Specialty Gases for the Northern Illinois Food & Beverage Industry

For a long time now, the Northern Illinois food industry has benefited from the use of industrial and specialty gases. Normally, these gases find numerous applications, including use in flash freezing, beverage carbonation, fruit ripening, and shelf-life extension.

PurityPlus® gases rated and provided for food packaging touch almost the whole food industry, benefiting such products as …

  • Red Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Salty Snacks
  • Peanut Butter
  • Carbonated Drinks
  • Beer and Wine
  • Processed Meats
  • Dairy Products
  • Dry & Dehydrated Foods
  • Prepared Foods
  • Bakery Foods
  • Fresh Vegetables

Liquid nitrogen and liquid carbon dioxide are common freezing agents for meats, including beef, pork, chicken and fish, both raw and partially prepared, as well as fruits, vegetables, ice cream, and baked goods. A gas-based procedure allows practically immediate freezing to temperatures of -20 degrees or lower, and that fast temperature reduction saves the flavor and taste of the product which otherwise can fade with conventional freezing apparatus. Weldstar Specialty Gases’s experts will be happy to talk with you about the freezers and refrigerators these processes require. We also sell freezers and refrigerators and can provide the units that are right for your operations.

The use of carbon dioxide for beverage carbonation and dispensing has a greater than 125-year history. Today, literally tens of thousands of point-of-use beverage dispensers depend on beverage-grade CO2 shipped in cylinders of different dimensions. This helps maintain a top-grade final product since it’s carbonated by a clean gas that, by preparation and analysis, does not have any taste or odor. Contemporary local microbreweries, restaurants, and taverns, especially – world-class breweries, too – will specify PurityPlus beverage-grade carbon dioxide for beer dispensing. Just as preferred are special mixtures of nitrogen and carbon dioxide because they help bartenders do a better job of correctly pouring most of those popular Porter-style dark beers.

Even Though soft-drink and beer packaging and beer dispensers using carbon dioxide have become global clichés, a number of other foods and beverages avail themselves of PurityPlus specialty gases in a manner that goes unnoticed by the consumer. A perfect illustration is fruit ripening. For fifty-plus years, High Purity and C.P.-Grade ethylene have been inseparable components in the banana supply chain worldwide. Green bananas are harvested, packaged, transported, and inventoried at carefully monitored temperatures. Big grocery distributors acquire this fruit and move it into ripening chambers that allow a deliberate flow of ethylene. This promotes the natural ripening process to provide that golden-yellow glow we want when we purchase bananas in the  supermarket or produce store.

Another noteworthy gas-consuming application consists of employing nitrogen to displace oxygen and moisture in product packaging, which lengthens shelf life and makes the product look better. The most familiar process utilizes High Purity nitrogen with limited moisture and oxygen content to protect an extensive array of products, from coffee and breakfast cereals to potato chips, nuts, and other salty snacks. To manufacture what’s generally referred to as Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP), food processors make use of more complex, specially prepared combinations of High Purity nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.

The examples cited here only scratch the surface of the myriad ways in which food and beverage manufacturers and packaging enterprises use Purity Plus gases and equipment in the United States and Canada. Our people know well how to use food industry gases cost-effectively. Better yet, we’re enthusiastic about working with you to help prolong the shelf life and enhance the look of your products. Call Weldstar Specialty Gases at 708-627-1007 or contact us online to make sure you’re getting the right gas mixture in the best packaging to meet your needs.