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Why Nitrogen is important for food industry?

Contact our experts

19 February, 2020

nitrogen and chips

Have you ever noticed & wondered why there is extra space inside a packet of chips? Did you know what else is inside in that packet of chips? The answer is Nitrogen which comprises 78% of our atmospheric air. This Nitrogen inside the packet of chips keeps chips safe and fresh. These inherent benefits of nitrogen i.e. its inert nature make it useful for 2 primary applications in the food & beverage industry :

  1. For the processing of food products: To blanket holding tanks, keeping bulk products dry and slow down the fermentation process.
  2. For packaging for food products: Nitrogen is an inert gas, it is used to exclude air and, in particular, oxygen(reducing oxidation)
The main benefits of using nitrogen gas in the food industry are:
  • To extend the shelf-life of the food products
  • Preserving taste and quality of the food products

Technical requirements of N2 Generators

an illustration about compressed air in the atlas copco air wiki.
Did you know that generating your own nitrogen is commercially viable and an easy Do-it-yourself option for the food and beverage industry?

The broad technical requirements for varying gas flow rates are:
  • Nitrogen Pressure: 4-5 bar
  • Nitrogen purity: 99.5-99%
The current market trend in Nitrogen is moving from traditional liquid and cylinder to becoming your own independent supplier of nitrogen gas.

The two predominant technologies include nitrogen separation using membrane technology (for low to medium purities) and pressure swing adsorption technology ( for medium to high purities).

The choice of technology depends on flow requirements and the need for right purity for the lowest economic cost of generation. The opportunity these technologies present to customers include:

  • Reducing gas costs (lowest cost of generation per m3)
  • Become independent of the gas supplier (no dependency of third party suppliers)
  • Non-stop availability: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • No safety hazard when handling high-pressure cylinders
It is thus widely used in the food & beverage industry for processing and bottling/packaging of food products.