Gas milk packaging solution
An Asia-Pacific contract milk packaging operation has demonstrated the benefits of on-site nitrogen generation by replacing up to 10 gas cylinders a day and eliminating production down time when cylinders were not available.
Magnaprime packaging - a Filipino company packaging New Zealand creamery powdered product such as Anchor Milk - uses nitrogen to maintain the highest product quality during packaging and to extend shelf life.
Originally, Magnaprime used gas cylinders but expansion of its operations meant it was using up to 10 a day to blanket pouches before sealing as well as using the gas in conveying the powdered milk to the vertical fill/seal machine.
The rising cost of purchasing the cylinders - plus delivery issues causing production down time - meant the company opted to produce its own nitrogen using a domnick hunter Maxigas N2MID600 on-site generator.
This provided nitrogen at the required purity (1% oxygen) at a flow rate of 4.5 Nm3/h for the blanketing of powdered milk, eliminating the need for down time caused by changing over empty cylinders, improving efficiency and saving money.
The technology - which is also being used by Australasian food and beverage producers - was selected recently as one of four finalists in the UK Food Processing Awards 2006.
The Maxigas range of nitrogen generators employs the Pressure Swing Adsorption principle to produce food-grade nitrogen from compressed air instead of having to rely on supplies of bottled gas.
Primary uses of Maxigas within the food industry are modified atmosphere packaging flushing of oxygen during packaging to extend shelf life and ingredient blanketing including sparging, beverage dispensing, pressure transfer of raw materials, inerting of edible oil containers and blanketing of storage tanks. Nitrogen is produced at a fraction of the cost, the system is safer than heavy, high-pressure cylinders and is available on demand, reducing production down time.
The domnick hunter Maxigas nitrogen generation system - which can be set to supply nitrogen from 95% to 10 ppm (99.999%) - incorporates a self-regeneration feature to minimise maintenance.
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