You might think using nitrogen to preserve food is a little…nutty. But many food and nut packaging manufacturers rely on this clean, inert gas to package, preserve, and store perishable food items. Over the years, more and more food industries have begun relying on nitrogen generation systems for their N2 gas needs.
Why Use Nitrogen Gas for Nut Packaging?
Nuts in particular are very often packaged with nitrogen to prevent unwanted issues like oxidation and package collapse. Oxidation occurs when oxygen reacts with other elements to alter the product (which could result in spoiling, or a less-than-desirable taste, at the very least). And packaging collapse, well…it’s exactly what it sounds like.
And in case you didn’t already know, proper packaging is not only essential to protecting the product from damage, it also plays a key role in marketing and selling the product. How a product is packaged can affect how attracted the consumer is to the item. This doesn’t just apply to color schemes and labeling – it can apply to the package’s overall shape, and whether or not the container looks “full.”
Other Benefits of Nitrogen for Food Packaging
In addition to using nitrogen for food and nut packaging, it can also be used to help remove oxygen, which allows for a longer shelf life. Specific packaging applications also include bulk packaging, consumer packaging, vacuum packs, fumigation purge and many more. When you buy nuts from the grocery store (stored, not fresh), it’s very likely that nitrogen was used at some point in the packaging process. If nitrogen had not been used, you would quickly know it, because the nuts would probably be spoiled, tasteless, or have an odd texture and/or tint.
How to Apply N2 Gas During the Packaging Process
So how do these facilities access the nitrogen gas they need to properly package and preserve their products? While some facilities choose to buy nitrogen from gas companies, others are going the more efficient route by installing a nitrogen generator at the facility at the point of process.
Unlike being tied down to expensive contracts with gas companies, which usually deliver N2 gas in high-pressure cylinders, installing an on-site nitrogen generator allows you to actually pull nitrogen, on demand, from the air we breathe. This means no accidental run-out during peak manufacturing times, no more need to store cumbersome cylinders, and no more expensive long term commitments to gas companies. Best of all, facilities that switch to a Nitrogen Generator can have a ROI of up to 90% over bulk liquid Nitrogen. And hey, who doesn’t like a healthy bottom line?
South-Tek Systems is a leading manufacturer of Nitrogen Generators, many of which can be safely and effeciently installed in food manufacturing and food packaging facilities. To learn more, call toll-free (888) 526-6284.