How nitrogen makes plant based meat better

Plant based meat consumption is growing fast, driven by a powerful mix of environmental, ethical, health and economic concerns. And its growth is showing no signs of slowing. According to the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute, the meat substitute market totaled $1.4 billion in 2020. This success in turn generates new interest. One of the most asked questions: how is plant based meat made? As in countless other industries, nitrogen plays a key role.

What is plant based meat?

Plant based meat tastes, looks and feels just like animal based meat, but it consists entirely of ingredients procured from plants. This includes protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and water. Its goal is to replace some or all of the animal based meat in our food consumption and production. That goal is not improbable. Plant based meat is recording triple and double-digit growth, with vegetarians, vegans but also with "flexitarians."  The latter group consists of meat eaters who have introduced meat substitutes in their daily diet.

So how is plant based meat made? Let's take a closer look. 

How is plant based meat made?

Extrusion is one of the main methods of producing plant based meat. It also is one of the most energy efficient means of mass food production available today.

Extrusion technology mixes soft ingredients, forms the food, cooks and processes it in a 3-steps process.

In the first step, the protein powders (made from soy, lentils, chickpeas, ...) are premixed to ensure the quality of the final product.

Next, the mixture in fed into an extruder, which consists of a barrel with rotating screws. The extruder both forms and cooks the food - typically in mere seconds.

Finally, the product is ready for processing, which can include anything from cutting to grinding or coating.

The entire extrusion process is a continuous, controllable, and cost-efficient means of production. That is why many food manufacturers are converting their existing processes to extrusion due to its costs and environmental benefits.

What role does nitrogen play in extrusion?

During plant based meat product extrusion, nitrogen gas is injected into the extruder. The goal is to achieve a process called protein aeration. The nitrogen creates a microporous structure in the product. This ensures a better color, a β€œmeatier” texture and an improved flavor absorption.

Where to get extrusion nitrogen?

Food production plants have traditionally relied on nitrogen bulk or bottles of nitrogen. However, these nitrogen deliveries come with a significant cost and carbon footprint. Generating nitrogen on-site reduces the cost per unit of gas and eliminates the transportation emissions of deliveries. It also gives companies control over their nitrogen supply. That is why an increasing number of production facilities are making the switch to self-producing nitrogen – and to Pneumatech as their gas generation partner.

As the leader in air treatment and gas generation, Pneumatech has developed the most energy efficient nitrogen generators available on the market. These products often use the PSA (pressure swing adsorption) process to efficiently and reliably produce food-grade nitrogen. Pneumatech nitrogen generation systems also have 24/7 local and remote connectivity for constant monitoring and visibility of your processes.

If you want to learn more about Pneumatech solutions for your plant based meat production, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our experts are ready to answer all your questions.

Resource via https://www.pneumatech.com/


Oxygen Generators

Pneumatech gives oxygen to your business. With the PPOG series, Pneumatech offers an attractive replacement for traditional oxygen supply with very interesting returns on investment.

The PPOG1-120 series uses Pressure Swing Adsorption technology to extract oxygen from compressed air, resulting in oxygen purity levels up to 95%.

The PPOG 2-18 HE series is a true game changer in on-site oxygen generation. 30% more efficient than traditional oxygen generators, the PPOG HE gives you the oxygen volume, purity and reliability you need at a massively reduced cost and a smaller environmental footprint.

PSA Oxygen Generators
With the PPOG series, Pneumatech offers an attractive replacement for traditional oxygen supply with very interesting returns on investment.

Nitrogen Generators

Discover the inner workings, versatile applications, and numerous benefits of an N2 generator. This revolutionary machine effectively separates nitrogen from compressed air, comprised of 78% N2 and 21% O2. A gas generator stands out as the easiest, most flexible, and economically viable method for securing your own nitrogen supply. Elevate your professional approach and embrace the efficiency and sustainability offered by on-site nitrogen generation, exclusively available in New Zealand.

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Pneumatech Nitrogen Generator PPNG 6-68 S (up to 99.999% purity; up to 148 m3/h)

Pneumatech Nitrogen Generator PPNG 6-68 S (up to 99.999% purity; up to 148 m3/h)

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Pneumatech PMNG Series - Membrane Nitrogen Generator

Pneumatech PMNG Series - Membrane Nitrogen Generator

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Who we are and how Ash Air can help your business!

Ash Air has been around in New Zealand since 1979, and we’ve grown into a nationwide company with international support and a reputation for quality and reliability.We look after all things compressed air for your business!

  • Reciprocating, Screw, air compressors
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  • Nitrogen
  • An extensive line of air treatment components

Ash Air's range of Chicago Pneumatic, Alup, Pneumatech, and Quincy compressors are used extensively around the world in industries ranging from oil and gas to food, automotive and farming, and we bring you these world class compressors here in the land of the long white cloud.Our technicians are compressed air equipment experts and are dedicated to addressing customer needs. Supported by a 13 locations nationwide, Ash Air offers one of the widest selections of compressed air equipment and parts available today in New Zealand.

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With Ash Air compressors, you can count on reliability and high performance for even the most demanding applications. We focus our efforts on the following:

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