Red Meats - Primals and Subprimals; Case or Counter Ready

Primals and Subprimals
Red meat primals and subprimals have been successfully packaged in modified atmosphere. Package sizes can range from traditional 5 piece pork loin boxes up to full combo bins of product from individual pieces up to quarter and half carcasses. With the meat being vacuumed and gas flushed product colour can be maintained while bacteria growth is retarded. Significant savings from packaging can be achieved with longer shelf life.

Some current uses of bulk red meat MAP are:
• Bins of pepperoni and salami for export or future slicing
• Subprimals shipping to final processors for cutting into chops and steaks
• Product maturation for tenderness
• Deli logs
• Half carcasses for export
• Subprimal boxes for retail processing

The CV-Tek® models used are A-200, A200 PLC and A-200 Overhead

Poultry - Bulk; Tray Wrapped
CV-Tek® developed the first practical dry pack poultry to replace iced chicken. Bulk chicken either whole or cut up is placed in a bag within a box and modified atmosphere packed. After the bag is vacuumed and gas flushed it is heat sealed resulting in a dry pack. CV-Tek® supported the foundation study in 1975 at the University of Minnesota proving the effectiveness of dry pack poultry. Compared to ice pack chicken the advantages are varied. Marinated and injected products also benefit from modified atmosphere. Specific machine options have been developed to address liquid contamination. CV-Tek® air operated vacuum pumps contain no moving parts or oil and are not damaged by liquid injections. The models used to process bulk boxes are the CV-Tek® A-200, A-200PLC and A-200 Multiline®. For 8 and 9 piece cut up poultry the CVP® Z-2200 and the Z-2500 models offer full packaging automation. Individual bags are formed from roll stock, product loaded, vacuumed, gas flushed and sealed. Product speeds up to 50 packs per minute are available.

Tray Wrapped Poultry
Tray wrapped poultry can benefit from modified atmosphere packaging. Pre wrapped trays of cut up poultry are placed into the master bag. This bag is vacuumed and then gas flushed prior to being heat sealed. The preservative gas will permeate into the tray and extend the shelf life of the product. The product remains fresh not frozen. When compared to chill pak or crust frozen chicken no black bones will result. For poultry we recommend our CVP® A-200, A200PLC and A-200 Multiline® models.

Fish - Bulk; Case or Counter Ready

Whole fish, headed and gutted (H & G), fillets and portions can be bulk gas packed to extend shelf life and maintain quality during distribution. Gas packed fish eliminate the need for ice and water tight containers during refrigerated distribution.

Compared to ice packed fish the advantages are:
The advantages of Modified Atmosphere Packaging for fish are numerous. It enables retailers to keep enough product on hand during periods of heavy demand while minimizing the risks of product deterioration, as well as preserving fish quality long enough to supply distant markets. For instance, Salmon fillets from South America packaged in a modified atmosphere mother bag have enough extended shelf life to allow for shipping by sea, rather than air shipping, allowing the end user to save 30-35 cents per pound that air freighting adds to the product cost. Frozen fish can also benefit from modified atmosphere packaging. Frozen fish tastes stale and may have off odors when cooked and eaten, due to fat breakdown when exposed to air. With vacuum or gas back flush available, oxygen is removed and fat breakdown is reduced.

Case or Counter Ready
Prepared fish over wrapped in store trays can have extended shelf life by placing the trays in a mother bag and MAP packing it. By exchanging the air in the mother bag with a new atmosphere extended shelf life achieved. At the retail store the mother bag is opened and the pre-wrapped trays are placed in the retail counter. Counter life should equal the normal counter life as if the fish was freshly prepared. The CV-Tek® A-600, A-600 Multiline® and MasterPacker® can process case ready fish. The advantage of the mother bag system is the final retail tray wrapped product is more traditional in look and feel than the current in store prepared product. Sales appeal is enhanced as traditional product appearance is maintained.

Produce and Fruits
Produce and Fruits can benefit from Modified Atmosphere packaging. As both produce and fruit continue to respire after harvest, a successful packaging system must combine the correct packaging film to the product being processed. This allows the correct package environment to be established. Modified Atmosphere Packaging quickly establishes the desired in pack atmosphere. Each product generally has an optimal O² and CO² levels. CV-Tek®'s expertise is matching product respiration rates to film permeability. Internal gas levels within the package is typically in the range of 3-5% oxygen and 3-10% carbon dioxide. These gas levels slow respiration and thereby slow physiological aging, inhibit enzymatic browning and slow microbiological growth. Modified Atmosphere packaged ready-to-use vegetables meet the consumers need for high quality, freshness and convenience. The CV-Tek® A-600 with a 12 pack setting offers produce producers increased flexibility to have MAP and vacuum packs for a wide variety of products. Up to 10 packs per minute can be produced on the A-600. The CV-Tek® Z-1200, Z2200 and the Z2500 offer automated packaging at speeds up to 50 bags per minute.

CV-Tek® offers a wide variety of cheese packaging systems depending upon package size and product type. Vacuum packing 500 pound barrels offers improved yields with reduced moisture loss and elimination of mold. Trim barrels also benefit from elimination of mold. Pallet packing of loaf cheese for shredding reduces unwrapping labor along with reduction in packaging material. Shredded cheeses have longer shelf life when packed in gas. CV-Tek® controlled vacuum systems with gas injection result in very low oxygen levels without knitting the cheese back together. Soft and hand pack cheeses will benefit from head space reduction.

Nuts packed in Modified Atmosphere benefit from extended shelf life due to delay of rancidity from oil oxidation. Package oxygen levels are reduced below 2% which is required to inhibit oxidation. Gas back flushing relieves the nut's sharp edges from piercing the protective bag. CV-Tek® has developed a wide range of modified atmosphere packaging systems to pack nuts in both bulk and smaller pack sizes. MAP packs of bulk nuts provide extended shelf life with packaging savings when compared to traditional cans or sacks. Peanuts can be packed with the shell on or removed. Other nuts packed include cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds and pine nuts. Combo bin packing utilizes CV-Tek® A-200, A-200 PLC and A-200 Overhead models. Smaller packs are processed onCV-Tek® A-300, A-600 and A-200 models. Vacuum packing 500 pound barrels offers improved yields with reduced moisture loss and elimination of mold. Trim barrels also benefit from elimination of mold.

Snack Foods
Snack Foods can benefit from Modified Atmosphere packaging. Rancidity due to fat or oil oxidation can be controlled with the introduction of nitrogen gas. CV-Tek® PLC controls ensure consistent vacuum levels with no product damage, and multiple cycles achieve low residual oxygen levels for fragile products.

Bulk snacks can be preproduced and transported prior to final consumer packing, in a hygienic package while maintaining product quality. Packaging costs can be reduced by increasing pack size for sale to further processors.

Spices contain oils that oxidize and generate off flavors and odors. The use of modified atmosphere packaging reduces the package's oxygen content to a level that delays oxidation. See the Nuts section for details.