Canadian mussel processor granted packaging patent –

Canadian mussel processor granted packaging patent Published:  29 August, 2007

A PRINCE Edward Island mussel processor has been granted a patent that will allow him to package his product in a ground breaking way.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is a watertight process that uses a special oxygen/carbon dioxide mix to keep mussels alive for much longer than regular packaging and in a consumer friendly, airtight package.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunities this new technology holds for the shellfish industry in North America,” says Brian Fortune, president of Atlantic Aqua Farms Inc., located in Orwell Cove, PEI. “It will revolutionise the way shellfish is packed and shipped and it will provide consumers with a leak proof package and optimum freshness. It is not the first MAP patent for live shellfish, but it is the best,” he claims.

MAP packaging was first patented in Europe in 2002. According to Mr Fortune, the European packaging system allows mussels to stay alive and fresh for up to nine days whereas his system, which is the first to be patented in North America, keeps molluscan shellfish fresh for 14-21 days.

“What makes our MAP system different is a manipulation of the gases and the proprietary packaging technique,” he says. “Our hope is to eventually offer this system to other industry players in Canada and across North America by means of licensing agreements.”

Atlantic Aqua Farms Inc. was started in 1988 as a hobby by Mr Fortune and his brother and has since grown into a very lucrative business. The company employs more than 150 people and ships its “Canadian Cove” products around Canada, to the US and Europe. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.