Nitrogen gas generator used in snack packaging process

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Parker Domnick Hunter has supplied a MAXIGAS nitrogen gas generator to Shahi Enterprises for use in modified atmosphere packaging of snacks, resulting in financial and logistical benefits compared with using cylinders of nitrogen.

Snack food manufacturer Shahi Enterprises Pvt Ltd has saved substantial costs by installing a Parker Domnick Hunter MAXIGAS nitrogen gas generator to produce its own nitrogen for snack food packaging. Based in Karachi, Pakistan, Shahi Enterprises makes various snack foods including traditional Nimco products (dried snack foods) and relies on a source of nitrogen for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP).

MAP helps maintain product freshness, quality and extend shelf-life. It uses nitrogen which is a clean, dry, inert gas to reduce the oxygen content within food packaging and prevent product deterioration that may occur due to oxidative rancidity, moisture loss or gain, or microbial action, in addition to mould-induced spoilage.

Nitrogen can also used be as a filler gas to create a pressurised atmosphere that prevents 'package collapse,' thereby helping to protect the product.

Cylinder woes

Shahi Enterprises previously relied on cylinders of nitrogen. However, this proved to be very expensive and purity levels often varied between cylinders, presenting serious potential product quality issues. The company also experienced production loss during cylinder refill periods, in addition to interruptions to production when cylinders were delivered empty - while the company still had to pay for nitrogen not received. Moreover, the volume of cylinders required demanded considerable resource for manual handling and was therefore inconvenient.

The company was keen to investigate an alternative and, when introduced to MAXIGAS by Trade Tacts International (Pvt) Ltd, a local Parker Domnick Hunter distributor, it quickly recognised the many benefits of the system. MAXIGAS generators make nitrogen gas from compressed air via the pressure swing adsorption (PSA) method using carbon molecular sieve (CMS) regenerative technology. Offering reliability, efficiency and a constant, controlled nitrogen flow and pressure, the generators are cost-effective for nitrogen supply, with an exceptionally low lifecycle ownership cost.

A short payback time period, in addition to features such as continuous purity monitoring, economy mode for energy savings, compact design and modular approach for multi-bank flexibility, encouraged Shahi Enterprises to make its own nitrogen with a MAXIGAS nitrogen gas generator.

In September 2007, one MAXIGAS108 unit and a compressed air pre-treatment system, including a desiccant dryer and filter, was commissioned to deliver 28m3/hr with a 0.5 per cent oxygen content.

Mr Asad Naeem Raza from Trade Tacts comments: "This was the first Parker Domnick Hunter generator commissioned in Pakistan. The system has been running trouble-free since installation and the support from Parker Domnick Hunter has been superb."

Mr Rizwan Ali, the manager for factory operations at Shahi Enterprises, adds: "The MAXIGAS generator system has offered us true peace of mind."

MAXIGAS and MIDIGAS nitrogen gas generators are suitable for various applications in multiple industries and are backed by Parker Domnick Hunter's global network of manufacturing, sales and customer support centres, providing full service, spares and applications expertise. Optional preventative maintenance contracts are also available.

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