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Using Nitrogen Generation for Coffee Industry Applications

coffee packaging industry applications

For many of us, coffee is a staple for all those early mornings. This classic hot beverage is not only delicious, but it can also help fuel the day ahead. In order to provide you with the most flavourful cup of coffee, a significant portion of the industry is focused on roasting the beans. Roasting not only creates a more robust flavour profile but it also enhances the colour and aroma of the coffee bean. However, as soon as the roasting process is over, oxygen exposure will cause the coffee to rapidly lose its flavour in addition to decreasing its shelf life. Therefore, displacing oxygen with pure nitrogen through “nitrogen flushing” during the coffee packaging process will ultimately help preserve the freshness and flavour of your coffee.

Why Compressed Nitrogen is Essential for Maintaining Coffee Quality

From roasting to brewing, nitrogen plays a key role in maintaining the quality of your coffee. If you experience staleness of coffee beans or ground coffee, it may indicate that the coffee was packaged without the use of a nitrogen generator. Here are a few more reasons why food-grade nitrogen is essential for that perfect cup of coffee:

  • Bulk Coffee Storage: Freshly roasted coffee beans that are not packaged right after the roasting phase can be stored in airtight silos for up to a month. These silos are periodically purged with nitrogen gas to ensure that the oxygen content is at 3% or less and freshness is maintained. A nitrogen generator is then responsible for supplying a continuous blanket of nitrogen gas while the beans are waiting to be packaged.
  • Coffee Packaging: Similar to the way nitrogen is used when storing freshly roasted coffee beans, the modern packaging process flushes the bags of coffee beans or ground coffee with pure nitrogen. This process helps eliminate oxygen and moisture from within and the nitrogen does not react to the oils produced by the coffee as oxygen would. Using nitrogen in this specific application guarantees that the consumer will have a fresh and flavourful bag of coffee, even if the product is purchased in the days, weeks or months after the coffee was packaged. Nitrogen flushing during packaging also helps the coffee retain its signature aroma.
  • K-Cups and Coffee Pods: The same method of nitrogen flushing applies to K-Cups and coffee pods. Pods can have a longer shelf life than traditionally packaged coffee since the tightly sealed cups contain no more than 3% oxygen. The nitrogen gas purity requirements for all flushing applications can range from 99%-99.9% depending on certain factors such as the type of packaging equipment used, flushes per bag and more. Only an on-site nitrogen generator can deliver the required nitrogen purity for coffee packaging whether in a bag or pod.
  • Nitro-Infused Coffee: In recent years, nitro-infused coffee has become the mainstream drink of choice for serious coffee lovers. Also known as “nitro cold brew”, the coffee is created by injecting pressurized nitrogen gas or a nitrogen and CO2 gas blend, directly into chilled kegs containing coffee and poured on tap like beer. The taste is typically smoother and less bitter than traditional iced coffees and topped with a foamy head.

Compressed Gas Technologies is North America’s Leading On-Site Nitrogen Generator Manufacturer

For almost 20 years, Compressed Gas Technologies has been the coffee industry’s leading supplier for on-site nitrogen generators. Typically used in a variety of applications, our Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) nitrogen generators can help you extend the shelf life of your products including K-Cups, PODS, whole bean and ground coffee. If you are in the coffee packaging industry, you need an on-site nitrogen generation solution. Nitrogen generation will provide you with a steady supply of nitrogen on demand and eliminate the range of safety issues that go along with delivered nitrogen from a third-party supplier. Relying on a nitrogen generation system can also ensure more predictable gas costs as well as a quick return on your investment.

For all Canadian and US-based inquiries, please contact our office at +1 (877) 737-7760, by email at sales@nitrogen-generators.com or fill out our online form for more information about our nitrogen generation products and services.

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