Recent applications of CO2 in the food industry
Carbon dioxide has been used in highly advanced applications the food industry for decades. Recent concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are leading manufacturers to use recycled CO2 from other industrial processes. Linde claim they use the by-products from ammonia, ethanol, titanium dioxide and gasoline production and compress, purify and liquefy it for use in food and beverage processing instead of releasing it in the environment. CO2 is traditionaly used in food processing; cryogenic freezing is up to 4 times faster than traditional mechanical freezing and creates free-flowing individually quick-frozen (IQF) products by completely surrounding the product with a steam of high-velocity cold vapour/ CO2 snow. More recent applications include flour chilling, which improves the quality product in bakery goods because it ensures accurate and constant operating efficiencies and flour temperatures and decreases operation costs without adding additional moisture to the dough. CO2 is also finding new applications in the wine and beer industry, for example in grape harvesting, crushing, de-stemming and juice separation, sparging or blanketing in several phases of the process. When used as a blanketing gas, it creates a hypoxic environment that prevents bacterial growth on the grapes or reduces dissolved oxygen content in the raw beer.