It is interesting to consider the following case whereby a consumer purchases chicken fillets which were packaged using modified atmosphere packaging. Upon opening the packaging a day later after it being refrigerated and well within the sell-by date, the smell of decomposing chicken was quite nauseating.Inadequate checks in the food processing chain had failed to identify that the means of preserving the chicken failed in this instance.
As a consumer, it is their right to go back to the shop and request a replacement for expired food produce or indeed they could contact the manufacturer directly. However, the low cost of the chicken and the added inconvenience of doing either prompted the consumer to throw the product away and just cook an alternative meal. What is the cost to the manufacturer in this instance? The next time the consumer is shopping they will seek one of the plentiful alternative brands to the one purchased and sales will fall. The company who sell the chicken which had expired will thus be unable to ascertain why sales have dropped which may lead to further quality control failures as the issue has not been flagged at production level. Whilst some cases may be reported, more often than not, consumer inertia will ensure lack of feedback. This instance therefore damages the brand and makes it inevitably more difficult to promote and grow.
The solution: prevention is better than the cure and an in-depth quality control overview is required. The only way to ensure that Modified Atmosphere Packaging is effective is to test a fully packed and sealed food product from each batch processed. This ensures that the packaging is intact and that the gases used are correct and present in the recommended proportions relative to that food product. Therefore, the Map-Pak handheld analyser from AGC Instruments is the perfect solution for this requirement.
The Map-Pak Food Gas Analysers were developed to satisfy three key provisions: speed, accuracy and comprehensive verification. These analysers are fast and easy to use for all operators with sample measurements obtained within seconds. Software is available for all Map-Pak analysers at no additional cost and allows the results to be easily downloaded to a computer for record-keeping. Furthermore, an optional compact printer for printing the results on labels and receipt-size paper is available. This enables swift verification for the stringent Modified Atmosphere Packaging quality control process.