Food & Beverage

Drop-by-drop nitrogen pressurization and inertization

In order to increase pressure in PET bottles for the purposes of unloading pallets of the bottles, of saving space floor during storage and transportation, and of reducing the costs of producing the PET bottles (by reducing the thickness of PET), Irish Oxygen has developed a specific system called “drop-by-drop” based on the direct injection of drops of Liquid Nitrogen into the bottles, which then vaporizes, increasing pressure and keeping the beverage inert.

This technology was developed by SOL group in the early 1990s, and it also makes it possible to render food products packaged in different types of container inert, by avoiding their contact with the oxygen present in the air.

Thanks to the inert nature of nitrogen, which also has a low solubility in liquids and so does not dissolve into the beverages or foods, Irish Oxygen’s drop-by-drop technology all the advantages of a protective atmosphere to be combined with the advantages of reducing the space needed to store bottles in PET, thanks to the pressurisation effect, whereby bottles may be stacked higher, and of saving on the cost of pre-forms in PET to be sent for moulding thanks to the reduction in their weight.

The drop-by-drop system permits also results in higher productivity, of up to 300 containers/bottlers per minute, characterised by great precision and the limited consumption of nitrogen, as well as margins of tolerance of no more than +/- 5% of the content of nitrogen required for each package/container.

This application concerns the following principal food production processes:

the bottling of still mineral water;

the packaging of beverages, soft drinks, fruit juices and still drinks;

the packaging of liquid or semisolid food products (sauces, purees etc.) or solid products in jars and tins (e.g. nuts).

Sectors of Application