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8th Nov 2016 : Cooking with gas : Nitrogen Food and You

We’re big fans of food and we’re big fans of gas here at Analox (sometimes, depending on what we’ve eaten, the two aren’t mutually exclusive…) Today, we’re looking at how nitrogen can be used in the food and beverage industry – from factories, to restaurants to pubs…

LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING – NITROGEN AND FOOD PROCESSING

Nitrogen has many uses in food processing. As liquid nitrogen is very cold (-196 °c) it can be used to freeze food quickly. Freezing food quickly leads to smaller ice crystals, which in turn leads to smoother tasting, longer lasting food.

If you have a sweet tooth, you may be interested to know that nitrogen can be used to put bubbles in chocolate bars like Wispas and Aeros. The melted chocolate is foamed up with nitrogen and when it cools, the bubbles appear. Gases like carbon dioxide and argon can be used instead, but nitrogen makes smaller bubbles and provides a creamier taste.

Nitrogen is also used in food preservation – by replacing oxygen in food packaging with nitrogen, the shelf-life of products can be vastly extended.

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22nd Jul 2016 : THE DANGERS OF CARBON DIOXIDE

We are often asked about the effects of carbon dioxide on the body and how to tell if there is a gas leak. As a result of this, we have created this post to provide additional information about exposure to carbon dioxide.

WHAT IS CARBON DIOXIDE?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas which occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere at a rate of 400 parts per million (ppm). It is colourless, odourless and non-flammable.

CO2 is used in a wide range of industries:

  • it is used to carbonate soft drinks and alcoholic beverages,
  • it is a primary ingredient in fire extinguishers
  • it is used to decaffeinate coffee and clean clothes
  • it is used to promote growth in fruit and vegetables
  • it is used as a coolant gas in power stations
  • it is used to create dry ice
  • carbon dioxide can also be generated by certain products, for example, when timber is held in a confined space, it undergoes oxidation which causes CO2 to be produced

The level of CO2 normally in the atmosphere is harmless, but an increase of levels of the gas in a working or home environment can have serious health effects. Some organisations have set long and short term exposure limits for working, and this legislation varies globally. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have set an exposure limit of 5,000ppm over an eight-hour period, and 30,000ppm over a 10-minute period, whilst the European standard EH40 has set a short-term 15-minute exposure limit of 15,000ppm.

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23rd May 2016 : Ammonia Leaks in the News

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11th May 2016 : The New Standard for Biomass Monitoring

Effective immediately, INFORS HT is solely responsible for the global distribution of aquila biolabs’ Cell Growth Quantifier (CGQ). The CGQ allows non-invasive online monitoring of biomass in shake flasks. The automatic measurements save time and also provide a profound understanding of the bioprocesses, ensuring sustainable success of shake flask experiments.

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