HEADSPACE & MAP ANALYSIS
What is Headspace & MAP Analysis?
The inside (volume) of packaging that is not occupied by the product itself is referred to as headspace. The atmosphere within this space is referred to as the headspace gas, and is analysed by measuring the volume and proportion of these residual gases (O2, CO2, N2, etc.) within packages.
This analysis is critical to maintaining quality control and determining shelf life of food products that have been packaged using the modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technique.
Headspace analysis ensures that the residual oxygen within the headspace gas does not exceed certain defined limits: excessive oxygen within the headspace can result in the growth and proliferation of microorganisms such as bacteria or moulds, which causes spoilage and results in a lower shelf-life of the product.
Headspace analysis usually focuses primarily on oxygen measurements, but in many cases CO2 measurement is also important.