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Regulations covering Modified Atmosphere Packaging

MAP regulations

Gasses as E-numbers

When packing with modified atmosphere the following E-numbers have to be applied to the packaging label, according to EU Directive No. 95/2/EC. The correct E-numbers for gasses are:

Carbon dioxide E 290
Argon E 938
Helium E 939
Nitrogen E 941
Nitrous oxide E 942
Oxygen E 948
Hydrogen E 949

Traceability of modified atmosphere packages

The European Union regulation (EC) No 178/2002 describes the regulations governing food traceability - the ability to track a food product through all stages of production, processing and distribution.

HACCP in connection with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)

According to both EU and US regulations all manufacturers producing products with reduced oxygen content or protective atmosphere have to set up critical control points regarding both the gas content and the seal integrity.

In the United States the HACCP requirements are described in the FDA Food Code 2005 - Annex 6. Section two in the Food Processing Criteria describes the use of reduced oxygen packaging.

For more information on the implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programmes please visit the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Links
European Directive on "food additives other than colours and sweeteners" - including MAP gasses - Directive No 95/2/EC

European Regulation on "principles and requirements of food law" - including traceability requirements - Regulation No 178/2002 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration - FDA 2005 Food Code Annex 6 - Food processing criteria (reduced oxygen packaging)

USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service Resources on HACCP