Nitrogen for packaging chips and snacks

How is nitrogen used in packaging chips and snacks?

July 8, 2022

PN Chips packaging
Pneumatech nitrogen generators are most commonly used in food and beverage applications, where gas can be used in almost every part of the production process. Some examples are grinding, food injection, bottling, cleaning and blanketing. The most common application for nitrogen when producing chips and similar snack foods, is during the packaging process. You may notice that when you open a new bag of potato chips, half of the bag is filled with "air". That air is actually nitrogen gas. Nitrogen is an inert gas, and is used during the packaging process to exclude and remove air and in particular, oxygen. Oxygen is highly-reactive, so this means it likes to combine with other molecules, which results in food spoiling or losing its' freshness. By using nitrogen to push out the oxygen in chip bags, the shelf life is extended, and the integrity and quality of the chips and snacks are kept. Because food and beverage manufacturers are constantly using nitrogen, having an on-site nitrogen generator can save lots of money and time, compared to outsourcing a supply of nitrogen. Pneumatech offers gas generators that supply up to 99,999% high-purity nitrogen gas for multiple food and beverage applications.

So how is nitrogen gas added to bags of chips?

Most chip manufacturers use a generic VFFS machine that is using Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) to add nitrogen to the chip bags. The loose chips enter the hopper, where they fall down into a bag that is flushed with nitrogen, then sealed and dropped onto a conveyor belt for boxing. 

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On-site nitrogen can be generated by PSA and by membrane technology