Have you ever bought a snack like potato chips with a bubble wrap, but when it was opened it turned out that half of it only contained air? The snack packaging process is called nitrogen flushing, which is when nitrogen is put into food packaging. However, does nitrogen flushing affect food and our health? Check out the following review.
What is nitrogen flushing?
Oxygen will trigger mold, yeast, and aerobic bacteria to develop and damage food. So, food will quickly rancid or change color if too long exposure to oxygen, as well as foods that are left open.
One way to make food last long is by removing oxygen from the container, and replacing it with nitrogen. This process is called nitrogen flushing.
The replacement of oxygen with nitrogen aims to avoid oxidation which causes food to break down quickly and stale.
Nitrogen flushing is the opposite of the vacuum process
In foods such as fresh meat, sausages or jerky packed in plastic seals, air is not needed in the packaging. The food is put into a container, then the air inside is removed so that it is vacuum. This process is called vacuum packaging. You can observe the packaging on a tight and tight sausage wrap that indicates there is no air in it.
However, not all foods are packed with vacuum packaging. Types of food that are vulnerable to being destroyed or damaged, such as chips need protection as long as food is distributed. Likewise with packaged coffee beans whose uneven surface will look bad if packaged with vacuum packaging. The packaging will form lumps if there is no air in it.
For this type of food, nitrogen flushing is needed. You can observe the bubble wrap, and when it is opened there will be air (nitrogen) in it.
The way to apply nitrogen flussing to packaged foods is to use a machine that puts nitrogen in the container so that the oxygen is completely replaced by nitrogen. Then, the container is sealed quickly and tightly.
Is the use of nitrogen flushing on snacks safe?
Quoted from Very Well, nitrogen flushing is really safe for food. Because, nitrogen contains 70% of the air you breathe. Nitrogen in packaged food containers does not react with food, so food is kept fresh and can last longer.
However, when you open a snack pack, the nitrogen in the container will mix with the surrounding air. This can cause food resistance to decrease.
In some packaged foods, there is a zip lock model that makes it easy for you to secure leftovers. But on packets that are not zipped, make sure to close the food wrap that you have opened with a rope, rubber or clip. Then, store it in the refrigerator. It will be safer if you move it into a tightly closed container, like a jar.
Packaged foods that have been opened should not be stored for too long because the content of food that has been mixed with the surrounding air has changed, so that the food becomes stale faster.
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