How Nitrogen Flushing Is Used in Food Packaging

How Nitrogen Flushing Is Used in Food Packaging

The food industry strives to incorporate food packaging processes that ensure the ability to safely eliminate microbial spoilage, keep food products free from oxidation, and extend shelf life once it is packaged. There is continued pressure to use natural alternatives as opposed to harsh chemical preservatives. One of the most efficient ways of extending food longevity is to use nitrogen gas during a distinct process called nitrogen flush packaging.

What Is Nitrogen Flush Packaging?

Nitrogen flushing displaces the oxygen along with other impurities in the package or bag in which the food is placed. This changes the environment inside the food packaging. Nitrogen is an inert gas and does not affect the taste or texture of the food product. Since oxygen promotes spoilage, removing it and replacing it with nitrogen prevents food degradation and preserves freshness longer. It also helps to cushion the food in the package and protect it during storage, shipping, and when it is on the shelf.

How Does Nitrogen Flush Packaging Work?

The process of nitrogen flush packaging begins with placing food into an open package or bag. Machines then propel the oxygenated air out of the packaging and quickly replace it with nitrogen gas. A high concentration nitrogen level at 99% is typically used for the preservation of food. A machine seals the packaging or bag tightly, keeping the nitrogen inside. The bags are then contained in large boxes for shipping to restaurants and grocery stores.

Throughout the process of nitrogen flush packaging, this method delivers many benefits, including:

  • Oxygen is successfully displaced, which delays spoilage generated by the oxidation process.
  • Microorganisms that feed on oxygen are effectively prohibited from growing and damaging food.
  • By filling the space in each bag or package, conformity of the packaged product is easily maintained in shipping boxes and on the shelf.
  • Longer shelf life and better food preservation reduce food loss and expenses.
  • A consistent, flavorful, fresh product is delivered to the consumer.
  • Nitrogen gas is an affordable, sustainable, and safe source for use throughout the packaging process.

What Types of Food Can Nitrogen Flush Packaging Be Used For?

There are several types of foods that nitrogen flush packaging is well suited for. For example, freshly roasted ground coffee or coffee beans are effectively vacuum sealed with nitrogen flush packaging. Moisture and oxygen are removed and then replaced with nitrogen. The nitrogen maintains the quality and freshness of the coffee oils, flavor, and aroma. Other foods in the industry that are packaged and preserved with nitrogen flush include beans, chips, and different kinds of nuts.

Contact On Site Gas today to learn more about the different applications that nitrogen can be used for in the food packaging and storage industry! We can assist you in choosing the nitrogen generator solution that is best matched to your needs.

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