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Fresh Food at a cookout
Food & Beverage Nitrogen

Cookout Season is Here: Keeping Food Fresh with Nitrogen


With Summer quickly approaching, and barbeques in full swing, did you ever really think about how your favorite BBQ staples are kept safe and fresh? What would a cookout be without fresh fruit salad, crisp potato chips, fresh hotdogs, and juicy hamburgers? But as we know it takes time for the food to make it from food processing and packaging plants to our tables. So, what keeps the food fresh in the meantime? The short answer: Nitrogen.

Why food spoils

When fresh fruits and vegetable are exposed to oxygen it shortens their shelf life. Oxygen supports life, including the natural microorganisms and enzymes found in food i.e. bacteria, yeast and mold that makes food spoil. The same goes for that bag of chips that seems like it is 80% air and 20% chips. It is not oxygen in that back of chips, it is nitrogen gas, which keeps the chips from deteriorating and cushions them from breaking.

How Nitrogen keeps food fresh

Since Oxygen can cause microbe growth it’s important that food manufacturers remove oxygen from packaged foods. By displacing the ambient air (composed of roughly 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen) with nitrogen, manufacturers reduce the risk of unwanted chemical reactions, decreasing oxygen levels, and humidity levels in storage facilities. The process extends the shelf life without affecting the taste or color of the food. Nitrogen also helps produce travel further to reach people who might not have access to local fresh options.

By using Atlas Copco oil-free air compressors paired with on-site nitrogen generators, food suppliers can keep food crisp and fresh with pure nitrogen. With purities ranging from 95%-99.999%, you can easily evaluate your operational cost based on purity produced, estimated maintenance and electrical kW costs. We offer both PSA and membrane technologies when it comes to producing on site nitrogen.

Some of the benefits of on-site nitrogen generators are:

  • Purity Control – set the purity level that you need and only pay for that purity
  • Reduce wastage – you use every drop you produce. Nothing gets sent back
  • Increased Safety – No delivery, storage or movement of high-pressure cylinders
  • Cost Savings – Reduce the cost of your nitrogen by up to 80%
  • Environment – No reportable transportation to your site. No need to bleed-off/vent tanks before returning

Want to learn more about Atlas Copco's nitrogen generator portfolio? Visit us at www.atlascopco.com/nitrogen-usa! 

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