Modified Atmosphere Packaging
In packaging terms, the headspace refers to the internal volume of a package that is not occupied by the product. The atmosphere in this space is termed the headspace gas. Headspace analysis is the measurement of this headspace gas. Headspace gas analysis is a key part of the quality control process for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries for products that have been packaged in a modified atmosphere.
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.
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