Air Products has launched its new Freshline range of gas products for the food and beverage industry in South Africa.

The Freshline range of food-grade oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen gases are used for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). This process involves the blending of the three, and the use of special packaging to assist in the preservation of fresh foods. This method is commonly used with products such as red meat, poultry, seafood, salads and vegetables, bakery products and cheese.

Air Products specialty gases sales manager Johnny Lopes said that MAP had been proven to significantly improve the shelf life and appearance of fresh foods. It also reduced the use of artificial preservatives and decreased the handling of foods.

Speaking at the Propak exhibition at Nasrec, in Johannesburg, Air Products packaged gases marketing manager Tony Wheatley, said that the company's initial investment to launch food-grade purity gases in South Africa was considerable but they expect the market to grow with customer expectations. The Freshline range is already well established in Europe, where MAP is widely used.