When products and some processes are exposed to air from the atmosphere or from compressed air the oxygen present can cause spoilage, the growth of moulds, yeast and aerobic bacteria. Degradation of materials due to oxidation such as impairing of taste and other detrimental effects can also occur. Even with vacuum packaging, products can suffer from spoilage and degradation.
Nitrogen however, is an inert, odourless and flavourless gas that is abundantly available in the atmosphere at 78% - Nitrogen seemed so inert that Lavoisier, the 18th century chemist that discovered it, named it azote, meaning “without life”. When used in packaging and in product processing nitrogen improves the shelf life of perishable products, it does not cause degradation of the surface characteristics of materials, hence its usefulness in many processing and industrial applications.