The Importance of Nitrogen Gas Generation in the Food Industry
Nitrogen gas is a vital naturally occurring resource used in diverse commercial and industrial applications, including food and beverage manufacturing. Packing foods with nitrogen has been proven to be an effective method of prolonging their shelf lives. In this article, we will discuss nitrogen gas food preservation methods, as well as the benefits of nitrogen gas generators for food.
Nitrogen’s Impact on the Food and Beverage Industry
The use of nitrogen gas in commercial food and beverage manufacturing has revolutionized food preservation. Due to its chemical property of inertness, gaseous nitrogen can slow oxidative processes that lead to food spoilage.
Longer shelf lives as a result of packaging food items with gaseous nitrogen have limited wastages saving costs for retailers. Shop owners can display items that remain fresher for longer, while end consumers can store and consume their purchases long after buying them.
Common Uses of Nitrogen in the Food Industry
Nitrogen gas can be used in diverse applications across various manufacturing industries. Some of the most popular applications for gaseous nitrogen in commercial food and beverage production are outlined below.
Food processing is an excellent example of nitrogen use in the food industry. A technique called aeration can be used to create foods with a special texture and consistency. For example, aerated chocolate bars can be created by mixing the chocolate with pressurized nitrogen gas to create a unique micro-aerated finish.
Food Packaging and Storage
Final packing is critical in commercial food production as improper packaging can lead to contamination, rapid oxidation, and diminished item longevity. The use of food-grade nitrogen generators to infuse inert gaseous nitrogen into the final food packing will improve the shelf life of packed foods.
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), where nitrogen is used to displace oxygen from packed foods, is a great example of the effectiveness of food processing with nitrogen gas. In addition to longer shelf lives, other benefits of MAP include the preservation of freshness, aromas, tastes, and flavors.
Beverage production is another area where the use of nitrogen gas is beneficial. For alcoholic beverages, gaseous nitrogen can be used to carefully regulate the fermentation process resulting in high-quality wines and beers with great aromas and flavors.
Further, several non-alcoholic beverages prepared from fruits and vegetables undergo finely regulated processes with high purity nitrogen. Often industrial grade nitrogen with purity ratings of 99% or higher is used in these applications.
How Does On-site Nitrogen Generation Benefit the Food and Beverage Industry?
Useful quantities of nitrogen gas required for food and beverage manufacturing can either be sourced in cylinders supplied by a vendor or generated on-site within the manufacturing site.
While both gas sourcing methods will provide the necessary quantities of gas, on-site nitrogen generation possesses some significant benefits.
Access to Reliable Nitrogen Generation Technologies
Industrial operators who opt for on-site nitrogen generation can benefit from highly efficient nitrogen generation technologies, including PSA and membrane nitrogen generators. These technologies are guaranteed to produce a steady stream of high purity nitrogen gas whenever it is required without the risk of delayed production from breaks in the supply chain commonly associated with vendor-supplied gas.
Improved Overall Industrial Safety
Utilizing on-site nitrogen gas generators eliminates the need to store large volumes of the gas for future use as the required quantities are simply generated at the point of need. Consequently, the industrial safety hazards associated with nitrogen gas storage are avoided completely.
Savings on Industrial Floor Space
Using food-grade nitrogen generators instead of vendor-supplied gas will allow operators to achieve significant saving on industrial floor spaces that would have otherwise been occupied by bulky gas cylinders. In addition, vital floor space freed up can be used to house other equipment critical to the manufacturing process.
Lower Long-term Operating Costs
After the initial purchase and installation costs, on-site nitrogen gas generators for food and beverage manufacturing are more cost-effective than vendor-supplied gas cylinders. In the long-term, operators who integrate nitrogen gas generators in their processes will note significant savings compared to gas sourced from vendors.
Shop On-site Nitrogen Generators from NiGen Today!
NiGen offers excellent nitrogen generation services to a diverse clientele, including players in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.
To learn more about our cost-effective nitrogen generation solutions, please contact us today!