Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a technology that is currently used for most packaged salads and fresh-cut vegetables, and to a lesser extent, fresh-cut fruit such as cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.), pineapple [Ananas comosus L. (Merr.)], and apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.). In addition, about 750 million lb (340,200 Mg) of strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.), raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.) and sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) are distributed in MAP annually. The fresh produce packaging industry has developed new films to respond to increased produce consumption and changes in the use of film packaging within different produce marketing segments. The produce film industry sold 60 million lb (27,200 Mg) of film in 1994, and in 2000 it is forecasted to sell 110 million lb (49,900 Mg), an increase of 83%. The distribution of film usage has also changed since 1994 when film consumption patterns were as follows: 20% [12 million lb (5,400 Mg)] retail, 15% [9 million lb (4,100 Mg)] warehouse clubstores, and 65% [39 million lb (17,700 Mg)] food service. In 2000 it is projected that consumption patterns will be as follows: 25% [27.5 million lb (12,500 Mg)] retail, 20% [22 million lb (10,000 Mg)] warehouse clubstores, and 55% [60.5 million lb (27,400 Mg)] food service. These changes represent a 10% shift in film market segment usage patterns away from food service applications to an increase of 5% for each of the retail and warehouse clubstore segments.
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