Nitrogen Flushing is the filling of nitrogen gas to replace the air in the container.
When certain processed foods are exposed to oxygen will cause deterioration Fat will go rancid. color change and food may be wasted Oxygen can be removed from the package by removing all air with a vacuum. This will extend the life of the food in the package. With the usual vacuum packaging it works well for solid food such as beef and fresh meat. But it doesn’t work very well with delicate foods such as powders, chips and biscuits.These foods need some protection during shipping so they don’t get broken or crushed. When you pick a bag of potato chips at the mall You may notice that the bags are inflated and filled with “air,” but not exactly the same as the air we breathe—the packs are oxygen-free. Food manufacturers use machines that expel normal, oxygen-filled air from the packaging. Then immediately fill it with nitrogen gas and seal it tightly. Nitrogen does not react with food like oxygen. So the food remains fresh. and does not affect the taste or texture of the food And don’t worry about nitrogen. You are regularly exposed to nitrogen. Since nitrogen makes up about 70% of the air you breathe, most delicate foods are protected by a process called Nitrogen flushing, which may sound intimidating. In fact, Nitrogen flushing is an excellent preservation method for protecting packaged foods such as coffee beans, nuts, rice cakes, biscuits and potato chips.
Benefits of packing food products using the Gas-Flushing method
1. To increase the shelf life, delay or prevent the deterioration of the quality of food products. The major chemical reactions that occur in food products are oxidation reaction which when it occurs with fat or oil will cause the food to go rancid a change in color smell and taste of food Therefore, using a gas flushing process to remove the oxygen gas in the air that surrounds the food. can help slow down or prevent this reaction Study on the shelf life of potato chips packed in different atmospheric conditions as shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Comparison of shelf life of potato chips packed under different atmospheric conditions Storage conditions The amount of oxygen gas remaining in the container shelf life
Normal atmospheric conditions 21.0% 6 weeks Nitrogen inflated conditions 2.0% 12 weeks
1.5% 16 weeks
1.0% 20 weeks
0.5% 24 weeks
From the table it can be seen that Potato chips packed in containers that have been sprayed with nitrogen gas instead. Until the oxygen content in the container is only 0.5%, the shelf life of fries is longer than stored fries. maintained in normal atmospheric conditions up to 4 times
2. Reduce the use of food additives (Food) Usually in food products with a high content of fat, such as potato chips, food additives such as BHA and BHT are added to help prevent oxidation. (Antioxidants), but when nitrogen gas is added to replace the normal air. Nitrogen gas prevents the transformation of fats and oils used in production process by reducing the oxidation reaction Therefore, it can help reduce the amount of food additives in another way.
3. Prevent damage that may occur to the product inside the container in addition to the aforementioned benefits. The packing technique is designed to form a pillow-shaped container. And when gas is added to replace the air in the container, the bag inflates. It helps to improve the appearance of the container to be more eye-catching. It can also help prevent damage to internal products. containers as well, such as breakage of potato chips, etc.
Factors affecting the use of gas for packaging food products
Relying on the gas injection method alone cannot help. maximum efficiency There are still other factors that must be considered and used in conjunction with such as the properties of the film used as a container It should have gas permeability protection properties. especially oxygen gas This is a very important factor for shelf life. Therefore, using the method of spraying gas to replace together with the use of containers which can prevent gas permeability well It can help preserve the amount of nitrogen gas added to the container. At the same time, it can also prevent moisture penetration. And oxygen gas from outside will not penetrate into the container as well. There are also other factors Other considerations include storage conditions such as temperature, light and humidity control, microbial content and status. (Microbiological State) contained in that food product, the type and concentration of gas suitable for packing each food product and equipment used in packing
Nitrogen gas and its role in production
Atmosphere How are the gases in the atmosphere important to human life? in the production system of most industrial plants Atmosphere and its gases are equally important, for example, for spraying, blowing, propelling raw materials for production, etc. But in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics that require high safety requirements. The use of gases with properties that do not react with what is produced. And for safety in use, nitrogen gas is a gas that plays a very high role.
“With the properties of nitrogen gas It is an inert, non-flammable, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and is the most abundant in the atmosphere, 78%, whereas atmospheric oxygen is 20.9%. But oxygen is the most problematic.
What are the uses of nitrogen gas?
If it is for general use such as filling a car tire Used as a test for the leaking system of pipes, also known as test leak because pipes or coils are connected to a small point. We can inject nitrogen gas into it to test for leaks or not. And nitrogen gas is clean dry gas with a dew point of -40 °C, which is a very dry gas. Does not cause condensation or condense in the pipe, such as the wind sent in the pipe for a distance of ten kilometers If there is a general wind, water droplets will occur along the way. But if nitrogen gas is used, condensation will not occur. It is called very dry gas. It is inert gas, so whatever gas is in the industrial system. If it will cause a chemical reaction We will use nitrogen instead. As a result, nitrogen gas has become a gas that is used a lot. especially in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing industries. which is a product that must have quality that meets safety standards.”
In addition, in industrial plants nitrogen gas is used in the storage stage, or stock material post, in the packaging stage, before finishing the product. to prolong the life of the drug Prevent the reaction that will change the properties of the drug.
Nitrogen gas selection There are many forms of nitrogen gas production that are used in industry, namely:
1. Cylinder type containing nitrogen gas.
2. Dewar type is notrogen in the form of liquid nitrogen.
3. Bulk is stored in the form of liquid nitrogen. If needed, there is evaporation, which turns liquid nitrogen into gas.
Each has different advantages, disadvantages, and costs.
nitrogen gas tank Also known as cylinder may be a familiar form. because it is used a lot because it is cheap in the beginning But there is a disadvantage. Security checks are required. due to moving or changing tanks an accident may occur Because the compressed air inside the tank is up to 200 bar, if the valve is incomplete, an explosion may occur. And danger from the pressure of the tank. Disadvantage is the inability to check the properties of the nitrogens used.
The second type is that Dewar stores nitrogen in the form of liquid nitrogen. The use will have a set of valves as a control. There will be a loss of nitrogen gas. If we don’t use it for a long time
The third type, Bulk, is the most popular format in the industry. It will be stored in the form of liquid nitrogen. If you want to use gas in trigen, there will be evaporation to turn liquid nitrogen into gas before use.
Nowadays, with more innovations The modification of nitrogen gas production sources to meet the needs of use is more efficient, more convenient to use. and provide long-term value Therefore, a nitrogen generator or Nitrogen Generator was produced.
Data source:: Preserving food with nitrogen