A Pack Atmosphere Support System for Live Crabs/Shellfish Species During Road Transported and Air-freighted Distribution (RD095)


This project aimed to develop an atmosphere support system for use in the deployment of live export of UK crustaceans to international markets. The packaging was designed to maintain an optimal atmosphere for species in long-haul journeys, thus minimising stress and mortality of crabs and shellfish.

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:


Project Outcome:

The development of an export pack atmosphere support system for live shellfish during road and airfreighted distribution to distant export markets.

The system is based on active packaging inclusions, in sachet format, which are deployed within the sealed, standard expanded polystyrene distribution boxes containing the live shellfish.

The inclusions will both release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide at rates that will maintain the pack atmosphere composition at or near normal ambient atmosphere levels for the duration of the journey, even if the  latter is extended due to transit delays, enabling the animals to be better able to cope with the stress of consequent temperature rises and thus avoid or reduce stress-related mortality and morbidity and also improve the vigour of the animals on arrival.

The system is easy to deploy, requiring no additional facilities and only minimal changes to normal production and packing procedures.

The background technology and chemistry is approved EFSA in respect of ‘materials in contact with food’ regulation.

The inclusions themselves are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and offer a cost-effective insurance against potential live export, long-haul distribution losses.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

The Blue Sea Food Company