Many foods begin to spoil the moment they are harvested or produced and prepared for packaging. The cause is the attack of a multitude of spoilage mechanisms, such as airborne bacteria, yeast and mold spores, or naturally occurring in the product.

During the last three decades, packaging in a modified atmosphere, known as “MAP” or “gas injection”, has been used. It is a safe, tested, proven and consolidated method of fighting food spoilage mechanisms without the use of undesirable preservatives

Products that benefit from MAP:

  • Potato chips, corn chips.
  • Chilled or cooked meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Edible oils: refined from palm and coconut oils.
  • Coffee, tea and milk powder.
  • Spices, pasta, dry goods, pita breads and pizza bases.
  • Grated cheese and other dairy products.
  • Fruit juices, wine, salads, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

One of the main gases used is nitrogen (N2), which is naturally found in the air we breathe, but using them individually or combining them with another gas in the food packaging process can achieve very beneficial results.

The use of nitrogen as a food preservative is gaining acceptance as a non-chemical method of food preservation, as it can improve the quality and expand the availability of perishable products and leaves no chemical residue.

However, the use of nitrogen in the food industry involves a risk to personnel if they are exposed to this gas. Nitrogen is not toxic, but it can cause suffocation by displacing oxygen from the air. The air contains 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen.

The problem that arises when a person inhales nitrogen is that their body stops receiving oxygen, causing the cells to become poisoned. The case worsens in the case of the brain and a so-called cerebral hypoxia (lack of oxygen) occurs. In case it is prolonged, it can cause death.

Oxygen below 18%. The symptoms can vary from one individual to another and range from weakness, dizziness, nausea, decreased reflexes … … to loss of consciousness. Exposure to atmospheres containing less than 10% oxygen can cause unconsciousness without warning and so quickly that the individual will not have time to protect himself, with convulsive movements, respiratory collapse, serious injury, or death. Self-contained breathing apparatus may be required.

At ECNautomation we can help you with fixed and portable detection equipment, for monitoring oxygen conditions in the environment, as well as autonomous breathing equipment in the event of an emergency