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Why is Nitrogen Gas Used in the Food Packaging Industry?

Nitrogen gas is an extremely safe gas that has been used in the food packaging industry for many years. Nitrogen gas helps preserve the freshness, integrity and quality of delivered food products. It provides a pressurised atmosphere that prevents package collapse to ensure that delicate foods won’t get crushed in their bags. If you would like to know why nitrogen gas is used in food packaging, read on to find out more.

Nitrogen Gas in the Food Industry

Nitrogen is used in the vast majority of all food packaging, keeping food like crisps and nuts from getting crushed. Nitrogen also plays a vital role in keeping food fresh and vastly extends shelf life. Nitrogen gas is clean, dry and inert. 

By adding nitrogen gas, oxygen is removed. Oxygen deteriorates food items due to oxidative rancidity and moisture loss or gain. Purging packaging of oxygen is what allows us to have long-life food on our shelves, but is also useful to keep food fresher for longer.

It is important to note that there are huge benefits to generating your own nitrogen gas as opposed to buying it in bottles. For those in the food industry, it is worthwhile to generate your own nitrogen as the savings per year are enormous. In addition, it is also generally safer as the risk of industrial accidents that pre-bottled nitrogen poses is much higher in comparison to when it is produced on-site.

The benefits of using your own nitrogen generator are countless and therefore make for a worthwhile investment for your business.

Choosing a Nitrogen Generator for Food Packaging

Having an on-site nitrogen generator for food packaging replaces the traditional cylinder and bulk-liquid supplies, allowing manufacturers to generate their own nitrogen on-site easily. Producing nitrogen gas onsite can save you a lot of money in the long run as you will no longer incur cylinder delivery costs.

On-site nitrogen production provides a quick return on the investment made in nitrogen-generating equipment. The cost of a nitrogen generator during its lifecycle ranges from just 20% to 40% compared to the cost of buying nitrogen cylinders during the same period. 

Another advantage of producing nitrogen on-site is that the volume and purity of the nitrogen gas produced are entirely controlled by the user, according to their specific needs. Nitrogen gas is useful not just for the food industry, however, as it is also used in countless other industries. 

For example, due to its diversity and cost-effectiveness, nitrogen is becoming increasingly popular in a broad spectrum of industry and research laboratories. Nitrogen can also be used in a range of other applications, such as creating an inert atmosphere, as a carrier gas, blanketing, packing, purging, filling and plastic moulding.

Based in the North West, Glaston Compressor Services Ltd has vast experience in designing, installing and servicing nitrogen generators for food packaging across the UK. Our recent installations include:

  • Heavy manufacturing, including the treatment of metals
  • The chemical industry, where nitrogen has been used as an inert gas
  • The food industry
  • The laser-cutting industry

To read a case study of a nitrogen generator installation that Glaston carried out for a food packaging client, click here. This example demonstrates how a nitrogen generator for food packaging could benefit you in a similar manner.

The benefits of a Glaston Nitrogen Generator for Food Packaging

Glaston’s nitrogen-generating equipment is space-saving and modular in design, which is important as it means that no expensive civil engineering work will be required. In many installations where space is unavailable for new machinery, Glaston has created nitrogen-generating systems within standard shipping containers that can remain outdoors.

Using the latest state-of-the-art thermal mass flow meters and logging equipment, Glaston’s machinery can accurately determine the nitrogen flow that is best suited to a client’s specific requirements. We also provide bespoke service packages and maintenance contracts.

Maintenance is critical to keeping a nitrogen generator running smoothly and ensuring consistent, reliable performance. Keeping a nitrogen generator in compliance with British Food Retail standards is achieved by regularly servicing and maintaining your equipment.

Maintenance schedules will include checking the overall operation to ensure efficiency, re-calibrating the nitrogen sensor, overhauling the inlet and outlet valves, and changing the inlet filters that protect the nitrogen generator. Glaston recommends regular maintenance every six months.

Find a Nitrogen Generator for Food Packaging at Glaston

We hope you now understand why nitrogen gas is used in food packaging thanks to this Glaston guide. If you are interested in acquiring a high-quality nitrogen generator for food packaging, we stock both PSA and membrane nitrogen generators that are sure to meet your needs. 
If you would like to discuss whether a nitrogen generator is right for your business, contact us today to speak to one of our experienced engineers at 01695 51010.

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