Nitrogen Flush Packaging: The Complete FAQ Guide In 2023
The technological tanks are now more concerned on packaging area. The constant struggles of bio-medical sciences have been revolutionized the packaging industry by bringing most innovative mode of nitrogen flush packaging. It protects the products and extends their shelf life.
More and more enterprises are focused on using these technologies for their successful business. But are you familiar with the term nitrogen flush packaging? Do you have any idea about its usage or importance? Why it is gaining recognition around the globe? Are you also in need of this mechanization? Just stay calm and keep reading to get answers of all these questions!
1.What Is Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
Nitrogen flush packaging is referred to the practice of infiltrating nitrogen gas in filled pouches or containers. This process is carried out to fully assure that the presence of oxygen is completely removed from the container.
Oxygen is the basic component, whose presence gives the hope of survival for microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast to grow into packed food. Thus, to preserve the quality of your products and prolong their shelf life nitrogen gas is used which is safe to inhale.
It also helps in filling the blank area inside pouches, to maintain the texture of fragile materials. Today, numbers of important food manufacturers are undertaking nitrogen flush packaging for protection of their goods including beverage industry, food industry and pharmaceutical industry etc.
2.Why Nitrogen Flush Packaging Is Popularly Used?
There are many reasons for justifying the popularity of nitrogen flush packaging. They are as follows:
- Firstly, nitrogen flush packaging has major role in preserving the food quality. This preservation comprised two aspects: the elimination of oxygen in order to stop microbial growth and filling of nitrogen gas to make the delicate products retain their original shape.
- Secondly, nitrogen gas is cheaper than other gases due to which every small scale firm can afford its usability.
- Thirdly, it is safe for every type of material whether food or medicine. That is why, no manufacturer is hesitant in employing this technology into their business.
3.In Which Areas Nitrogen Flush Packaging Is Applied?
You would be amazed after knowing that how far nitrogen flush packaging is utilized in different manufacturing areas. Just follow the explanation as under:
Food industry is the most popular area where nitrogen flush packaging is abundantly used. Factors behind the application are many in numbers such as the hydrated nature of fresh food, sugar rich confectionaries and fragile sacks which no doubt need the safe process of packaging where content quality, taste, color and structure could be well maintained. Examples of food include the following:
After food industry the second industry which can be found on the list of employing nitrogen flush packaging is definitely the beverage industry! Have you ever been surprised by thinking how the beverages remain fresh for so long? The reason is absolutely nitrogen flush packaging because it gives them environment where there is no chance of even minimal contamination. Examples of beverage include the following:
- Soft Drinks
- Mineral Water
Milk and all other products derived from it get spoiled faster if exposed to room temperature and even in refrigerator they have limited tenure for using. That’s why, these goods are passed through the nitrogen flush packaging in order to enhance their shelf life. Examples of milk and related products include the following:
All the entities involved in baking including wholesale firms and small scale bakeries are taking the help of modified atmosphere packaging in form of nitrogen flushing. By doing this, they are satisfying their customers and uplifting the value of attached label on delivered goods. Examples of baking products include the following:
- Dough Products
Like other industries, medical sector is also on front in realizing the significance of nitrogen flush packaging and applying it practically in the field. It is not only used in the loaded bottles of medicines but also in the containers holding surgical appliances for preventing germs and rust. Examples include the following:
- Surgical Instruments
Cosmetic specialists are more concerned on the hygiene of beauty products and relevant supplements like capsules. This struggle is now reached to its final stage and discover the way for protection of cosmetics due to application of nitrogen flush packaging. Examples of cosmetics include the following:
- Makeup Accessories
4.What Are The Benefits Of Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
Nitrogen flush packaging is helpful due to certain advantages such as:
Maintain Food Quality
If you are food manufacturing owner, all you wish to preserve the quality of your goods till they reach to consumer. It is now easily possible with the nitrogen flush packaging as it removes the oxygen present inside containers to protect the quality of your food products.
This method is introduced for the major purpose of increasing lifespan of food items. By constant infusion and sucking of nitrogen gas it assures the zero availability of oxygen and provides bacteria-free atmosphere, so that you can store the products until realization of need for using.
Retain Food Integrity
Fragile items like potato chips, crackers and flakes easily broken get crushed especially during transit. To avoid this situation and keep the integrity of products, nitrogen gas is left in pack, so that the ingredients inside would remain away from each other when shaking.
Another benefit of using nitrogen flush packaging is the attractive presentation. By filling gas inside, it gives the pack beautiful appearance and makes it eye catching.
By displacing air along with other impurities, nitrogen flush packaging reduces food spoilage.
5.Which Machines Are Used For Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
There is not only single machine for carrying nitrogen flush packaging, but you can integrate the nitrogen filled tank with any equipment described below depending on the type of package you want to flush:
Vacuum Packaging Machine
Vacuum packaging machine is equipment used to remove air from filled bags, containers or trays covered in plastic films. However, mere sucking out oxygen is not sufficient for preserving the food because there might be some amount of oxygen left in pack. For this purpose nitrogen gas is repeatedly filled which completely eliminate the presence of oxygen. Vacuum packaging machine is mostly use for fresh food, seafood, fast food and premade meals.
Continuous Bag Sealing Machine
As the name indicates, this machine seals bags with non-stop operation. Its process includes gas filling, bag sealing, embossing and printing. The initial step of gas filling is actually the filling of nitrogen gas, that occupy the empty space in bags and sealer quickly seals the opening. This machine is employed for products like potato chips, snacks, dry fruits and pickles etc.
Flow Packaging Machine
Flow packaging machines are available in horizontal and vertical form. They offer different size of packages for your goods. Here bags are prepared during operation and before sealing, nitrogen gas is flushed into bags one after another. This eventually forms the pillow shape packs. Products like candies, chocolates, biscuits and cosmetics are often processed by this machine.
Liquid Filling Machine
Function of this machine is to fill beverages, milk and wine in cans, plastic or glass containers. But before filling, the containers are flushed many times with nitrogen gas and after loading nitrogen flushing is repeated. This is how, we receive packed milk, juices and other drinks which are made by different international and domestic brands.
6.Nitrogen Flush Packaging Vs Vacuum Packaging? Which Is More Suitable?
To know the differences between nitrogen flush packaging and vacuum packaging look into the table below:
|No||Factors||Nitrogen Flush Packaging||Vacuum Packaging|
|1||Definition||Nitrogen flush packaging is the technique where oxygen is completely removed from bag.||While as, vacuum packaging involves only the ejection of air from bags.|
|2||Purpose||Nitrogen flush packaging is performed to increase shelf life of food by replacing oxygen with nitrogen gas.||On the other hand, vacuum packaging is carried out to only remove the oxygen.|
|3||Nature||Nitrogen gas is non-reactive, thus do not affect the quality of goods.||In contrast, vacuum packaging is sometimes reactive as the cushion of oxygen remains in the container which is highly reactive gas.|
|4||Appearance||It leaves the bags puffed, giving them good appearance which also keeps the weak material safe from damage. However, it may require large space.||It sucked the air out of packs after which they can be easily adjusted over one another occupying less space, but this could be non-favorable for feeble items in case of direct contact.|
|5||Application||It is suitable for large number of products including both sturdy and fragile products.||It is good for hard items only like medicines, meat and cosmetics etc.|
Both the methods have their own significance in their spheres, but whenever you need complete eradication of oxygen and other environmental contamination you should look at nitrogen flush packaging.
7.Is Nitrogen Flush Packaging Safe For Health?
Nitrogen flush packaging is 100% safe for health and this can be acknowledged by the fact that you are inhaling nitrogen constantly because the air surrounding us is composed of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Under this gas, growth of microorganisms is not possible.
In packaging area, it works as a buffer between the foods content and external elements. Nitrogen is heavier than other atmospheric elements due to which it settles down at the bottom of bags and containers during flushing. In this way it fully alienates the oxygen from package.
8.How Does Nitrogen Flush Packaging Work?
The working of nitrogen flush packaging depends upon the type of machine you are using. Although, it follows general principles which are enlisted below:
- The process begins when content is loaded into containers. In most cases, bottles are flushed before the material is entered into it.
- The flushed nitrogen gradually displaces oxygen from every corner.
- At last, the sealing of bag is occurred leaving the required amount of nitrogen gas inside it.
9.Which Type Of Material Are Eligible For Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
The category of material processed through the nitrogen flush packaging is broad as the gas is safe and do not have any side effects. Below are the products you can flush with nitrogen:
This term carries several items including sauces, juices, wine, milk, cream and paste etc. These products are settled at the bottom and do not react during nitrogen flushing.
All those material which are hydrated and get spoil quickly due to bacteria are fresh food namely vegetables, fruits and meat etc. To preserve the essence and quality of these goods you need to pass them through nitrogen flush packaging.
Sweets are sugar rich and sticky as a result, you cannot keep them for long time. However, this problem is now resolved due to the application of nitrogen flushing.
Most of the dry products like cereal, beans and seeds are often affected by insects when stored. These insects are produced due to the presence of oxygen inside containers. Now, to avoid this risk you should flush the container with nitrogen to fully eliminate inside oxygen.
10.What Is The Shelf-life Of Food Products After Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
Nitrogen flush packaging has prime role in extending the shelf life of your food which is shown below:
|No||Products||Before Nitrogen Flush Packaging||After Nitrogen Flush Packaging|
|1||Raw Meat||2 Weeks||2 Months|
|2||Fish||4 Days||6 Days|
|3||Drinks||3-7 Days||2-3 Weeks|
|4||Fresh Food||3-5 Days||2-3 Weeks|
|5||Ready-made Meals||7 Days||3-4 Weeks|
|6||Baked Items||4 Days||3 Months|
|7||Nuts and Beans||8 Months||24 Months do|
|8||Beef Jerky||6 Months||2 Years|
|9||Pasta||2 Weeks||4 Weeks|
Note: For meat, cheese and pasta, little amount of CO2 is also used along with nitrogen.
11.How Many Kinds Of Containers Are For Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
Nitrogen flush packaging can be easily performed in different kinds of bags and containers which are displayed below:
Flow packaging is the famous type of packaging mostly adopted for single items like chocolates, cookies or cheese block etc. Nitrogen flushing is carried out during process after the formation of pack.
Aluminum is strong element with the ability to resist ultraviolet rays, and it can be easily formed into any shape. This is the reason, why most of the pharmaceutical and food industries use it either directly or cover it with printed layers for identification. It can keep the nitrogen gas for longer period without any leakage.
Canisters are food storing boxes with attached lids that can be opened easily. These canisters are usually used in houses or restaurants for keeping food fresh. Nitrogen flushing is carried out by the needle which infuses gas through narrow hole in the lid.
Plastic bags are formed from transparent films and made during process or pre-made with an open mouth. In food markets and houses these bags are used for keeping nitrogen flushed products on shelves.
Ready to eat meals, seafood and other non-cooked food are placed in food trays which give them appealing picture. Moreover, these trays are covered with plastic film so that nitrogen gas could not be escaped.
Cans are steel or aluminum made containers with rigid surface used for the safe delivery of various products including liquid, semi-solid and solid material. Nitrogen flushing helps them in maintaining food quality.
Candies, medicines and creams are preferred for packing in plastic bottles where they can be easily passed through the step of nitrogen flush packaging.
12.What Are The Defects Of Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
While exploring about nitrogen flush packaging, a look to its defects is another aspect of this task which includes:
One of the prime challenges you might face is the consumption of space due to puffed bags despite containing small amount of load inside.
Long Term Cost
The expenses of using and installation of nitrogen gas cylinders is higher because of constant and high amount of gas required for food packaging.
No doubt, nitrogen is typically harmless gas but overloaded cylinders and leakage can cause blast and too much pressure of gas at same time which is dangerous. For avoiding such situation, must take necessary precautions and make sure that amount of gas present in cylinder is lower than its capacity.
13.How To Determine The Accurate Amount Of Nitrogen Flush Required For Various Products?
Do you know that every product require different amount of nitrogen flushing? It is because mere the flush of nitrogen is not enough. By doing this you would not get the desired results rather you might face unfavorable one. To make sure you are on right track consider the factors as under:
It means whether your product is fresh, dry or liquid? If it is fresh like fruits and meat it would need more time and amount of nitrogen for removing oxygen than dry beans who have already long shelf life.
The Packaging Container
What is the type of container either it is plastic/ aluminum bag or steel can? Mostly, the containers require less amount of nitrogen than bags, but again there is issue of leakage. If your bag is leaked or has porous surface the gas will waste and mixed with surrounding.
Another crucial factor is the area around your products. For instance, room temperature need for more nitrogen flushing than that of refrigerator and freezer.
14.How To Choose Right Machinery For Nitrogen Flush Packaging?
Let’s look at the important factors that would be helpful for you in selecting right machinery for nitrogen flush packaging:
Ask yourself about the current production of your firm. The answer would take you to decide which among automatic and semi-automatic packaging machine you require.
Is your product liquid, fragile or dry? If you are engaged in beverage packaging obviously you would require liquid filling machine, so that you can integrate the nitrogen gas cylinder with it. Similarly, for delicate and dry products continuous band sealing machine is suitable.
Another factor is about the size of cylinder, an inevitable element for nitrogen flush packaging. The above two factors would determine size of nitrogen gas cylinder. There are a number of cylinders available in different capacities like 20 kg, 25 kg, 30 kg and so on.
The improved technology of nitrogen flush packaging is very essential in food storage and their protection for longer duration. The cost-effectiveness has added another attribute to its existing demand. That’s why every firm is looking for its use. Being food packaging supplier, Allpackchina is always in front, to satisfy clients by providing quality equipment. You can also get benefited by this. Just click on the given link to contact us.
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