a major advantage over other leak-detection methods such as needle or immersion testing, which may rely on statistical sampling but typically check only a single package for each batch or test period.

The MAPAX® LD system is ideal for testing packaged meat, poultry, seafood and prepared foods packaged with tray sealers or thermoforming machines, for example, equipped with MAP systems. If a package leak exists due to a pinhole, tear or defect in the seal, a visual alarm signals so issues can be immediately resolved or investigated. A defective package can be removed from the production line with minimal interruption to the process flow.

MAP Gases
As part of a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) system, Linde MAPAX® packaging gases help extend shelf life. These food-grade gases typically include some combination of food-grade nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) or oxygen (O2), depending on the type of food. MAP systems inhibit the deterioration of food in a natural way. They help keep products fresh and appetizing and can contribute to food quality and safety programs.

Ideal for trayed, bagged and pouched products, MAP systems equipped with MAPAX gases can typically extend the practical shelf life of fresh foods by 200% or more compared to packaging in air. For example, the shelf life of raw red meat can typically be extended from 2-4 days to 5-8 days (at <38 °F), and cakes from several weeks to up to one year. (See comparison chart below.)

This extended shelf life can provide other important benefits for food processors:

Improved Distribution

Goods protected by the MAPAX technology can be delivered across longer distances or on a less frequent basis for enhanced logistical flexibility. From the delivery of raw materials to the transportation of food products, the MAPAX solution can:

  • Reduces the amount of preservatives
  • Extends geographical boundaries and time of preservation

New Food Products, Improved Recipes and Marketing

  • Allows processors to include more delicate ingredients
  • Allows the creation of new dishes and products
  • Allows highly attractive and marketable packaging

Comparison of Typical Shelf Life

Typical improvements with MAPAX modified atmosphere packaging across protein, dairy, baking and prepared food applications.

Products packed in air vs. MAPAX® modified air packaging


   Packed in air    MAPAX® solution
Raw red meat    2–4 days                 5–8 days
Raw light poultry    4–7 days                 16–21 days
Raw dark poultry   3–5 days                 7–14 days
Sausages   2–4 days   2–5 weeks
Sliced cooked meat   2–4 days   2–5 weeks
Raw fish   2–3 days   5–9 days
Cooked fish   2–4 days   3–4 weeks
Hard cheese   2–3 weeks   4–10 weeks
Soft cheese   4–14 days   1–3 weeks
Cakes   several weeks   up to one year
Bread   some days   2 weeks
Pre-baked bread   5 days   20 days
Fresh cut salad mix   2–5 days   5–10 days
Fresh pasta   1–2 weeks   3–4 weeks
Pizza   7–10 days   2–4 weeks
Pies   3–5 days   2–3 weeks
Sandwiches   2–3 days   7–10 days
Ready meals   2–5 days   7–20 days
Dried foods   4–8 months   1–2 years


Learn how the Linde food team can ratchet up production
— and profit margins in your packaging operation.