The keys to generating food grade nitrogen

Nitrogen plays an essential role in keeping our food fresh and increasing its shelf life. In a process called Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), it displaces ambient air in food containers. This keeps other gases, especially oxygen, away from the food and slows its degradation. Therefore, if you are operating in the food and beverage industry, you need a steady supply of food grade nitrogen. It keeps your chips crispy, your coffee flavorful and your wine tasty.

What does food grade nitrogen mean?

But what is food grade nitrogen? Compressed air or industrial gases, like nitrogen, that come into contact with food have to meet stringent quality standards. This protects the consumers who end up ingesting these products.

The goal is to keep contaminants like moisture, particles, microorganisms or oil residue away from the food. This is crucial to preserving it and preventing the build-up of mold or fungi.

Anybody who cooks or eats knows the potential problems that these contaminants and oxygen can cause. That is why we cover up food, put it in tin foil or saran wrap. We also know the harm moisture, the most common contaminant, can do if it comes into contact with food items like flour or sugar.

How do you keep your nitrogen pure?

There are two ways of getting food grade nitrogen. One is to purchase it from a vendor. However, that is expensive and has several other disadvantages: It poses logistical challenges and could result in supply bottlenecks. In addition, the heavy, pressurized nitrogen containers are an occupational safety hazard.

The second method is to generate nitrogen on site. This is much less expensive, ensures a steady supply and lets you choose the required nitrogen purity.

For on-site nitrogen generation, you need a generator and a compressor. The latter compresses ambient air and sends it to the generator, which separates the nitrogen from all other gases – especially oxygen. Since air always contains contaminants, it is essential to filter them out early in this process. Otherwise, they will reduce the quality and purity of the nitrogen and come into contact with the food items.

This means that an effective air treatment is the key to keeping the nitrogen pure. In fact, several organizations have identified the compressed air used in processing and packaging a possible threat to food air safety. These include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Safe Quality Food Institute and the British Retail Consortium. 

A quick guide to air treatment

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to eliminate the contaminants from your compressed air and ensure you produce food grade nitrogen.

Pneumatech offers all of the necessary air treatment products and options.

From different types of filters to air dryers, we help you get the job done, protect your food items and your end customers.

For example, you can count on our coalescing filters to remove wet particulates and oil aerosols from the compressed air. Sterile filters and dust removal filters take care of particulates, and microorganisms while adsorption filters eliminate oil vapor.

These filters can be installed throughout the compressed air system. All of them have been fully tested and qualified according to the latest ISO8573 and ISO12500 standards.

Then there are different types of dryers that get rid of the moisture that poses the greatest threat by volume.

This includes the innovative Pneumatech PH HE desiccant dryer series. The dryers use a solid desiccant. That offers all of the benefits of desiccant dryers while eliminating the drawbacks of older models featuring loose desiccant beads. 

Your reliable air treatment partner

To find out more about our different air treatment products, simply contact a Ash Air expert. They will answer all of your nitrogen questions.

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.

Sub Categories

Refrigerated Air Dryers

Ash Air has a range of quality cycling and non-cycling Pneumatech refrigerated dryers for your air compressors.Our non-cycling Pneumatech refrigerated dryers offer a reliable and economic solution for removing moisture from your compressed air system. These refrigerated dryers for air compressors are easy to install, offer energy savings, prevent pressure losses, are equipped with rotary compressors and R410A refrigerant, and have improved connectivity features.

The Ash Air collection of very dependable cycling Pneumatech refrigerated dryers offer easy-to-use controllers, are easy to install with low maintenance needs, and are energy efficient with zero-loss drains.

We also supply a range of superior performance refrigerated dryers for air compressors with variable speed technology that matches energy consumption to the actual compressed air demand, have stable pressure dew points, and are available with both air-cooled and water-cooled condensers.

Desiccant Air Dryers

Our innovative desiccant dryers give customers efficient protection against the presence of any humidity in the air, which often is the source of pipe corrosion and decreased efficiency of equipment and tools.

The Ash Air range of advanced technology 360-1080 m3/hr and 1188-10800 m3/hr adsorption air dryers are for customers who have a focus on energy efficiency and low operating costs, while maintaining the highest standards in air purity. Our Pneumatech blower purge air dryers use heated blower purge air to remove moisture from the desiccant material, which means no purge loss during regeneration.

Breathing Air Dryers

Here at Ash Air, we offer BA 15-310 HE Breathing Air Purifiers. The Pneumatech solution for Industrial Breathing Air applications, build to exceed standards. The Breathing Air Dryer range assures safe working environment in a wide range of applications. Built to exceed standards, Breathing Air Dryers provide certified breathing air, even in situations with polluted intake air to ensure personnel safety at all times.

The Pneumatech solution for Industrial Breathing Air applications, build to exceed standards. The Breathing Air Dryer range assures safe working environment in a wide range of applications. Built to exceed standards, Breathing Air Dryers provide certified breathing air, even in situations with polluted intake air to ensure personnel safety at all times.


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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
  • Vacuum pumps
  • 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.

Reliability and Efficiency

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:

  • Increasing uptime
  • Reducing unexpected repairs
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Improving the cleanliness of compressed air


Talk to the team today:  CONTACT US CONTACT US

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