Nitrogen in the Food and Beverage Industry

Nitrogen in the Food and Beverage Industry

The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving, and ensuring the freshness, quality and longevity of products is essential to success. You might think to yourself, how does nexAir have anything to do with the food that we eat or the beverages that we drink? At nexAir, we provide the food and beverage industry with nitrogen gas, which is vital to applications such as preservation, packaging and processing. 


What is nitrogen gas?

Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is the most plentiful element in the Earth’s atmosphere and is a constituent of all living matter. In fact, it actually makes up about 80% of the air that we breathe. It is commonly used in practices such as sample preparation in the chemical industry, making fertilizers, welding and in food and beverage packaging. 


Key Uses of Nitrogen in Food and Beverage 

Food Preservation

One of the main uses of nitrogen gas in the industry is food preservation. Its ability to create a modified atmosphere helps to extend the shelf life of perishable products. This happens by reducing oxygen levels, inhibiting the growth of spoilage-causing microorganisms and slowing down oxidative reactions. Modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, is commonly used for fresh products like fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy. This technique ensures that the items stay fresher for longer periods of time. 

Beverage Dispensing 

Another role that nitrogen plays in the beverage industry is in the dispensing of draft beverages like beer and coffee. By pressurizing the containers, nitrogen gas helps keep carbonation, leading to a smoother and creamier texture. Nitrogen-infused beers, known as nitro beers, have recently gained popularity for their velvety feel and bubbly effect. Further, nitrogen gas prevents oxidation, preserving the flavors and aromas of the beverages. 


Another area in which nitrogen gas holds value is in the packaging of food and beverage products. By purging oxygen from packaging materials like cans, bottles and bags, nitrogen gas helps to prevent oxidative reactions. This helps maintain the freshness and color of food items while enhancing their stability during transportation and storage. Nitrogen gas can also be paired with other gases to create an optimal packaging environment for an array of products. 

Food Processing Techniques

Lastly, nitrogen gas can be used in various food processing techniques such as purging, inerting and blanketing. These are all common applications that involve displacing oxygen with nitrogen gas. These processes help to control microbial growth, limit enzymatic reactions and prevent oxidation, preserving the quality of the final products. 


The uses of nitrogen gas in the food and beverage industry are widely vast and beneficial. It has become an extremely valuable asset for its applications such as food preservation, beverage dispensing, packaging, and processing and has transformed the way products are stored, presented and consumed. At nexAir, we continue to provide our customers with a high quality and consistent supply of nitrogen gas for applications like the ones we previously discussed. If you have any questions in regards to nitrogen in the food and beverage industry or are ready to get set up with your own reliable supply, please reach out – we’d love to get started and Forge Forward, together. 


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