Pre-cap Nitrogen Purge Benefits
Pre-Cap Nitrogen Purge Benefits
A nitrogen purge system can greatly benefit a packaging system in several different ways. One way is by removing oxygen from the headspace of a container just before the container is capped or otherwise sealed. By replacing the oxygen in the headspace with a nitrogen gas, the product being packaged gains several advantages. To understand those advantages, let\'s take a quick look at the packaging process leading up to the nitrogen purge and the capping machine.
On an automated packaging system, bottles will be loaded on the power conveyor to be transferred from station to station. On some systems, the bottles may first run through a rinsing machine or other container cleaning machine to remove dust and debris. From the rinsing machine, the conveyor system will typically take the containers to the filling equipment. Product is released into the containers and then continues along the automated packaging line. It is at this point that the containers are ready to be sealed and the benefits can be achieved by replacing remaining oxygen with the nitrogen purge system.
For almost any product, a filled bottle or container will leave a bit of headspace near the top or the opening of the container. In a normal environment, this headspace will obviously be filled with oxygen. However, long term contact with oxygen can have a detrimental effect on a number of different products. For example, oxygen can obviously lead to the deterioration of food. In general, oxidation occurs when food comes into contact with oxygen and certain nutrients and vitamins are destroyed. In addition, oxygen can help to create an atmosphere for bacteria or other food contaminants that can simply spoil the food.
Nitrogen, however, does not have these same detrimental effects on food or other products. So after the bottle or container is filled, a nitrogen purge system can be used to switch out the gases. As bottles pass under the nitrogen purge system, a blast of nitrogen gas is shot into the container opening. The containers then immediately enter the capping machine to be sealed, the headspace full of nitrogen rather than oxygen. The actual benefits include an extended product shelf life as well as preserved color, flavor and taste.
While nitrogen purge systems can benefit a packaging system in other ways as well, this is probably the most common use for a nitrogen purge gas based system. If you would like more information on nitrogen purge equipment or any of the other packaging machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, feel free to browse our website or contact our offices today.