May 8, 2022
At 78%, nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere. Unlike oxygen, which is reactive, nitrogen is inert. This makes it excellent for the packaging of food and beverages, such as beer and coffee. In some cases, as is the case of nitro brews, it also plays a role in boosting flavours and altering product quality. Dessert products also use nitrogen to improve texture and bulk. When it comes to winemaking, it is used in several stages of the process: pressurization, inerting, assembly, filtration, to name a few. However, this article focuses on food grade nitrogen in food packaging. In this application, it preserves the freshness and shelf life of packaged food products.
As an inert gas, nitrogen has many uses in and benefits for food and beverage packaging:
The use of nitrogen in F&B packaging is a form of Modified Atmosphere Packaging. This means the gaseous atmosphere surrounding a food product is changed inside its packaging. Examples of MAP technologies are the VFFS machines that fill chip bags or the capsule packaging machines that fill coffee pods.
Companies can purchase liquid or gaseous nitrogen from vendors. However, self-producing nitrogen with an on-site generator is quickly gaining in popularity. These generators isolate nitrogen from the other gases in the air supplied by a compressor. They achieve this separation through methods such as pressure swing adsorption (PSA) or membrane nitrogen generation.
From cost savings to supplier independence, there many compelling reasons companies are switching to on-site generation for food and beverage packaging:
• The right nitrogen: Get the nitrogen flow, purity and quality your application requires.
• No wait time: Your nitrogen supply is always ready. No need to order nitrogen from an external vendor and wait for delivery.
• Safety: Eliminate the risks associated with moving high-pressure cylinders.
• Sustainability: Eliminate the transportation emissions associated with gas deliveries.
• Lower cost: Operating costs are low and the investment pays off quickly.
Do you depend on a third-party supplier for your nitrogen? Are you ready for on-site nitrogen generation? Pneumatech makes it possible for you to produce the nitrogen you need in-house. Contact your local Pneumatech representative today for more information!