21 March 2022
So, we have seen how the use of nitrogen in the food industry keep products fresh. Though other gases such as carbon dioxide and argon are sometimes used, nitrogen is top choice on account of its abundance in the atmosphere. The fourth and fifth utility (compressed air and nitrogen) combine to flush out oxygen which is responsible for oxidation and some types of microbial growth. Nitrogen preserves food products in the package and stabilizes seasonings and flavours. In addition, nitrogen is a natural additive and limits dependence on synthetic additives.
In an ideal set up, the food supplier ‘generates’ nitrogen on-site by separating nitrogen from the air. Through a process called MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging), the gas mix is injected into the package right after the package is filled with the product, and right before the package is sealed.
Testing for gas purity is important across all stages of the food process, including preservation, transportation and quality management. Testing is required at multiple points to detect and narrow down on factors and areas leading to deterioration in gas quality. Testing for microbial growth is particularly important. This is because while nitrogen flushing prevents the growth of aerobic bacteria, it has no effect on anaerobic bacteria (which do not need oxygen to grow; examples include E. coli and Listeria) and in recent times, the latter has been responsible for some well-publicised food recalls. The use of nitrogen is tied in to testing for its purity.
So, what equipment does the food industry use to check quality? Gas mixers and metering systems are used to ensure that safety and quality is maintained for an extended shelf-life and a germ-free environment, even as it offers flexibility in varying the gas mix according to requirement. Gas analysers are used along with these systems to monitor composition of the gas mix.
Pure protection: The right level of purity to continually protect your processes, products, and reputation.
Pure productivity: Exceptional durability and qualified support to keep pace with your production, achieving the highest levels of efficiency.
Pure profitability: The lowest power consumption with the lowest product life cycle cost for your compressed air applications.
If you are looking to set up your food operations or to step up you existing operations in a manner that is both economical and compliant to high standards of hygiene and purity, explore Pneumatech’s range of products. Or get in touch with us right away.