Doc. 194/15 Design and Operation of On-site Nitrogen Generators for Food Use

"On-site nitrogen generators for food use, for example for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) or inerting applications, are installed at customer sites by either gas companies or equipment suppliers and can be operated by either gas companies or food companies.

Nitrogen generators which use pressure swing adsorption and membrane technologies have potential hazards that need to be recognized and addressed in view of the regulations relating to food applications.

This publication is intended as a guide for on-site nitrogen generators for food use regarding:

  • identification of potential hazards (biological, chemical and physical types) during the equipment design and its operation;
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures;
  • description of appropriate design, operation, maintenance and modification; - recommendations concerning traceability, production lots, registration parameters, product analysis; and
  • assurance for operators and authorities of the quality and compliance of the gas produced with an on-site nitrogen generator.

An on-site nitrogen generator separates nitrogen from air for use directly at the user location delivered by pipeline. In terms of gas flow rates, on-site nitrogen generators range from a few litres per minute up to many tonnes per hour.

This publication is intended for those who are involved in the design, supply and operation of on-site generators of nitrogen for food use."