What Is Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Regardless of your refrigeration or packaging system, food is always subject to spoiling. The most common examples of food spoilage include milk curdling and fermenting, fruit browning or rotting, and nasty mold spore growth on bread.

To combat this, the food packaging industry uses a processing system known as modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) to package food. This packaging process aims to inhibit unwanted changes brought about by the spoiling process and extend the shelf life of packaged foods. Consumer demand for healthy food options is ever increasing, as is the need for packaging choices to supply desirable and fresh food alternatives. With this demand comes the need to provide a consistent quality control method that can result in less food spoilage.

By expanding the use of modified atmosphere packaging systems to a variety of food products this can inhibit spoilage and allocate fresh food alternatives into a broader scope of markets. The modified atmosphere packaging process achieves this goal without depending on using food stabilizers or chemical additives.

How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect Foods?

The food processing system for modified atmosphere packaging is also referred to as gas flushing, protective atmosphere packaging, or reduced oxygen packaging. This process involves exchanging the atmosphere within food packaging with natural gases in precise proportions. This method is proven to inhibit the oxidation process and prevent any microbes from flourishing on the food product.

By flushing or changing the gaseous atmosphere that exists within a packaged good, it permits a much longer shelf-life by preserving the food.

Nitrogen is the perfect solution to displacing the oxygen levels that lead to the spoilage of various foods. The use of nitrogen in gas flushing creates the desired controlled proportions that inhibit the oxidation process and successfully modify the atmosphere in which the food is packaged to significantly extend the shelf life of the food product.

Partner with On Site Gas Systems

When it comes to dependable nitrogen generators, On Site Gas Systems is the leader in customizing a system suited for your operations. On Site Gas supplies manufacturers around the globe with top-notch nitrogen generators made in their own ISO-certified factory. We are reputed for our best-in-class nitrogen generation systems that are both reliable and cost-effective.

From PSA nitrogen generators and membrane nitrogen gas generators to custom nitrogen engineered systems, On Site Gas covers a breadth of manufacturing needs for modified atmosphere packaging for the food industry. Contact our team to learn more about our nitrogen generator systems.

Common Questions to Consider When Purchasing a Nitrogen Generator for Your Food Packaging Operation

If you operate a food packaging business, nitrogen likely plays a pivotal role in the preservation of the products you create. A nitrogen generator could improve your overhead costs by providing an on-demand supply of high-purity gas. Whether you need nitrogen to preserve or package food products, On Site Gas Systems offers a variety of top-of-the-line systems to suit your business’ needs.
To help you determine which system best suits your unique specifications, we’re breaking down three common questions to consider when purchasing a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems.

Question 1: Do Your Generators Produce Nitrogen That Meets the Specification for Food-Grade Nitrogen?

Nitrogen is one of the most in-demand industrial substances for the food production sector. From the moment food is harvested, spoilage begins. Therefore, it’s essential to preserve not only raw materials like crops and meat products but also finished products that use those fresh ingredients.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places strict regulations on food product manufacturing, including the equipment used in food processing. On Site Gas Systems provides turnkey nitrogen generation systems that produce  up to 99.9995 percent pure nitrogen, and meets current good manufacturing practices to qualify as food-grade.

Question 2: Are Your Generators Built with Materials That Meet the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 – Food and Drugs?

The FDA Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Volume 3, Section 184.1540 covers nitrogen for use in food product manufacturing. This section of Title 21 explains that nitrogen is safe and acceptable for use in food manufacturing as long as the production and storage of the gas meet current good manufacturing practices. To comply with these standards, On Site Gas Systems provides nitrogen generators built from reliable, rigorously tested materials. We are also dedicated to maintaining a research and development practice that ensures our products remain up to date with federal regulations at all times.
An on-site nitrogen generator can provide a lasting solution for manufacturers who require reliable, food-grade nitrogen without the need for repeat cylinder or liquid deliveries. Ultimately, a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems is a cleaner, more efficient, and more cost-effective solution for nitrogen use in food packaging operations.

Question 3: Do Your Generators Meet the European Industrial Gas Association’s Containment Specifications Pertaining to Gas Approved for Use as a Food Additive E941?

When gasses like nitrogen, come in contact with food it is considered a  food additive in the food packaging process, and must meet all applicable regulations pertaining to food-grade additives. The European Industrial Gas Association sets firm guidelines for every type of gas used as a food additive, including food additive E941 (nitrogen). Specifically, the association has set maximum contaminant levels acceptable for a gas to be considered food grade. This high purity threshold ensures that any gas used as a food product additive will not leave a residue behind that may interfere with consumer use or health.  The nitrogen produced from an On Site gas System’s Nitrogen Generator has been independently tested by an accredited scientific analysis laboratory to confirm it complies with containment levels well below EIGA’s specified maximum containments.
On Site Gas Systems provides a variety of nitrogen generators capable of producing up to 99.9995 percent purity levels on demand. If your manufacturing operation must meet European Industrial Gas Association standards and uses nitrogen as food additive E941, you can rest assured that our generators will help you maintain purity levels that meet these strict regulations.

Enhance Your Food Packaging Operation with a Nitrogen Generator from On Site Gas Systems

Your food packaging business can depend on On Site Gas Systems nitrogen generators to provide a steady supply of high-purity nitrogen whenever you need it. Contact us today for more information about our nitrogen generators and how they can be used to enhance food packaging operations.

Why Are Potato Chip Bags Filled with Air? Using Nitrogen in Potato Chip Bags

You know you’ve been there: You open a potato chip bag only to hear a loud pop and air release, and then you look down and the chips take up a mere fraction of the bag. This has probably left you with all kinds of questions, such as, “What air is in a potato chip bag?” “Why do bags of chips have air in them?” and “How much air is in a potato chip bag?” Now is the day you get answers.

What Air Is in a Potato Chip Bag?

Before we get into why bags of chips are filled with air, let’s talk about what is actually being used. The secret ingredient that you refer to as air is actually nitrogen gas made with nitrogen generators. Regular air contains all kinds of particles, including oxygen and water vapor, both of which will cause the chips to rapidly decay. So food manufacturers displace the oxygen and water vapor with nitrogen to make the food more shelf stable. This process is often referred to as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and helps foods to maintain their quality.

Why Do Bags of Chips Have Air in Them?

We have briefly answered the question, “Why are potato chip bags filled with air?” but now it’s time to break it down into more detail. These are the main reasons why bags of chips have nitrogen in them:

  • It gives the chips a longer shelf life. Bacteria need oxygen to thrive, and if all of the oxygen is removed, it can’t grow. This means there is no chance of mold, mildew, or other substances showing up on the chips.
  • It keeps away moisture. In addition to oxygen, moisture is an enemy of potato chips. By filling every last ounce of space with nitrogen, water vapor will not be able to enter the bag, and the chips will stay nice and crispy until you are ready to eat them.
  • It keeps the chips whole. Finally, bags of chips have nitrogen in them to act as a barrier as the chips are being transported from the manufacturing facility to the store and from the store to your home. The nitrogen acts like a pillow, buffering out any impact so it keeps the chips intact.

How Much Air Is in A Potato Chip Bag?

The answer to this question can vary quite a bit. However, products are supposed to list the actual net weight of their product on the packaging, so you will know exactly how much you are getting. So instead of looking at the size of the bag, pay attention to the net weight of the chips inside.
Even though it may seem like the nitrogen in a potato chip bag is only there to deceive you, it actually serves a very important purpose: to protect the chips from being crushed or going bad. It is especially effective because it does not impact the taste or texture at all.
If you manufacturer potato chips and you want to make sure you always have enough nitrogen to keep things moving, contact us today. With our on site nitrogen generators, you will never run out of the nitrogen gas you need to keep your chips in tip-top shape.

Nitrogen Gas On Site in the Food Packaging Industry


Food Industry Nitrogen GeneratorsWith so much time spent on getting your product perfect, it only makes sense that you would want your food packaging to preserve its quality and freshness – all while keeping manufacturing costs low. Food is often damaged during shipment or has a shorter-than-necessary shelf life with traditional packaging. An easy solution to these common food packaging problems is a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems.
Whether you use bags, cans, boxes, bottles, cardboard, or plastic, On Site Gas Systems offers a cost-effective nitrogen gas solution that gives you peace of mind knowing your product is fresh and intact on store shelves. Many companies are choosing to replace their current liquid nitrogen supply with On Site Gas Systems nitrogen generators to avoid ongoing energy and transportation costs associated with delivery of liquid nitrogen or cylinders. Beyond this, it’s important to understand these three reasons why On Site Gas nitrogen generators are a staple in the food industry:

Lengthens Shelf Life

Bacteria need oxygen to survive—it’s a matter of science. Without oxygen in your food packaging, you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew forming on your product. Our onsite nitrogen generator provides a simple, effective, affordable way to displace the oxygen out of your food packaging and replace it with nitrogen gas. As a result, your product can last a lot longer, so there is less waste.

Preserves Quality

Not only does nitrogen gas prevent mold and mildew growth, it also preserves the quality of your product. With nitrogen gas filling up the extra space in your food packaging, there is no room for moisture to get in—and as you know, moisture can deteriorate the quality of your food faster than just about anything. With a nitrogen generator from On Site Gas Systems, you can realistically save thousands of dollars per year because you won’t have to discard as much product.

Prevents Damage

Nitrogen gas for food packaging can prevent damage. If you place a fragile food product—like chips or crackers—in packaging that can be crushed during shipment, there is a high probability your product will arrive in pieces. On the contrary, with our nitrogen generator, you can easily fill the remaining space in your food packaging with nitrogen gas. In doing so, you will ensure that your product arrives to your customer as you intended.
For the past 28 years, On Site Gas Systems has been supplying reliable, USA-made nitrogen gas generators to food manufacturers across the world. From your morning coffee to an afternoon bag of chips (and even your glass of wine in the evening!), On Site Gas Systems help food packagers keep their product fresh and intact, while saving them time and money.
Contact us today to learn more.