How Can Rancidity Be Prevented?

Rancidity refers to the development of off-flavours and unpleasant odours in fats and oils when they undergo oxidation or hydrolysis. It is a form of spoilage that can occur in various food products containing fats, such as cooking oils, nuts, seeds, and processed foods.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the food industry, one element stands out – nitrogen. This inert gas plays a pivotal role in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), offering a defence against food spoilage, particularly rancidity.

Oxygen Displacement:

When integrated into modified atmosphere packaging, nitrogen takes on the crucial task of displacing or reducing the concentration of oxygen within the packaging. Why is this important? Because oxygen contributes to the oxidation of fats and oils, leading to rancidity. Nitrogen’s intervention creates a low-oxygen environment, effectively slowing down the oxidation processes.

Preservation of Product Freshness:

Nitrogen’s power lies in its low reactivity. Unlike other gases, it refuses to play a role in the degradation of our food products. In this state, nitrogen is the expert of freshness and quality, especially for foods susceptible to rancidity. It’s the reason your snacks taste just as good as the moment they were crafted.

Extended Shelf Life:

Rancidity often sneaks in through the activities of microorganisms and enzymes. By orchestrating a modified atmosphere with a higher nitrogen concentration and diminished oxygen levels, nitrogen stops spoilage-causing organisms and enzymes. The result? An extended shelf life of our favourite food products, allowing us to enjoy them over a more extended period.

Packaging Integrity:

Before the final seal, nitrogen steps in, flushing out oxygen from the packaging. This meticulous process isn’t just a formality – it’s a guarantee of packaging integrity. By minimising the food’s exposure to oxygen during storage and transportation, nitrogen shields your food from potential harm.

In conclusion, nitrogen, when harnessed through modified atmosphere packaging, becomes a defender against rancidity and food spoilage. Its ability to displace oxygen, preserve freshness, extend shelf life, and maintain packaging integrity showcases the profound impact this gas has on ensuring the longevity and quality of food products.

If you need a supply of gas for any reducing rancidity, get in touch with IGC today on 01257 794170 to find out more about your options of gas supply after a pressure vessel has been installed at your facility.

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