Cutting costs through accurate dosing

Related tags Liquid nitrogen Nitrogen

A new delivery system for liquid nitrogen - widely used in the food
processing industry - should dramatically reduce the time between
dosing and closure, ensuring more accurate and effective
pressurisation, writes Chris Jones.

The AccuDoser from US-based company VBS International​ is designed for use across a wide range of food industry applications, from pressurising non-carbonated liquids such as tea, juices water and oils to inerting packages requiring a longer shelf life, such as wine, beer or peanuts.

The AccuDoser is an extension of VBS' existing range of liquid nitrogen (LN2) transfer systems and can dispense the gas into a container just milliseconds before it is sealed. As the liquid nitrogen leaves the dosing head, a measured amount of LN2 is dispensed into the AccuDoser, which can be placed next to the container sealing position on the production line.

This means that the time lapse from injection to closure is greatly reduced, as is the amount of pre-closure evaporation, resulting in a tighter controller pressure range. In the past, direct vertical injection of the LN2 often led to splash back of the product, with a number of adverse side effects.

This could not only add to the potential contamination of the production line but also increased wastage - an element food processors are continually fighting to reduce to a minimum - but perhaps most importantly the product which splashed out the container often contained some of the injected liquid nitrogen, thus causing a variance of pressure within each of the containers after capping.

The compact AccuDoser can be completely integrated into the capper, practically eliminating any product or nitrogen splash during the container transfer, according to VBS, thus allowing manufacturers to achieve a much more repeatable pressure specification.

Moreover, the likelihood of splashed-back liquid reaching and freezing on the injection head to potentially cause unit clogging is also reduced, resulting in improved line efficiency. The AccuDoser also permits the use of smaller amounts of cryogenic liquid per dose, giving cost-saving benefits and greater performance accuracy, according to the company.

As well as pressuring, the AccuDoser can be used to help extend the shelf life of certain food and drink products. The unit injects atomised liquid nitrogen droplets into the container before sealing to provide an inert atmosphere within the package after sealing. By displacing air/oxygen before sealing, the freshness of the contents is preserved over a longer period of time. Typical packages for the use of inerting atmospheres include bottled water, wine bottles and potato chip bags.

Related topics Processing & Packaging