Ever wondered what is in there in potato chips packaging. You might have noticed packaging is inflated with air. Well, it is nitrogen filling the packaging. It is used for displacing oxygen to prevent oxidation that produces moisture that can potentially destroy potato chips. Keep reading I will discuss in this article numerous applications of nitrogen gas in food and beverage industry. To begin with, nitrogen is valued for its inert properties. It is colorless, tasteless and odorless gas. However, food-grade nitrogen must have purity not less than 99%. And it causes no damage to the food it is brought into contact with. On the contrary, it prevents oxidations saving food and beverages from spoilage.
What Is Food-Grade Nitrogen?
Only food-grade N2 is used in food and beverage industry. It must have concentration of nitrogen of 99.0% or more with oxygen concentration less than 1%. And, it is imperative concentration of carbon monoxide is kept less than 10ppm and carbon dioxide is kept under 300ppm. Additionally, it is required that moisture concentration is under 55.8ppm. For using food grade nitrogen the guidelines insist nitrogen must be used as propellant, aerating agent and a gas.
Application of nitrogen in food packaging & storage
Nitrogen (N2) is widely used in the food industry for packaging. Other gases like argon can also be used but nitrogen is the most preferred option because of its quality and safety. No sooner the food is picked or cooked for packaging than it starts to rot. It is important for the food industry to preserve food so that it reached consumers without getting spoiled. This is where nitrogen is used for providing Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). Upon atmosphere modification with nitrogen, oxygen is displaced and likelihood of food being spoiled and is reduced significantly not to talk of increasing the shelf life. Doing so would also improve export opportunities as nitrogen packaging keeps food, fruit and vegetable fresh for a long time.
Use of nitrogen in wine & beverages
Nitrogen also plays an important role in the wine-making process just as it did in food packaging. It stops oxygen from coming in contact with wine causing oxidation thus spoiling it. However, it would require the use of food grade nitrogen. Ever wonder how a bottle of wine after being opened is drinkable only for a few days and it starts to taste sour. How does this happen? More exposed it is to oxygen, the less palatable becomes. Nitrogen is crucial for stalling oxidation of wine in number of ways. There is some amount of oxygen in wine generated because of the fermentation process, which is neutralized by nitrogen sparging.
Nitrogen sparging is a process for driving out oxygen from the wine by introducing nitrogen bubbles that attach to oxygen for removal out of the wine. Nitrogen flushing is another process employed in the wine production process. Wine is moved from barrels to vessels for prevention of sedimentation. Hoses used for moving wine between vessels are flushed with nitrogen for elimination of oxygen that might come in contact with wine causing oxidation.
Benefits of using onsite nitrogen production in food and beverage industry
It goes without saying that nitrogen gas is widely used in the food and beverages industry. And, the supply of nitrogen is obtained though cylinders. This method of nitrogen supply is outdated a well as unproductive because frequent delays and numerous other hassles like constant monitoring, taking care of delivers, changeovers and placing orders. Moreover, nitrogen cylinders prices keep on fluctuating making it harder to factor them in operational budgets.
On installing a N2 nitrogen gas (GAN) plant all the hassles of getting nitrogen through cylinders are done away with. There will no need to place orders and wait for deliveries or be worried about delays. The plant will make you the master of your manufacturing operation. You will be able to generate your own nitrogen whenever and in whatever amount you want without being worried about price fluctuations. One-time upfront payment for the nitrogen system and subsequent maintenance costs for a number year can easily be factored in for your business. On top of it, it is estimated that businesses recover their initial investment for installation of GAN plant within two years.
If you need nitrogen plant for food packaging, food processing, nitrogen flushing or any other purpose, we offers the best deals in gas business. To generate food grade nitrogen onsite at your facility, contact us today or click here for more information oxygen plant manufacturers.