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Benefits for Consumers & Roasters of Coffee Packaging with Nitrogen

15-Feb-2017

Coffee Processing Machinery & Equipment – N2 Generators

Coffee is a wonderfully popular beverage that dates back to the 10th century when it was first discovered in Ethiopia. Roasting of coffee began in 16th century Turkey. Like most aromatic foods, coffee can become stale and flavorless if exposed to air for too long. With the goal of increased shelf life, the modern coffee packaging and manufacturing process adopted inert nitrogen atmospheres in the late 20th century.

Extending shelf life is a big goal in the food and beverage industry. Coffee packagers and processors are always seeking ways to extend shelf life and have fresh, flavorful product. Whether it be bagged coffee or k-cups, packaging with nitrogen improves the freshness and aroma of ground coffee. Consumers, cafés and roasters benefit from nitrogen packaged coffee.

Coffee is filled with aromatic oils that impart the fresh taste, rich crema and delightful scents to the pour. It is the grinding of the beans that exposes the oil throughout the bean. These oils continuously emit gases. Oils, however, are susceptible to oxidation and therefore it is a typical practice to package the ground beans in nitrogen just prior to sealing the bag. By eliminating oxygen and moisture in the package, you also prevent bacterial growth. It is important that the supplied nitrogen pass through a sterile gas filter so the nitrogen does not introduce contamination in the form of yeasts, molds and bacteria. Since coffee is a natural product, nitrogen prevents the possibility of insect infestation.

Roasters, very much, want their retail customers to have the freshest coffee for a Café like experience at their own home. Therefore, packaging in nitrogen is key. Coffee is packaged using a vertical form and fill system. The ground coffee is fed into an overhead hopper. Bags are fed into the dispenser where they are flushed with nitrogen as the bag is filled with coffee from the overhead dispenser. Finally, nitrogen is flushed until the bag is sealed assuring that the coffee will remain fresh for months.

In addition to keeping the coffee fresh for the consumer, nitrogen packaging allows a roaster to expand his business by extending his geographic reach. Since the coffee is preserved with nitrogen, the longer shelf life of the product allows it to be transported far and wide via truck. Roasters can also package for hotels and vending machines which typically need a longer shelf life than with retail packaging.

Depending on the size of the roaster, generated nitrogen simplifies your operation by having a ready supply of nitrogen generated on site with a Parker Nitrogen Gas Generator. Compressed air is connected to the nitrogen generator and fed to the nitrogen supply port on the vertical form and fill system. Simple maintenance performed every six months keeps you up and running with a virtually unlimited supply of nitrogen. There is no need to move heavy, dangerous gas cylinders or liquid dewars in your facility. Nitrogen gas generators are also a green alternative to delivered nitrogen as the generator eliminates the need for diesel truck deliveries. Click here to get more information on gas generators or to get a quotation.



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Parker Hannifin Corporation
Gas Separation and Filtration Division
4087 Walden Ave.
Lancaster, NY 14086
1-800-343-4048 (US and Canada)
1-978-858-0505
Fax: 978-478-2501