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Using Nitrogen Gas in Food Packaging

The preservation of the freshness of their goods while prolonging shelf life is one of the major challenges faced by food producers. Due to spoilage of food products, it would result in a reduction in revenue. One of the most effective ways to prevent food degradation and improve longevity is the use of nitrogen in food packaging. This article will outline how food-grade nitrogen gas can be used in the food and beverage processing industry to improve production.

The chemical and physical properties of gaseous nitrogen make it ideal for use in food processing. Nitrogen is inert, ensuring that it will not react to prepared food materials and can’t alter their flavors or aromas. Gaseous nitrogen can also effectively displace oxygen, reducing oxidation and the production of microorganisms that cause food to lose its freshness and deteriorate more quickly.

Nitrogen Packaging- The use of high concentrations of gaseous nitrogen inside food packaging is needed for nitrogen packing. Nitrogen is generally recommended for food preservation at better than 99.0% concentration.

In food packing, the nitrogen packaging scheme basically involves replacing oxygen with nitrogen. The food item to be preserved is put in an unsealed wrapping or pack. Food-grade nitrogen is filled into the packaging and it forcing out oxygen-rich air as well as any humidity present. The sealing of the food packaging traps the nitrogen inside it and maintains a poor oxidizing atmosphere that enables longer storage of food materials. It is possible to obtain high-quality nitrogen for food packaging from one of two methods:

  • Regular supply/storage of nitrogen gas cylinders at the food processing site
  • On demand supply using an on-site nitrogen generator.

When needed, nitrogen gas can be synthesized remotely and transported to a food processing plant in cylinders. However, the procurement of preservative gas using this approach is not effective for a large number of manufacturing processes. Using dedicated PSA nitrogen generators or membrane nitrogen generators is the most effective method of producing the nitrogen needed for food packaging. All the issues associated with using nitrogen gas cylinders are avoided with the use of an on-site nitrogen generator for food packaging. For medium to large scale food processing operations that produce high-purity nitrogen gas, nitrogen generators are suitable (99.0 percent or more). MVS Engineering is leading manufacturer for On-site N2 generator. To get such N2 generators in your plant, please write to us on sales@mvsengg.com.

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