On-site Nitrogen Generation for the Food & Beverage Industry

By Direct Air & Pipework
schedule19th Aug 22

There are many companies within the food and beverage industry that purchase their nitrogen gas through bulk delivery. However, there is a better, more sustainable option, which is to become self-sufficient and produce your own nitrogen gas with an on-site nitrogen generator.

Nitrogen generators continuously produce high purity nitrogen from compressed air and the installation is simple: pipe in compressed air and pipe out nitrogen. When a nitrogen generator produces nitrogen gas, the machine does not create nitrogen by itself, as nitrogen gas present in air (roughly 78% of air is nitrogen) is purified inside the generator. This means any additional molecules, such as, oxygen, carbon dioxide or water, are removed from the gas.

On-site generation means no wastage from liquid boil off or partially filled cylinders, leaving you with the ability to power the below applications efficiently…


Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)

Nitrogen is widely used for Modified Atmosphere Packaging as it is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas which, coupled with its inertness and dryness, make it a suitable gas to use to displace oxygen from food packaging.

Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage

Large gas tight temperature and oxygen controlled bulk stores are typically used for fruit, vegetables and salads. Purging with nitrogen slows product deterioration from weeks to many months.

Clean in Place (CIP) Pipe-Work and Vessel Purging

Breweries often clean and sterilize storage vessels and the interconnecting piping. Nitrogen is ideal for this process as it does not react with NaOH, maintaining the cleaning solutions cleansing properties and allowing for reuse.

Silo and bulk storage blanketing

Providing an inert nitrogen gas “blanket” at minimal overpressure, above food produce contained in bulk storage silos or vessels will help prevent oxidisation and contamination from possible external atmospheric sources.

Insect and larvae reduction

Storage of produce such as cereals and grains can be purged and blanketed with nitrogen gas to eradicate insects or the development of their larvae.


Nitrogen gas is passed through liquids such as cooking oils to help reduce dissolved oxygen. Diffusers are used to ensure small bubbles of nitrogen gas achieve the best results.

Pressure transfer

Nitrogen gas is used as an inert, non-oxidising motive force to convey powders and liquids where it is undesirable or not possible to employ traditional pumping methods.

Nitrogen injection

Nitrogen gas is often used to create micro-bubbles in products such as cream and desserts to improve texture. Nitrogen is less likely to be absorbed into the product, is less likely to affect the taste.

Purging and Filling

Nitrogen is an effective purging gas enabling brewers to reduce water consumption. Nitrogen assisted filling increases process speed and protects the beer.

Aerosol propellant

Nitrogen gas is used as an inert propellant in aerosol dispensed products such as “squirty” creams, oils and cheeses.


Purging bottles, cans and kegs with nitrogen gas helps to reduce oxidation and extends product shelf-life. Nitrogen can also be used to dry bottles after rinsing.


This process means smaller nitrogen bubbles cascade through the beer forming a more stable, long lasting head on beers for a lighter, thinner feel.

Benefits of on-site Nitrogen Generation for Food & Beverage applications

Direct Air work with leading manufacturers to be able to offer bespoke nitrogen generation solutions. Produce high purity nitrogen from compressed air and remove the inconvenience of a delivered nitrogen supply.

Some key benefits of generating your nitrogen on-site in the Food & Beverage industry are:

  • Quality – achieve required purity, EIGA food grade and more food standards, extended the shelf life
  • Energy & cost saving – complete control over investment and future costs, no wastage
  • Logistics – operational reliability, generate on demand, no delivery limitations
  • Environment – no production of liquid N2, reduced tanker movement, cuts CO2 emissions by 50%
  • Health & Safety – no manual handling, reduced delivery traffic on site
  • Space – no cylinder storage, no liquid tank storage

Get in contact with the Direct Air team today for more information!

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