Did you know that the word nitrogen comes from the Greek words “nitron” and “genes,” which mean “native soda-forming?” Nitrogen is an essential element to all life forms on our planet. It’s an element that comprises all of our proteins, and it exists in every living organism. Nitrogen is crucial to living, but like many other elements, its compounds can also be harmful. It’s used to make many things, including food products, organic materials, fertilizers, and even explosives.
Remarkably, nitrogen is the fifth most abundant element to exist in the universe. It constitutes about 78 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere, while Mars’s air contains only about 2.6 percent. Nitrogen naturally occurs as a gas in Earth’s atmosphere, which is odorless, colorless, and considered inert or nonreactive. In its liquid form, nitrogen looks similar to water.
Did you know that nitrogen is used in products that are in your kitchen today? Three ways you may not have known about nitrogen usage are in food packaging, nitrogen-infused drinks, and food preservation. Let’s take a look at how nitrogen works hard to keep food fresh in your home kitchen!
From raspberries to washed salad greens and everything in between, you’ve been exposed to nitrogen a lot more than you think. Food manufacturers commonly seal food products with nitrogen air, which is a process called nitrogen flushing. But don’t worry, all that exposure to nitrogen is very safe and free from oxidation.
Nitrogen Infused Drinks
If you haven’t heard of nitro coffee before, it might already be available at your local coffee shop. Nitro coffee is a fast-growing beverage trend, as is nitro-infused green tea, chai, and more. Nitrogen is also a key ingredient in porter, stout, and other nitro beers. If you like your beverages to be extra bubbly and creamy, try making nitro brews at home with a nitrogen brewing kit.
The next time you reach for a bag of chips to fulfill that late-night food craving, you can thank nitrogen gas for keeping it fresh. Many snacks and sealed prepared foods are flushed with nitrogen to keep them fresher longer. Because nitrogen is an inert gas, it will not affect the taste or texture, which means that those unopened late-night chips in the cupboard will stay crispy and flavorful for you.
Nitrogen Generators in Your Kitchen
From food to beverages and packages, it’s neat to learn how nitrogen is everywhere in your kitchen. If you’re interested in learning more about the relationship between nitrogen generators and food, consult the experts.