Performance, Precision, Partnership

How does HPC support food and beverage operations with onsite nitrogen generation?

Many applications across the UK have switched from buying and storing nitrogen in bulk, to onsite nitrogen generation, through Oxford based Oxysystems and HPC. Food and Beverage is one industry using nitrogen through production, storage, and packaging processes to help protect products from the undesirable effects of oxygen.

How is nitrogen used in food and beverage production operations?

During the production of fruit juices, wine and beer, contact with oxygen needs to be avoided. Prior to filling, the production and storage tanks are first emptied with nitrogen and sterilised. The filled tanks are then continuously overlaid with nitrogen in order to eliminate the contact risk and corresponding quality losses of the beverages. Nitrogen is also used for bottling where each bottle is first filled with gas via an elongated tube. The drink then flows into the bottle, the nitrogen escapes and the oxygen remains outside.

Nitrogen in packaging and storage operations

Perishable foods such as meat, fish, yoghurt and cheese are packaged using the nitrogen inert gas (MAP process: “Modified Atmosphere Packaging”). In order to displace the harmful oxygen, nitrogen is added to the product packaging. The overlaying of storage tanks and storage rooms with nitrogen also helps to avoid contact with oxygen during the storage and transport of foodstuffs.

Nitrogen in food and beverage production

Jet mills are used in the food industry to paint and grind products. Gas is pressed into the mill via a pipe with pressure and high speed. Inside the mill, a circulating gas stream is created, in which the food particles introduced collide with each other and disintegrate into ultra-fine particles. The dust-containing mixture of substance particles and escaping gases is highly explosive when in contact with oxygen. The use of nitrogen as grinding and inert gas efficiently prevents any ignition and explosion in the resulting dust atmosphere.

How do nitrogen generation systems work?

The ambient air is pressed into two adsorption vessels filled with a carbon molecular strainer which switch alternately from filter mode to regeneration. In one vessel, oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules from the ambient air are adsorbed in the strainer, while the strainer regenerates in the second vessel. The “Pressure Swing Adsorption” technology (PSA) ensures continuous nitrogen production.  Nitrogen then flows into a tank ready for use.

Nitrogen generators can be integrated into new and existing HPC air compression systems. Speak to an HPC KAESER specialist today. Contact us 24/7 365 days a year on 0845 4300 472 or visit https://www.hpccompressors.co.uk/distributor-network/.