How Does a Nitrogen Purge System Work With Packaging Equipment?
Nitrogen purge systems remove oxygen from the headspace of containers to extend the shelf life of a number of different products, while at the same time retaining the taste, color and texture of those products.
Luckily for all of us, oxygen is present almost everywhere. But while beneficial to humans, the same is not true for all materials found in our atmosphere. Foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals are just a few of the products that can break down due to oxidation. Take, for example, a banana, which can be bought nearly green from the local grocery store. However, leave that banana on the table for a few days and it will progress from green to yellow to an unappealing brown. The texture and taste of that same banana will also become less appealing the longer it is left on the table. The same is true for products packaged in bottles, jars or other containers when oxygen is trapped in the headspace of that container and interacts with the product.
Nitrogen purge systems from Liquid Packaging Solutions are versatile enough to be added just about anywhere on a packaging line. However, the most logical place to use the purging system, and where most purging systems are found, lies between the filling machine and the bottle capper. Running the purge after the fill but just before the sealing of the bottle allows the oxygen to be removed from the headspace of the container, replacing the oxygen with nitrogen, which will not have the same effect on foods, beverages and other products as the oxygen interaction described above. Nitrogen has also been recognized as safe by the FDA for food packaging, and given that it makes up a large portion of the air we breathe every day, it is an accessible option for preserving products as well.
While many of the gas purging systems manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions will be mounted to the conveyor between the filling and capping machines, custom purge systems can also be built to handle unique applications for a range of products and containers. In addition to replacing oxygen in containers, nitrogen dosing may also be used to add rigidness to containers. Normally, liquid nitrogen will be released into an empty container. Upon dispensing, the liquid turns to a gas, which expands and creates a pressure inside of the bottle, in turn adding rigidity to plastic bottles and containers.
To learn more about nitrogen purging and how it may be beneficial for your own packaging projects, call LPS today to speak with a Packaging Specialist at 1-219-393-3600.