September 25, 2020
At 78%, nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere. Unlike oxygen which is over-reactive, nitrogen is inert. This makes it excellent for flushing into packaged products like processed foods and beverages that need to stay fresh and shelf-stable. While here we focus on nitrogen in food packaging, it isn’t just about preserving the freshness of packaged food products. In some cases, as is the case of nitro brews, it 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.
Typically, manufacturers use a generic VFFS machine that uses Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) to add nitrogen to chip bags, for example. More on MAP in the next post. But how exactly does a manufacturer get a hold of nitrogen for all of this? Given that nitrogen is already freely available in the air around us, nitrogen generators don’t really have to generate gas at all. The challenge is to isolate nitrogen from the other gases in the air. Compressor-based nitrogen generators achieve this separation through methods such as pressure swing adsorption (PSA) or membrane nitrogen generation. To know more about exactly which type of nitrogen generator you would need, check this post.
Know more about how Pneumatech gas generators can work for you.