Food Grade Industrial Applications: A Burgeoning Trend in the Industrial Gas Market
The industrial gas market
is exhibiting strong growth because of improving economies, growing energy demand, climate control activities, healthcare needs, and many more in developing and developed regions. There are different industrial gases which are used in a wide variety of industries, but most notably in the metal, manufacturing and food industries. The current business environment has become highly competitive as the leading industries are challenged by the demand for quality, safety, productivity and environmental protection. In food and beverages industry, industrial gases are used to chill, grind and package variety of products, including bakery and diary items, beverages, fish and sea food, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, prepared meals and many more. Some of the industrial gases that are used in food and beverages industry are liquid nitrogen (LIN) which is used in beverages industry to mechanically stabilize thin-walled receptacles such as PET bottles and make them stackable thereby save cost during storage, transportation, and retail display of bottled drinks. Moreover, Nitrogen is a key cryogenic agent in cooling, chilling and food freezing. Because of its extremely cold temperatures, immersion freezing in liquid nitrogen is the fastest freezing method known for producing Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) foods. Nitrogen also plays a key role in reducing spoilage, discoloration and off–flavors, giving strength to retail packaging. On a similar note, carbon dioxide (CO2) is used as a key cryogenic agent in cooling, chilling and freezing applications — protecting the taste and texture of your food products by maintaining proper temperature control. CO2 also reduces the need for preservatives in packaged products, and is an essential ingredient in carbonated beverages.
Food grade gases are defined as gases which are used in food industries as a processing aid or additive. The latest advancement in packaging, chilling, and freezing technologies is driving the market for food grade industrial gases. Food safety is one of the core factor that is kept in mind while developing food grade industrial gases. It is mandatory for food-grade gases to comply with international and local safety regulations. Various gases or mixtures are used to augment the color, appearance as well as organoleptic characteristics in order to improve shelf life and protect food from bacteria or mold. Moreover, many regulations such as EC Directives 96/77/EC on food additives within EU countries and the FDA guidelines in the U.S. is imposed with reference to food grade industrial gases. New regulations and public demand for safe food will continue to drive the industrial gases market in food and beverages industry.
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