PROCESSING AND PACKAGING 44 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2019 T he United Nations Food and Agriculture Organiation (FAO) estimates that about one third of all food produced in the world for human consumption every year is lost or wasted. That adds up to about 1.3 billion tonnes annually. In today’s truly global food marketplace, consumers expect to have a wide variety of wholesome, fresh produce available on their local store shelves every day. Producers and manufacturers are striving to offer an ever-increasing range of minimally processed fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy and baked goods that have a long shelf life, and look and taste great. The latest packaging processes can help to keep food fresh and extend its shelf life, and play a key role in reducing the ever-growing issue of global food waste. MAP For All Types of Fresh and Perishable Foods Refrigeration and freezing technologies can help to keep a wide range of food types safe for extended periods. A more recent innovation for retaining freshness is to package perishable food in modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, which extends the product’s shelf life without changing its visual appearance, taste or texture. MAP is used to package meat, poultry, fish, salads, whole and cut vegetables and fruits, as well as processed and convenience foods, bakery products and dairy. MAP involves replacing air in the package using a gas mixture that slows the natural processes of food deterioration. MAP gases are the same as those in the air that we breathe - primarily carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and nitrogen (N 2 ) and sometimes oxygen (O 2 ) A SPOT OF QUALITY ASSURANCE REDUCES FOOD WASTE A large proportion of food waste is a result of ineffective packaging of perishable foods. GEA shares more on advancements in technologies such as modified atmosphere packaging.