Many foods are very sensitive for oxygen, which is responsible for the deterioration of many products either directly or indirectly. In fact, in many cases food deterioration is caused by oxidation reactions or by the presence of spoilage aerobic microorganisms. Therefore, in order to preserve these products, oxygen is often excluded.
Oxygen (O2) presence in food packages is mainly due to failures in the packaging process, such as mixture of gases containing oxygen residues, or inefficient vacuum. Vacuum packaging has been widely used to eliminate oxygen in the package prior to sealing. However, the oxygen that permeates from the outside environment into the package through the packaging material cannot be removed by this method .
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is often used as an alternative to reduce the O2 inside food packaging. However, for many foods, the levels of residual oxygen that can be achieved by regular (MAP) technologies are too high for maintaining the desired quality and for achieving the sought shelf-life . The use of oxygen scavenging packaging materials means that oxygen dissolved in the food, or present initially in the headspace, can potentially be reduced to levels much lower than those achievable by modified atmosphere packaging .