South African compressor and generator hire company Rand-Air believes nitrogen air separation technology has a key role to play in the future of the country’s food and beverage industry.

Part of the Atlas Copco Group, Rand-Air sees this technology having a significant role to play in the wine industry in particular.

South African wines are sought-after internationally and are held in the highest regard amongst discerning consumers, as part of an established food and beverage industry that the country is known for.

A key aspect of wine production is oxidising the wine after it has been opened in order to enhance the aroma and natural flavours of the wine. This is, however, done at the point of consumption as over-oxidation during the packaging process may result in the product expiring before consumption. It is also possible to replace oxygen in this process with nitrogen – hence the positive impact this gas could have in the future.

Atlas Copco provides nitrogen air separation technology to many manufacturing and industrial sectors. Rand-Air’s General Manager Louwrens Erasmus commented, “A large portion of South Africa’s wines are exported to international markets. In order to preserve the purity of the product, it has to be packaged in a specific manner. Nitrogen occurs in the atmosphere as a natural gas and can be used to replace oxygen in the packaging process. The presence of too much oxygen has a detrimental effect on food and beverages, if over-exposure occurs.”

“By using Atlas Copco’s nitrogen packaging technology, we are able to offer our customers the peace of mind that the product that they are purchasing will be of the highest quality. With nitrogen packaging technology, we can guarantee purity levels of up to 99.5%,” Louwrens.

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