Pune-based packaging machinery manufacturer Nichrome demonstrated its rotary tray sealing machine at the India International Dairy Expo 2022 held from 13-15 April at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai. The machine enables the use of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and is primarily meant for packaging perishable items. The MAP technology enhances the shelf life of a variety of perishable food items including Indian milk-based sweets thus decreasing spoilage and waste for brand owners, retailers and consumers.
“Our rotary tray sealing machine helps brand owners to enhance the shelf life of products such as sweets. Not only does it enhance the shelf life of food products but the packaging also looks very good compared to the conventional sweet packaging. Our machine currently is mostly used for packaging sweets but it can also be used to pack perishable food items items such as kebabs, chopped vegetables and fruit, raw and processed meats, fish, frozen food, namkeens, and ready-to-eat meals such as biryani,” an official from Nichrome told Packaging South Asia.
The Nichrome rotary tray sealing machine can pack 16 trays of 250 grams each per minute or about 4 kilograms of sweets per minute. The packed products have a shelf life of about one month but with preservatives, it can go up to two to three months.
“The longer shelf life means brand owners can expand their geographical reach. A dairy based in Jalgaon can easily export sweets to markets such as the US and the EU. We have seen many tier 1 and tier 2 dairies opt for our machine. Chitale Dairy, based in Pune, is using our rotary tray sealing machine,” the official said.
MAP technology is gaining traction
According to Nichrome, MAP technology is gaining traction in Indian food packaging. MAP is becoming more and more popular for preserving the freshness and extending the storage and shelf life of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and other perishable food products.
The modification process generally lowers the amount of oxygen in the headspace of the package. The oxygen can be replaced with nitrogen, a comparatively inert gas, or carbon dioxide. A stable atmosphere of gases inside the packaging can be achieved using active techniques, such as gas flushing and compensated vacuum, or passively by designing breathable films.
“We see a demand for MAP technology in the food packaging industry to grow stronger going forward – given the focus on hygiene, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic,” the official concluded.