Abstract: Apparatus for packaging articles in a controlled atmosphere, such as one created by a vacuum followed by the addition of gas, such as carbon dioxide, provided within a flexible container having an open end. The packaging apparatus includes a frame and a support one the frame for the flexible container, which is preferably supported within a rigid outer container, to maintain a substantially fixed position for the articles in the flexible container. A fixed elongated member or manifold is mounted on the frame and includes an upwardly and forwardly angled sealing surface. The fixed elongated member cooperates with a movable elongated member or manifold which is operatively mounted on the frame and includes a sealing face which is movable into cooperative relationship with the sealing surface of the fixed manifold. The movable manifold is movable between a position which is spaced from the fixed manifold and a second position which is adjacent or against the sealing surface of the fixed manifold.
Abstract: A process and apparatus for packaging articles, particularly fresh meat pieces, in a substantially gas impermeable flexible container. In the packaging of fresh meat, the process enables the meat to be held for extended periods of time, and yet the natural color of fresh meat is maintained and the bacteria growth does not exceed limits which would cause the meat to be considered inedible. The fresh meat is first placed in an open, substantially gas impermeable flexible container. Hollow passage defining means are inserted through the open portion of the flexible container, and while the top is being temporarily sealed, the container is vacuumized for removing substantially all the air and oxygen therefrom. After the air is removed, carbon dioxide is added to the container, the concentration of the carbon dioxide being such as to avoid significant bacterial growth on or in the meat over extended periods of time, while avoiding discoloration of the meat.