Keeping leafy greens fresh is an exact science

California and Arizona provide more than 90% of American lettuce. If you live anywhere east of these two states, leafy greens have come a long way to get there. How is this done? The short answer is cooperation and the right technology: Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging, or EMAP.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging is a technology that slows the breathing of fresh produce and extends the shelf life. Unlike most food products, fresh fruits and vegetables continue to breathe after they are harvested. As a result of this process, fresh produce consumes oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water vapor.

According to David Bell, President of Witt Gas Controls, the primary goal of EMAP is to keep packaged products fresh for as long as possible without compromising product quality, including taste, texture and appearance. Witt Gas Controls manufactures equipment for mixing and analyzing gases and for leak detection.

Like in Explained, EMAP works best when using the correct, airtight packaging materials to prevent leakage. Permeability and breathability are important traits in packaging, especially for leafy vegetables.


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