Maziaks have supplied and installed an increasing number of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) & nitrogen generation systems, also known as ‘gas flushing’. This process has numerous benefits for those involved in the food packaging industry. The products are of a higher quality due to the preservation of flavour, aroma, texture and nutritional value, which can in turn lead to increased sales. Also, the shelf-life of products is extended, by weeks and even months, opening up new sales opportunities further afield.
Nitrogen Generation is a simple process of flushing packaged foods with inert high purity nitrogen in order to reduce the oxygen level below 1%. Aerobic decay and deterioration caused by oxidisation slows down and results in fresher food both in terms of taste and appearance. The use of nitrogen as a filler gas also provides a pressurised atmosphere that prevents packages from collapsing, and gives a smoother result than vacuum packaging. Nitrogen flushing is not new to the food industry but the widespread use of mini storage tanks to supply the nitrogen generation has been inefficient and expensive. This is due to the need for (and cost of) refills and the possibility of production downtime if the refills are late arriving. There are also safety risks associated with the need to manhandle and store the gas cylinders, plus UK suppliers of liquid nitrogen are extremely limited.
In many cases our installations have involved replacing other nitrogen sources with a generator such as MAXIGAS from Parker domnick hunter. Once installed, this is a cost effective alternative, with excellent pay back, delivering on-demand food grade nitrogen generation with purity of up to 99.999%.
Wells and Young’s Brewing Company, is the UK’s largest privately owned brewery and is a leader in cask ale and premium lager. With passionate farmers and expert brewers, the beers are brewed using techniques over a hundred years old, but in one of the UK’s most modern breweries.
Maziaks have supplied and serviced Wells and Young’s compressed air system for over 7 years and following the largest ever nitrogen generator installation in Europe at Rohm and Haas (UK) Ltd (see Newsletter Issue 1), we talked to Wells and Young’s about the benefits of replacing their bulk liquid nitrogen with their own generation equipment.
Wells and Young’s will achieve a 75% reduction in costs. Typical savings depend on the quantity of N2 used – the bigger the usage, the bigger the saving. The sheer scale of the Parker domnick hunter system installed by Maziaks is noteworthy. We took a dead piece of the Wells and Young’s’ site and built a small and compact nitrogen generation system. To do this, we decommissioned buildings and electrics and built a new building with a mezzanine floor. This was situated right next to their existing bulk store. The nitrogen generation system is modular, so there is future flexibility to adjust the system to revised needs.
The project length at Wells and Young’s reflects the complexity of the requirements and contrasts with other installations we have completed, where we have built a containerised plant room at Maziaks‘ workshop and installed this at the customer site within 5 hours