2018 Product Spotlights - Nitrogen Purge Equipment
One end goal of packaging almost any product is to ensure that it can reach the end user in a safe and convenient manner. However, many products, such as foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals, also need to reach consumers in a timely manner, prior to the end of their shelf life or usefulness to the purchaser. While there is no way to eternally extend the shelf life of products yet, nitrogen purge systems can remove oxygen to add some time to the shelf life while also protecting the color, texture and taste of certain products.
For many products, removing a majority of oxygen from the container will result in the lowering of undesirable actions caused by the oxygen that can break down these products. Substituting nitrogen, an inert, colorless, tasteless, odorless gas, slows the typical oxidation process thereby extending shelf life. Of course, the results from the purge may differ based on the packaging components used, the set up of the purge system, the products and many other factors.
Nitrogen purge systems can be manufactured to simply mount to a conveyor system, meaning they can be placed almost anywhere on a packaging line. However, to be effective the container needs to be sealed as soon as possible after the purge, to stop oxygen from seeping or leaking back in to the container. For this reason, almost all purge systems will be placed immediately after the fill, but right before the capping and sealing equipment. Portable and custom purge systems are also available, with one or multiple fill heads for special packaging projects. Typically, however, the purge nozzle is mounted to the power conveyor on an automated packaging line. As containers pass under the nozzle on the conveyor, the nitrogen is released to replace the oxygen, with the container then continuing down the conveyor into the capping or sealing area.
Typically, nitrogen gas is used for projects to extend shelf life and protect other properties of a product. In rare cases, a nitrogen purge may be used on an empty container to make the container more rigid, injecting liquid nitrogen before or as the bottle is entering the packaging line. To learn more about these systems, visit the Nitrogen Purge section of the Liquid Packaging Solutions website or contact LPS to discuss the best solution for a specific project.